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Above: SR Apprentices at 2019 AHANC Show
 Below: Apprentice Manager  
Rachel Hannigan
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Summit Ranch Apprentice Program

School Year Schedule:

Tuesday - Friday

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm.  



10:00 am - 2:00 pm


2-3 Days/Week: $500.00/Month

4-5 Days/Week: $600.00/Month

Single Day Fee: $90.00 per Day 

Summer Schedule:

Monday - Friday

10:00 am - 2:00 pm


$95 per day

$400 per week, all 5 days

$900 per month, with unlimited days

Please Note:

Pick up time is pick up time. Late fee’s may be assessed for repeated late pick-ups.

Owned Horses and Boarded Horses may qualify for a discount on the program fees. Contact Rachel for more details.


Students do not need to attend all days signed up for, this simply gives the student the opportunity to attend that number of days if available. 




Frequently Asked Questions:


What should I bring?

Apprentices need to have a riding helmet, proper riding boots, jeans or riding pants, lunch and/or snacks, and a great attitude!

Do I need to own a horse?

You do not need to own a horse to be involved in the Apprentice Program. However, we do offer horse leases and always have a few horses for sale within the program.

Lessons & Apprentice Program

Private Lessons

We offer private riding lessons for both children and adults in English and Western. We have a variety of Instructors that offer lessons at Summit Ranch, please contact us to get started today!

Apprentice Program

Looking for an after-school program?  Summit Ranch offers a youth apprentice program that is designed for those kids (ages 11- 17) who just can’t get enough of the horses!  This program is designed to expand on the knowledge already learned through private lessons or camps. Students have the opportunity to spend much more time around the horses and at the ranch, which consistently leads to significant advancement in both knowledge of horses and riding skills.


The kids in the program become a family, and as with many other endeavors, joy and self-esteem come with dedication.  Seeing that Summit Ranch apprentices come from schools all around the East Bay Area, the environment serves as a welcome respite from the stress and challenge of own’s own individual school environment.


The apprentices are a big part of the ranch and the care and training of our school horses. “We work hard and we play hard,” says Rachel Hannigan who leads the apprentice program. “These kids are awesome. Watching them learn and grow not only as horsemen and women, but as individuals, is something I feel extremely blessed to be a part of.”


Apprentices are encouraged to ride both English and Western. They have the opportunity to be around horses of all breeds, disciplines and training levels.


Each day we have group riding lessons along with unmounted horse-related activities and chores around the ranch. During the spring and Summer we attend local schooling shows and competitions. We keep the focus on fun and learning!

When we were looking to move our horse from another ranch, my daughter Lianna was very reluctant to leave.  We looked at barn after barn and Lianna kept saying, "I don't feel comfortable here, I don't want to leave Lacey's (the other ranch).”  After visiting two other barns, I suggested we just take a look at Summit Ranch.  Lianna walked in and met Heather who gave her a big Heather hug and when we left she said "this is the barn for us”.  Heather is wonderful with the kids and wonderful with the horses.  She is a kid magnet but also understands kids and provides an apprentice program where kids get along and where attitudes are not tolerated.  This is special in the horse world and it is all because Heather is who she is.  

Thanks for giving 110 percent each and every day.  We love you!

Sarah Cohen, Lianna (& Valor)

12 year old daughter

The Summit Ranch Apprentice Program is top notch and presents a unique opportunity for children and teens to take their passion for horses to the next level. Guided by an outstanding leader, Heather Herman, the kids learn how to properly care for and ride horses with an emphasis on safety. My daughter has participated in the program for almost 2 years now and her excitement for the program has only grown. She has developed strong friendships and a deep love for horses all while becoming a competent rider. It's a wonderful environment for her to learn priceless life lessons in patience, teamwork, and experience good old-fashioned hard work and fun! We feel very fortunate that our daughter gets to participate in such an exceptional program.

Jessica Anderson

11 year old daughter

Heather is one in a million.

Lisa Kvech

12 year old daughter

Through good times and bad Heather’s determination to create and grow an important program for the next generation of equestrians has never wavered!!!  We are so grateful for her teaching the youth important lessons in horsemanship, responsibility and life in general. Her endless patience, encouragement, and sense of humor are priceless!!

Don, Ann Marie & Lianna Webber (Bruno & Sarah too!!)

15 year old daughter

It is hard to even know how to begin describing the ways that the Summit Ranch Apprentice Program has changed our lives for the better.  Under the steady leadership and guidance of Heather Herman, our daughter has developed and blossomed in ways I could never have imagined.  Every day is a lesson in teamwork, responsibility, horse care, riding skills and instilling a love of nature and animals, all while having fun with peers who share a common interest in horses.  Summit Ranch is truly a special place, run by a special person, who has created a safe and caring environment for others grow and learn. We are beyond grateful for the experiences our daughter has had there, and we look forward to the years ahead.

Caroline Keighran

10 year old daughter

I cannot say enough good things about the Apprentice Program with Heather Herman at Summit Ranch.  The kids LOVE Heather and she has a very calm way of teaching top notch Horsemanship.  She is brilliant at what she does with the horses.   The kids she works with are learning so much...(parents too!  Haha!) and they are having so much fun!  Thank you Heather!

Leslie Horn

10 year old daughter

The Apprentice Program at Summit Ranch is simply amazing, and we couldn’t have asked for a better program leader than Heather.  The program Heather has developed is not just a program to promote horsemanship, but it’s an all-encompassing program.  In the few months that our daughter has been in Heather’s program, her horsemanship skills have taken off.  Yet, it is more than horsemanship.  She teaches teamwork and responsibility as well. We are very fortunate to have our daughter under Heather’s tutelage!!  

Dennis & Kim Huie

11 year old daughter

I cannot thank Heather enough for taking in our daughter for the Apprentice Program.  It has been an absolutely wonderful journey watching her grow and gain so much confidence at the ranch.  I know she wishes she could be there everyday and it is more limited this year, but it is what gets her through her weeks at school.  We are so grateful for her time and dedication to all the kids in the program and teaching them so much about horses and stable management.  

I am so thankful for you!

Heather & David Helfer

10 year old daughter

I am so thankful for the Apprentice Program at Summit Ranch!  My daughter LOVES it and talks about it constantly.  I love seeing her passion and her confidence grow.... the barn is her place to work hard, have fun, enjoy doing something she loves AND just be herself.  Heather Herman is an amazing leader of this great group of kids!  To see confidence grow in children and teens is immeasurable in a world that beats down their confidence in so many other ways.  We have Heather to thank for that!  I am so grateful to Heather for bringing so much joy and for teaching so much at the same time!

Toni Mitchel

11 year old daughter

Summit Ranch and the Apprentice Program has truly been a gift from above!  Heather Herman has a magic that overflows in her work with the children, teens, and horses only to be described as the sort of passion and natural gift that makes her a rare gem in the world of horsemanship education.  Her vision, creation, and implementation of developing this program is nothing short of a work of genius.  I haven’t found anything like this anywhere.  Truly.  For years, my daughter’s love of horses and animals along with her strong connection to them, made me dream that a program like this might exist and yet at each ranch we tried they continued to fall short.  Until we walked into Summit Ranch… I jokingly tell Heather that the clouds parted and angels shone down!  I cannot imagine how my daughter’s transition into adolescence might have looked without Summit Ranch, Heather, and the Apprentice Program in her world -- I firmly believe that it has afforded her the sort of place, experience, and connection with nature to root her confidence and character in a way that all kids need while influencing her growth and development in life-changing ways!

Lorene C. L.

11 year old daughter

Heather - we love you!  

Heather Herman and the Apprentice Program at Summit Ranch have made a huge difference in our daughter, Amanda's, life over the past year and a half.  Heather is patient, kind, perceptive and an awesome teacher.  We are so grateful to her for making the ranch such a happy and welcoming place to be.  It is so much more than riding horses.  Just by being around Heather, they are learning invaluable life lessons on how to be REAL!!  

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Jani Stone

11 year old daughter

Wow, what a difference a year makes!  The apprentice program offered at Summit Ranch and done with Heather’s leadership has been a life changing event for our son and our household.   From the time our son Jack was a little boy he has had a strong interest in horses and an even stronger connection to them.  Through Summit and Heather’s leadership, he has had the chance to learn responsibility, workmanship, caring and nurturing of a horse and has gained a confidence and calm about him that warms my heart.   When he comes home from the ranch and tells us stories, his face is lit up and covered with the biggest smile!  It is so wonderful to see!  What a great program with a great group of kids.  I don’t think Jack would want to be any place else in his free time!

 Thank you so much for nurturing his love of horses and teaching him all that you have!  We love the apprentice program and Heather at Summit Ranch! With Warm Hearts, 

John and Yvette Prichard

10 year old son

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Testimonials - Summit Ranch Apprentice Program:

*Rev. 2/2015

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