When a parent begins to look for a riding instructor, the highest priority is generally to find someone that is as safe as possible. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in such an evaluation. First, parents should be looking for instructors that are certified; showing that their performance as an instructor has been evaluated for safety, ability and knowledge by an independent, professional organization. Surprisingly, this one requirement alone will eliminate most of the instructors who are teaching kids and adults to ride. Lisa Lombardi has proudly earned her CHA and PATH certifications making her one of the few such instructors in Sonoma County.

Another extremely important factor in evaluating safety is the ability, training and temperament of the lesson horses that are used by the instructor. Lisa Lombardi owns 8 lesson horses that have all consistently shown their ability to be trusted in their performance of providing lessons to beginners as well as skilled riders. It takes years of work and continual training to build a string of excellent school horses. It also takes a full-time commitment to the profession and to each horse showing them love, consistency, patience and skill. Lisa Lombardi’s horses love their jobs because they are treated with the highest respect and care.

Lisa Lombardi also has a proven track record of more than 30 years of instruction without injuries under her supervision. She has been an instructor for Santa Rosa Junior College, Cloverleaf Ranch, Santa Rosa City Schools and currently serves as a co-leader of Rincon Riders youth group.

In addition to safety, most parents want an instructor that is “kid friendly” and who can be a coach as well as an instructor. I have never heard anything but positive coaching from Lisa. Some of her ability in this area comes from her teaching credentials but her real gift comes from her wonderful heart and soul. Ms. Lombardi shows passionate, enthusiasm in all her lessons making her lessons fun as well as instructional for children.

Convenience is another important factor to busy parents when choosing a stable and riding instructor. McDonald Ranch has partnered with Lisa Lombardi in providing transportation from school to the stable and from the stable to their homes during the school year and shuttles throughout Sonoma County for summer camp.

When tying all this together, one comes to what makes up professionalism in the industry. Having the empathy to work with both a horse and a student isn’t something that acquired by riding experience alone. It is built on character, reputation, contribution to the industry, and a true dedication to one’s profession. Lisa Lombardi provides the assurance that parents want when their children are on and around horses.