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About Us



HORSE HAVEN was created by Michelle Lake in 2001 in Te Puna, Tauranga. Being close to the city Michelle opened her property to many young people for  21 years, sharing the love of horses, teaching the care of horses and to ride.  HORSE HAVEN became very popular over the years with many countless numbers of young riders coming to learn and be trained under Michelle's careful and skillful coaching. 

HORSE HAVEN is now operating at ONGARE POINT which is about 8 km north of Kati Kati.  
This new location can truly be called a HORSE HAVEN, Michelle & her husband Ekel  chose this property due to its many favorable features for our horses & horse lovers, including being right on the beach front.  Wow what a bonus !
This new property is a nice upgrade, and has excellent parking for people and easy access, undercover stalls, sand round pen, grass arena, wash pad, stallion at stud and more.  

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Our Mission

HORSE HAVEN, Dedicated to the teaching and sharing the love of horses to all ages in the community since 2001.  Whether you just wish to learn to ride for pleasure or you have ambitions to one day go all the way to the Olympics, learning to build  good communicative relationship with your horse as well as  good balance and a strong riding seat  is essential.  It is our belief that to have any lasting success at even basic horse riding it is fundamental to begin with learning  the ABC's.  We specialize in children's riding tuition, Horse handling, training days and also Holiday programs. 


The Riding Horses

HORSE HAVEN has 10 riding ponies of various sizes that we can use for horsemanship, rider training and  coaching.   


Our Stallions

HORSE HAVEN  have two pony sized stallions, ICEMAN a Cremello Stallion, and his first born son SABBABA a golden Palomino Stallion, both  have produced stunning pony foals with excellent temperaments.  

Michelle lAKE



Michelle Lake is the owner of Horse Haven and established it in 2001.  Michelle is a well known horse trainer and riding coach.  Her deep knowledge about horses has come from many years of first hand experience.  Running about 20 horses on the property there is always plenty to do training and handling and teaching young people to ride.  Michelle is passionate about helping young people learn how to care for and ride horses and ponies. "There has never really been a time I can remember when I haven't been coaching riders and training horses and ponies from a very young age "

says Michelle.




Passionate about horses and passing on a lifetimes knowledge and skills to others. 


Daniel Wilks

My name is Daniel Wilks, I am 36 years old and work as a barefoot trimmer here in Katikati. I started riding when I was 10 years old and my passion for horses has been with me ever since. They are truly amazing animals and I love the relationship we get to share with them. 


I have ridden - 

- For the BOP team at NZ Pony Club Championships x2

- For the NZ Pony Club Team at the Interpacific Pony Club Championships in Canada

- For the Tauranga Pony Club Team and Pony Club Dressage Championship

- For Katikati Pony Club and hold my B Certificate 

- Puhinui 3DE One Star 

- Taupo 3DE One Star - finishing 10th

- Wild horses on 90 mile beach  


I’ve ridden, schooled and started many different types of horses and produced my own horses through theirs and my competitive careers. I’m currently schooling off the track thoroughbreds for rehoming. 


I am most interested in having the horse ridden in a way that he is attentive to the riders aids and having the rider understand how to best translate their requirements of the horse in a way the horse can clearly interpret. 


Ekel Sivan has been a horse lover  and an enthusiastic horse rider all his life and is the husband of Michelle Lake.  Ekel was born in Jerusalem and tells stories of  his first horse riding adventures throughout Israel and then later around the world.    Ekel helps with all the activities at Horse Haven Riding Academy.   Ekel is a professional TV director and film producer, being one of the three founders of channel 2 in Israel.  Ekel has made and had broadcast over 100 documentary films around the Middle East and Europe.  Also the creator of a nightly children's program called Tuki Shuki, where he takes his parrot all over the Middle East to tell stories for children.


  • BA Cinematography, Tel Aviv University, Israel. 

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Gail Sharpe

I'm a passionate advocate for the mental and physical welfare of horses. Now retired, I have the time to pass on a lifetime of experience, horse ownership and knowledge gained from countless clinics from overseas clinicians.

My consuming interest in the mechanics of the horse opens up another world to the rider and owner. When a horse is ridden it takes on the pressures of the saddle, bridle, rider, and shoes, when these factors are ill fitting and unbalanced, they effect the mental and physical comfort of the horse.


Become your horses mechanic.

LEARN : Bodywork.  Recognize where your horse Is sore. Where is the tension being carried in the body. How does this tension impact his behavior. All this and more: Bring your horse to us or use one of our school ponies.  Or I can come to you ....


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