Our Story

‘Sommersby’ is a full feature film released in 1993.
It is a story where love and honour collide, forcing the heart to find its place. The film gave me an understanding of how eternal and all encompassing – love is. It is a desperate, compelling and passionate drama that left me with one question: ‘Where does my heart lie?’ The answer led me to fulfil a childhood dream and the name Sommersby has remained synonymous with courage, relentless determination, and unbridled passion.

Sommersby Ranch has been a dream for over twenty years and was officially operative in December 1999 when I started the ‘Sommersby School of Horsemanship.’
Back then I thought it was my chance to build my dream of how my life was supposed to be. I was 38 years old, a divorced mother of three amazing children, and I wanted to provide the opportunity to raise them, especially my youngest who was only six months old, with plenty of room to play, and animals to care for.

Soon enough I realised it wasn’t about what I wanted, but what others needed. Unbeknown to me at the onset, some of my students had varying degrees of autism, one had Asperger’s Syndrome and others were psychologically and emotionally challenged in some way. Working with these children using my horses as teaching partners, I had the ability to instil confidence and build self-esteem merely by allowing them to connect and interact with the horses. Not only did these children become better horse people, they also experienced incredible growth in their personal lives. Horses and nature are teachers of great truths, and working with both forces us to confront many issues that are relevant to daily living, whether that be at home with our families, in the classroom or even in the business world.

At Sommersby Ranch the emphasis is on creating opportunities for developing the best in every child so they may take with them new skills, valuable life lessons and a lifetime of friendships and happy memories.