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November 13, 2011

I am a 55 year old woman who has loved and dreamed of owning horses my entire life.  I first contacted Barbara in 2008 when my husband and I decided to move from Las Vegas to Pahrump.  Because we were purchasing our home on an acre of land I was thrilled to finally be able to own a horse.  I knew I was going to need lessons and guidance.  I did a lot of research and came upon Barbara’s web site.  I was impressed due to her resume, professionalism and knowledge. Barbara is a delightful woman to know.

Barbara has guided me in every aspect of my horse ownership.  When you first purchase a horse you will get a lot of well meaning advice that can make your head spin.  Barbara’s advice comes from many, many years of experience and it makes sense for me.

After having a couple of bad falls I developed a severe fear issue.  At one point I thought I would have to give up owning and riding horses.  I was devastated and depressed.  Through patience, guidance, support and tremendous knowledge Barbara helped me overcome my fears.  She is there for you every step of the way.  Barbara understands how a person thinks and feels.  She works with you at your level and is not judgmental.

I purchased a 3 ½ year old green broke gelding that needed training.  Petey is a sweet horse but knew how to take advantage of my inexperience.  I was afraid of my own horse!  Barbara worked with Petey for 3 months at her facility.  When I brought Petey home I had a calm, relaxed, respectful horse that is now a joy to ride.  We continue going over to Barbara’s and I have the absolute time of my life!  I work hard during the week.  When I have a little time for myself I look forward to riding my horse and having fun.  I am no longer holding back or crying because of fear.  Petey and I go over to Barbara’s not only for instruction but it is my down time, my “me” time.  Barbara is helping Petey and I become a great team.  He is such a joy to ride and I am very proud of him.  I do not know of anyone else that could have gotten me through my fear issues and on to finding joy and excitement in my journey with my horse.

Barbara has given me a gift that is priceless.  I now have a passion I can enjoy and I would not be where I am today if not for her.  I can’t stress enough how important Barbara is to Petey and I.  We look forward to our lessons and will continue for many years.

If you would like to contact me as a reference I am more than happy to share my wonderful experiences w/Barbara Callihan at Happy Hoof Beats!

Brenda Hrubetz




May 27th, 2010

I won a riding lesson from Barbara Callihan a few years ago, when my wife, Vera, was playing banjo at a church benefit.  I took the lesson and really enjoyed it.  I’m 76 years old now and although I am somewhat athletic, I’d never been on or around horses before!

Barbara is unequaled when it comes to working with horses.  She has been great with me and understands what I’m going through no matter what I am trying to learn.  I’ve had a couple of mishaps with other trainers, but Barbara gets me going again so everything turns out great!  Thanks to challenging trail rides in Wyoming, Utah and Arizona.

We now have a couple of energetic and intelligent horses of our own. Barbara is working with my wife, helping her to train the young horse, while continuing with my riding instruction.

Ed Wilson

Blue Diamond, NV



February 2, 2007

To Whom It May Concern;

I am writing this letter as a personal recommendation for Barbara Callihan, aka, Callihan Desert Manor.

I have had many types of services from Barbara from equitation lessons for myself to training for two difficult horses.

I have never had one question about Barbara’s complete competence.  She has taken me from an insecure senior rider, with physical impairments to a confident and safe rider, with all the safety and assurance I need to be comfortable with my skills.  She is an excellent teacher covering all phases of learning with a definite but kind manner.  Safety is always first and foremost with her.

Barbara has taken one of Arabians from a very frightened over reactive 7 year old to a very calm and safe mount.  (He would not load, accept being fly sprayed, bathed or cross water).  He is now a trustworthy horse able to face most hurdles on the trail or show ring.  He accepts his training with calm demeanor and a willing attitude and is happy to get into a trailer.  My other Arabian started with Barbara as a 12 year old who had only been halter shown and ridden in an arena, no experience as a pleasure horse, no trail experience what so ever.  With her usual calm efficiency, Barbara has taken him to the point that I can take him anywhere I want to go, on and off trail, as well as the show ring.

Gail McBee

Meri-Gold Arabians

Pahrump, NV




To Whom It May Concern:

It is with great confidence that our association nominates Barbara H. Callihan to serve on the Mojave/Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC) for BLM, as a representative for Dispersed Recreation and Wild Horse and Burro Groups.  We believe she would represent us with unequalled enthusiasm, commitment and integrity.

As a native of Southern Nevada, Ms. Callihan is unmatched in her knowledge, experience and service to the local horse and horse recreational community.  For more than 35 years Ms. Callihan has been a respected leader in the horse communities.  Throughout the years Ms. Callihan has taken numerous leadership roles that have revealed her abilities to reach the heart of the matter, collaborate and compromise and to educate and inspire her peers.  More recently we have become acutely aware of her expanding role in regards to BLM land usage, the development and upkeep of horse trails and active participation in recreational groups that rely on access to BLM lands.  Her love for Nevada, her passion for horses and horsemanship and her tremendous integrity make her an excellent choice to serve on the RAC.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to contact me at:  702-658-2008


Claire P. Toomey


Las Vegas Distance Riders Club, Inc.

7380 W. Ackerman Ave

Las Vegas, NV 89131




I have been associated with Barbara Callihan for over a decade, and her services to me concerning all my equestrian needs have been nothing short of remarkable.  I have called upon her to provide a varied menu of services and she has always come through.  For me she has truly been a “one stop shopping’ kind of person.

During my years as her client, she has been a teacher, trainer, and consultant.  Here are the areas in which she has performed so well:

Teacher:  She has helped me to hone my riding skills and has helped me learn the sport of “team penning.”  Through many hours in the saddle, Barbara has provided me with tools to not only be a skilled rider, but also a safe one.  Safety is always one of her major areas of concern, and it has helped me avoid injury over more than 10 years of pleasure riding and competition.

Trainer:  She has expertly trained both my horses, Sunset Matt and Paladin.  This was not an easy job because they are both multi-purpose horses.  I use them for pleasure riding, team penning, trail riding, and performance events such as serving as a grand marshall of a parade and/or doing television spots on horseback.

Consultant:  In this area, Barbara has worn many hats.  She has helped me choreograph several news reports at the national Finals Rodeo, where I reported on horseback for ESPN and Fox 5 News in Las Vegas.  She helped us coordinate the horses to make the Celebrity Rodeos.  I have always shown up there with not only the best trained horse, but also the best groomed and appointed one—due to Barbara’s efforts.  At these events she is also often called upon for advice by many of the other celebrities on and – and the organizers of the events.  She has also helped me function as grand marshall at a number of parades—such as the rodeo parade in Payson, Arizona for the country’s longest running rodeo.

And her role as consultant has extended to equestrian business matters.  She has chosen both my horses and negotiated the purchase for me.  Her expertise in selecting horses and making sure they are in good health is unsurpassed.  She has also created many impressive trail riding experiences for me—some several day excursions.  Her attention to detail and precautions for safety helped make them worry free for me.

In all, I have placed all my equestrian needs in the hands of Barbara Callihan.  In many public venues, as a national celebrity, I could ill afford to have a problem, and none has ever been present—thanks to Barbara.  In both public and private venues, Barbara has been a trusted and efficient supplier of equestrian services.  She has helped make my horse riding and western dreams come true.


Al Bernstein

ESPN Sportscaster

ESPN Productions, Inc.

ESPN Plaza

Bristol, CT 06010



September 16th, 2011

I have been asked by many people, “How is Barbara as a dressage instructor?  Is she a “dressage” instructor?” 

I have been a student of Barbara’s for 3 years. Barbara is a versatile, multi-discipline trainer that uses dressage basics in all her training.    Where Barbara excels is that she works on the whole horse and rider picture with the utmost consideration in safety, building a rider’s confidence and skills to ride a horse correctly, bringing out the beauty and lightness in the horse while building the strong trusting partnership between the horse and rider that everyone seeks. 

If there is one thing I know, Barbara is worth every penny.  I can’t say that about all the trainers I have taken lessons from in the past.  Barbara is professional. She is 100% prepared and fully engaged for every lesson. She is able to rate the mental state of both horse and rider allowing her to recognize the whole picture of what needs to be addressed at any given time.

Barbara took into account many factors to build a lesson plan for me and my horse—my age, my height, my health, my issues and confidence level and then my horse’s age, conformation, skills, problems and confidence level.

Barbara is ALWAYS 100% aware of what is going on, mentally and physically, with me and my horse EVERY single lesson.   At each lesson she recaps the previous lesson, then asks details about the work I’ve done at home with my horse, asks if any issues or problems arose since the last lesson, and merges anything that needs to be worked on further into the current lesson or into a future lesson.

The biggest ground problem I had was that my mare would bolt when mounting, not all the time, but enough to be frustrating and dangerous.  While Barbara worked with me on retraining my horse to stand quietly mounting under any conditions, I noticed not only did she cease the bolting, but she began trusting in me more. Sure past trainers were able to show me the movements of dressage, how to frame the horse, but none addressed the ground problems which I had with my horse, which is where trust had been lost.

My confidence had fallen from the problems I experienced and I really needed strength and security in my seat. I had been taught the fundamentals of a good dressage seat with proper body alignment, but needed more confidence, quicker responsiveness and a stronger core platform to ride my mare’s forward and bold trot and canter without inhibiting her. 

Barbara helped me develop confidence, a secure seat and platform so I can ride my horse’s big bold trot and the working canter.  I learned to rate my horse before mounting and in new environments and am now more confident to ride my horse with the skills she has taught me to use when problems arise. 

I was getting left behind and intimidated with my mare’s powerful forward motion and my rein contact became heavier and heavier, so my horse was becoming heavier on the forehand. Now we have developed a lovely lightness in rein contact and a wonderful crispness and responsiveness in our communication. I have learned to ride with that flowing forward motion, which I am sure my horse appreciates now too!

I find enjoyment in everything I do with this horse, our lessons, arena work at home, clinics, shows and on the trail. This is the partnership I’ve always dreamt of. 

I consider myself very blessed to have such a talented versatile trainer as Barbara Callihan. 

Karen Vowell

Assistant Vice President

Credit Information Officer

Nevada State Bank



May 26th, 2010

To Whom It May Concern;

With well over 60 years experience with horses; riding,owning,breeding, raising, training, judging, competing & showing in a variety of disciplines, I feel I can evaluate horse performance fairly well.

Barbara Callihan, an acquaintance of long standing, and now a good friend, has outstanding experience and ability in equestrian endeavors.  Her schooling horses, especially “Moon”, are among the best trained horses I’ve ever known.  She teaches all levels of riding and horsemanship to all ages of students.  She is particularly good with older adult students, imparting confidence and skill, especially to those just learning to ride.  She understands a person’s strengths as well as weaknesses and addresses both.  She is equally good at teaching horse owners how to train and improve their own mounts.

I would heartily endorse Barbara for horse evaluating, training and teaching riding.

Vera Vann-Wilson

Blue Diamond




To Whom It May Concern

Do You Want A Well Trained Horse Or a Broke Horse?  Gentle Thorough Training From Mustang to Push Button Horse is What Barbara Callihan Delivers.

Jim Backman

Pahrump, NV




November 18, 2002

Dear Barbara,

Thank you for serving on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Mojave-Southern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC).  Nevada’s RACs provide a broad-based reality check that has helped us in our decision-making process for planning documents and wild horse and rangeland issues.  The outstanding caliber of Nevada’s counsel members impressed me from the beginning, and I look forward to future contacts with each of you.

Your RAC service is deeply appreciated. Please accept this plaque as a measure of our appreciation for advising the BLM on management of the nation’s public lands.  I hope you continue to stay involved in public lands issues.  Public involvement is critical to managing these lands in the best interests of the citizens of Nevada and the United States.


Robert V. Abbey

Stat Director, Nevada

Bureau of Land Management

P.O. Box 12000

Reno, NV 89520-0006

United States Department of the Interior



September 2001

To Whom It May Concern;

Writing this letter of recommendation for Barbara Callihan is an honor.  I have known Barbara since January of 1995, when she became the care giver of my horse, Fussy.  Through the supervision and management of Fussy and many other horses; in the teaching of equitation (to me and to others); in displaying her ability as a business woman; in trail riding and training; as a community-minded person; and, most especially, as a friend, I have been able to witness the loyal and skilled actions of this person of integrity.

Barbara Callihan is the most capable person I have ever met in working with horses and their owners.  I have seen her gentle horses that were difficult for their owners to manage.  Many times I have seen her work with a horse out on the trails and teach the inexperienced animal to walk through water and difficult terrain as if it were second nature.  Barbara’s “in action” training method allows people of all ages to become proficient at riding (in a variety of terrains), trailering, grooming, nutrition, and all-around equine care.  I have taken many lessons from her, and am amazed at my ability to learn and grow under her direction, even through I have owned horses much of my life.

Barbara has the aptitude to ascertain situations before they might happen, which provides maximum safety for both horse and rider.  Her attention to detail is acute, allowing the learner to focus on the maneuver at hand with an optimum zone of protection.  Barbara understands what is needed to help her students work through beginning skills and attain self-confidence in their newfound abilities.

As I enter my twenty-sixth year as a teacher and counselor with the Clark County School District, I realize what it takes to get ideas across to others, and Barbara Callihan has the expertise needed to teach horses and riders.  I write this letter with utmost trust in her qualifications in this multi-faceted domain.  In addition, Barb is a dynamic person, and valued friend.


Terri J. Boling

5398 Neoshow Street

Las Vegas, NV 89120-4212

(702) 456-4938



February 4, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is in reference to my perspective of Barbara Callihan as a horse trainer and teacher.  I began taking lessons with Barbara Callihan approximately 1 ½ years ago.  At that time I was a novice rider with an extremely unruly newly purchased Arab Cross mount – Buddy.  He was in his late teens and had been through a series of owners and had at some points in his life been abused, but to me, he was a $ 500 dream come true – I finally had a horse!  Barbara was recommended to me by friend, who ran a show barn and showed quite extensively in Washington and Oregon.  She felt the 2 of us could benefit a great deal under Barbara’s direction and guidance.  I am writing this letter in whole hearted agreement and thanks to my friend’s advice!

I have gained confidence and horsemanship skills.  Buddy is a different horse.  He is calm and mannerly.  He is confident in his job and understands all the cues we have taught him.  He no longer rears, takes off, rubber necks, or runs me into fences.  One of our highlights came this Fall when Buddy actually was able to go in a parade – do side passes, turns on the forehand and hindquarters.  The Callihan Desert Manor Team captured 1st Place as the “Best Equestrian Unit”!  Buddy also carried the sponsors’ flags for 2 nights at the PRCA Rodeo in Pahrump at the Fall Festival in 2006.  He was able to go out confidently (me too!) between each event and carry the flag.  He was not bothered by the stock, noises, fireworks, etc.  We owe it all to Barbara’s training!  We are now striving to learn the skills necessary to compete in Western Trail Horse Class.  In addition to working with Buddy, Barbara has helped me train my miniature horse, Broneea to trailer, lead, lunge, and pull a cart.  Barbara truly has many skills!

I have found in my 1 ½ years of working with Barbara that she is extremely professional and knowledgeable.  She has the experience of knowing how much to ask both student and horse.  I feel I have good insight into this aspect of her work, as I have been teaching elementary school for 20 years.  As well, my husband and I breed and train competitive sport dogs.  I am currently competing on the Regional Championship Flyball Team—Heat Wave.  Barbara is not only involved in our training, but she has taken care of my horses as well.  She schedules shoeing appointments, reminds me about booking vet appointments for vaccinations and dentistry work.  She also monitors my feeding programs and makes sure the horses are always at the correct weight and fitness level.  It has been most rewarding working with Barbara.  I can highly recommend her for any equestrian job she chooses to undertake.  She strives for excellence in all she does.  If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Tooie Crooks

6190 Pahrump Valley Blvd

Pahrump, NV 89048


Cell: 702-523-3803



February 1, 1993

To Whom It May Concern;

I have had the pleasure of having Barbara Callihan as a trainer since 1975.  She was highly recommended to me by a friend.  I was very impressed with the curriculum Ms. Callihan presented.  It included basic anatomy of a horse, grooming, first aid, use, care and cleaning of tack and equipment and of course, riding lessons.  I particularly liked the emphasis on safety in every aspect of her operation.  I noticed the facility was neat, orderly, and efficient and the horses all appeared healthy, well groomed and well mannered.

As we began our education in horsemanship I so appreciated Ms. Callihan’s knowledge, skill and ability to train horses and students as well as her sensitivity in dealing with both horse and person.  I value her openness, her honesty and respect her unquestionable work ethic.

My daughter eventually worked under Ms. Callihan as head groom and went on to apprentice trainer and instructor.  I’m pleased to say those qualities I admire in Ms. Callihan, I now admire in my daughter, a real bonus.

I also like her willingness to learn and grow in her field, continuing to expand her expertise by attending seminars and clinics.  Over the eighteen years I have been involved with Ms. Callihan and horses, I have seen her work in many different areas with many different breeds.  In my opinion she gives 120% in all areas and produces quality.

I personally began on my Thoroughbred, learning hunt seat equitation and moving on to jumping.  I moved on to breeding Arabians, and now I’m just thoroughly enjoying my two Arabian mares as pleasure horses.  Barbara Callihan has been my trainer, instructor and friend through all those transitions.  Although I’ve had occasion to use other trainers and other facilities, as well as observe some of the top names in the business, I can honestly say I prefer the results I’ve gotten from Ms. Callihan.

I could write volumes praising her talents, honesty, loyalty and integrity, suffice it to say I have trusted her with my child, my horses and in the future intend to trust her with my grandchildren when and if they are ready for the wonderful world of horses and she is available.

If you need any further information or specifics, please call or write me at the address below.


Rita Mulder

Candlewood Arabians

8300 Bradley Rd.

Las Vegas, NV 89131




April 27, 1981

Dear Barbara,

The Awards and Recognition Committee has asked me to forward this Certificate of Appreciation to you.

We are sorry you were unable to attend the Volunteers Appreciation Dinner on April 10th; we would like to have been able to present this Certificate in person, and tell you how important you are to the success of the 4-H Program.

On behalf of those your who benefit from your support, we wish to thank you for your continued interest in the 4-H Program.


Bob Long, Jr.

Area Extension Youth Agent

Clark County cooperative Extension Service

S T & P Blvd –Suite 207

Las Vegas, NV 89104




June 16, 1980

Dear Barbara,

I wish to express my heart felt thanks to you and Donna for putting on a First Class Clinic on Trail Class Riding and Obstacles.  I have rarely seen youth so absorbed with ideas such as you presented.  Even the youngest of the group was able to understand your explanations, though her legs were not always as strong as they could have been.

Your class was extremely educational and so interesting, event though some of the riders were not sure they wanted to do the Trail Class.  ALL are now inspired.

Thank you for your support of the 4-H program.  If ever we can do anything for you, please let me know.


Bob Long, Jr.

Area Extension Youth Agent

Clark County Cooperative Extension Service

ST&P Blvd –Suite 207

Las Vegas, NV 89104




July 25, 1979

Dear Sirs,

This is a letter of recommendation for Barbara Borges (Callihan).  She has been a veterinary client for approximately eight years.  She has been forthright and honest, always paying on time.  She has been a pleasure to work for, as she can follow instructions and accurately report changes in condition daily.  She has a definite interest in bettering herself and her animals, and she has no qualms about telling the “whole story” and honestly “eating” any mistakes or errors.  Her growth has been rapid and continuous, with much knowledge learned from an astute observation of anyone she comes in contact with.

She has also trained thoroughbreds for me for prerace training.  It has been quite interesting to work as her veterinarian part of the time, and she to work as my trainer part of the time, allowing the shoe to be on both feet.

In day to day operations, she always weighs feed, takes pulses and temperatures and keeps very accurate records necessary for proper diagnosis.

She is especially good in handling the minds of problem horses, as she doesn’t fight a horse, she out figures him and uses the desert as a training ground which allows both horse and rider to be more relaxed and natural.

She has never missed an appointment without telephoning first and is absolutely reliable.  For further information, feel free to contact me at the number below.


Dean Essex, DVM

4985 Paradise Rd.

Las Vegas, NV 89119