There are two farms on the property: our equestrian facility and our organic apple orchard. Both of these farms bring us closer to the land, our animals, and our extended ‘Ohana of friends, students, horses, dogs, goats, and our community. We've created a supportive and fun place where we can learn and ride, or just come and enjoy the Aloha spirit.
My love for horses has been life-long, but my focused study, training, and competition career beganin the 1990s when I moved to the Santa Cruz area. My background includes natural horsemanship and three-day eventing, but my passion is in riding, learning, and teaching classical dressage.
Like so many of us, I started as a recreational rider and only began my equestrian education when I needed help with an untrained horse that was beyond my capabilities (which of course made him seem like a “bad” horse to me). I came to appreciate the subtle and gentle communication of natural horsemanship, and how it created a calm, respectful, and safe relationship between me and my horse, both on the ground and in the saddle - which at one point seemed impossible. After this experience, I was convinced that the well-rounded equestrian athlete needed to be talented under-saddle, have a willing attitude, and be a joy (or at least easy) to handle on the ground.
These first lessons helped me to develop a great relationship with my horse, and I was hooked on horse-education. I decided to try it all and began riding with an eventing coach. I enjoyed both the stadium jumping and cross-country phases of eventing, but was drawn to the technical precision, strength, and beauty of dressage.
I decided to specialize in classical dressage, and am always continuing to refine my riding, teaching, and training skills. My mentor, Rachel Saavedra, is a faculty member for the USDF Instructor Certification Program, USDF gold medalist, and FEI competitor. She has helped me to develop as a teacher as well as a rider and trainer, and I am truly grateful.
I have attended teaching workshops through the USDF Instructor Certification Program and with Mary Wanless, a specialist in rider biomechanics. I have attended several sessions of the USDF ‘L’ Program for judges, which also brings helpful information to instructors. As often as possible, I participate in riding clinics. Some of my favorite and most memorable rides have been with: Gunther Zach, Don Sachey, Suzanne von Dietz, Mary Wanless, Claus Bergener, Ray Berta, and Marybeth Wiefels.
I am an educator at heart, and love to teach students, both human and equine. My goal is to be a kind and thoughtful teacher who brings out the best in my students through clear communication, humor, and a positive attitude. I am a certified instructor through the American Riding Instructor Association for both Dressage and Recreational Riding. My memberships include CDS, USDF, and USEF. I regularly compete on my young Swedish warmblood, Giovani, and also coach my students at shows.
The apple orchard at ‘Ohana Farms is a beautiful setting for our daily rides, but is also a working farm. We grow organic apples, which means that we use only natural methods for enhancing the soil and controlling pests. It is important to us to take care of the land, water, plants, and other creatures on our farm so that we can be an asset to our community
We produce several varieties of apples, including some heirloom varieties of Gravenstein, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Pippin, Golden Delicious, and Fuji. Currently, we sell our apples to Solana Gold Organics, which produces a delicious all-organic apple juice
We do a good amount of our work by hand, and all of our operations are local, so our reliance on petroleum products is kept to a minimum, and our ecological footprint can be kept as small as possible.
‘Ohana Farms is owned and operated by Ryan and Shannon Bane, their animals, and their families. The “animals” that started it all include Lucas and JD—the big (and sometimes “Juvenile Delinquent”) horses, Noodle and Hemi—2 of our 4 goats, and Jeddy, Bisou, and Hula—the dogs. Shannon’s parents, Craig and Maydeen, own part of the ranch as well as 2 goats (Makai and Mauka), and help by working on the farm—doing anything from laying tile to mucking stalls-- whenever they visit. Ryan’s dad, Bruce, is a retired engineer-turned-ranchhand, and has helped out on so many ranch projects we’ve lost count: dressage mirrors, surveying property lines, and on and on... Ryan’s mom, Lynn, is an avid supporter of our activities too.
Ryan and Shannon’s brothers and their families are our extended ‘Ohana: Brandon, Lynne Marie, Sawyer, and Cael; Eric, Kristie, and London. We love it when they come to visit--- it livens up the house and barn!
Our apple farm and barn wouldn’t be the same without help from Armando and Pablo and our apple mentor/guru Pete. They can do it all!
Peggy has lived on the property even longer than Ryan and Shannon, and has intimate knowledge of the land, the community, and her many cats. We enjoy having her as part of our ‘Ohana too!
The barn ladies and their horses are our special ‘Ohana: Kriss and her witty thoroughbred Tommy; Vicki and her 2 horses—Pacifica (a Westfalen warmblood) and Wyatt (a very special quarterhorse); Denise and her beautiful (a la Fabio) black Fresian, Duce; Marianne and Sunny (another special quarterhorse-- over a quarter-century old); Jessie, Jamie, Elise, and Leah (the owner), who all share the company of Heidi, the wise schoolmaster; Marilyn, Fritz, Katie and their colorful, sweet, and large TB/draft cross Jaz; and Nikki and the opinionated Polo, a TB/Swedish warmblood cross.