Welcome To Desert Acres Stables!

We are a training and boarding facility located in Cocoa, Florida. Desert Acres Stables is owned and operated by Donna Hakanson and Andy Thompson. Check out our page on NewHorse.com!

We have a first class, Girl Scout approved, thirteen-stall barn with lights, plus a round pen, dressage field, cross-country fences, stadium jump course and barrel racing, all situated on seven acres of grass pastures plus trails galore! We offer riding lessons in dressage, jumping and western. Training clinics which specialize in the John Lyons and Pat Parelli methods are also available. Yearly Summer, Winter, and Spring Camps are available for ages 8 and up. Mini Riding Camps are also offered at various times throughout the year.

Our professional trainer, Donna Hakanson, is a local resident who has lived here for many years. Donna has trained numerous champion horses and riders in both USEF rated and local shows. Our goal is to promote and provide quality instruction, exceptional horses, and consistent training through clinics, private, and group lessons.


Grounds fee of $10 per lesson per person from anyone other than the barn owner.

Lessons given by a boarder to a leaser at the barn is $10 each time a lesson is given or instruction is given.

Horses are not turned out on Sundays and their stalls are not cleaned. Please come out and enjoy your horse and clean their stall to keep their feet good.

Volunteers work 6 hours and then ride a horse.
Volunteers must take lessons 2 x a month to free ride while volunteering.

Effective October 1st, 2009, Nicole’s Law requires any child under the age of 16 years and riding an equine on any public lands, roads, or trails to wear a certified helmet. A parent or guardian of a child under 16 years of age may not authorize or knowingly permit a child to ride without a helmet.


We love it at DAS! Our 4 year-old daughter has been doing lessons and just finished a week at camp (half days). Donna is truly and visibly passionate about being with the kids. She is a healthy dose of old-school, prompting the kids with age-appropriate tasks that range from grooming and racking to mucking and washing. All this is a pathway to the kids’ true appreciation for the care and connection they can have with the horses, on which no shortage of time is spent. The girls love it, and come away with a deeper respect for authority, nature, and most of all, loving horses.
Kailey Mahan, 7-14-2018

It was truly an unique experience even tho, that I have done it before I have never done it with the girls, Brianna & Natalie. It was great to see them experience a new adventure that they aren’t comfy with. Your patience and your guidance made such a pleasurable moment unforgettable! One more time, thank you for making it happen! I will definetly recommend you and will come back soon.
La Patty, 5-1-2016

You’re amazing and the girls, even more so! I love that you and your fantastic horses will attempt anything so all can experience the rider/horse bond.
Kelly Daniel, 5-1-2016

Dear Desert Acres Stables,
I am writing to thank you for the wonderful experience which you provided my girlfriend and I on our vacation. Words can only begin to capture our sheer joy from spending the day with you and the horses. From the breath-taking trails to the friendly and accommodating staff, our time spent at Desert Acres was phenomenal. As beginners, your knowledge and assistance made us feel as though we were seasoned riders.
Memories last a lifetime and the memories that we created at your stables will never be forgotten!!!
Shawn & Erin, 5-23-2011