About us.


Our goal is to provide you with a personalized holiday away from the busy tourist areas in Costa Rica. Our home cooked meals and farm life atmosphere are perfect for a quiet retreat or family getaway. Relax in the garden swing or hammock, take a hike to the nearby waterfall, or walk down the riverside. We have horse activities for beginners and advanced riders as well as children and seniors. Spend some time with the farm animals that make up our family at Establo San Rafael, especially the horses. We hope to make your stay as comfortable as possible and that you will leave feeling like our farm is your farm.

A letter from Pauline Pearse.wpid-20150613_154431.jpg
Yesterday I realized just how unique the programs and opportunities are that Establo San Rafael offers. This insight came from a young return client at ESR., as we were discussing the logistics of learning Natural Horsemanship. Allow me to share his reflections with you:”You know Brenda, this place is so cool. I haven’t been able to find a single place in either the UK or the US, where you don’t need to own your own horse to learn and practice Natural Horsemanship. Sure, there are plenty of riding stables offering day rides, lessons, and trails, but for Natural Horsemanship I would have to buy my own horse and join an expensive club. And that just isn’t practical! Here, I have all these horses I get to learn Natural Horsemanship with before I am able to get my own horse one day!”We went on to discuss whether the best thing was being able to work out which horsenality he clicks with most, before making the financial and emotional commitment of horse ownership. Or whether the best thing is not having to sell a beloved pony when it comes time to ‘upgrade’ to a bigger horse – “I know Al will always be here, and I can still play the games with him whenever I want!”I can now truly appreciate how unique the program is here, like nothing you would find in the US, UK, and many other countries around the world. The 11 beautiful horses are just waiting to teach and become friends with The next visitors too.

This is a short video of some of our visitors and animals.

About Brenda

From her early childhood, Brenda has studied and excelled in classical dressage, show jumping, cross country jumping and eventing. She has owned and shown horses throughout her life. She was employed at several show barns in the US, training horses and coaching students. She has over 40 years direct experience with horses.

20140724_122207(2)Brenda and stallion Gusty.

Brenda was first introduced to the philosophy of Monty Robert natural horsemanship at Ben Martin Stables in California at the age of 14 and competed for two years in western pleasure. She then went on to classical dressage, show jumping and eventing. She was reintroduced to Natural Horsemanship in 2008 when she hosted her first seminar with David Lichman at Establo San Rafael. Since then she has studied Natural Horsemanship and has hosted many Parelli seminars. Brenda incorporates Natural Horsemanship techniques into all of her training and teachings.

Since coming to Costa Rica in 2004, she has built the beautiful equestrian facilities of Establo San Rafael where she practices her horsemanship. You will be inspired to see her connection and communication with horses.

Abel Gonzales, our manager, and Brenda’s husband make sure the horses and people are happy.

The friendly face that will greet you at the airport.