It was a lucky day that young rider Lauren Leslie decided to detour into Del Rio Farms, lured by an appealing arrangement of jumps in the facility's front arena. "I found my dream trainer and my dream pony," says Lauren of her happy discovery of trainer Dee Gleason, who owns the seven-acre training and boarding facility with her husband Rich. Located in East Fallbrook in San Diego County, the property has a serene setting that befits the calm, positive energy that characterizes Dee's approach to running the business.
A lifelong horse enthusiast with 20 years teaching and showing in the hunter/jumper field, Dee has a special gift for helping horses and riders understand each other and for knowing what each needs on any given day. Students enjoy small, individualized lessons and thrive under her relaxed, intuitive approach to teaching. Lessons are enjoyable and productive, and everybody gets equal attention whether they are show competitors or recreational riders.
Horses get the same quality of attention and the level of care Dee provides all boarders' horses is a common point of praise. She derives special pleasure from helping horses that are down on their luck and has rehabbed several from physical or emotional issues. Most of her students have their own horse, and two lesson horses enable beginners to get in on the fun.
Riders who choose to compete have a chance to about once a month, typically on the Greater San Diego Hunter/Jumper Assn. circuit. Dee's clientele is an even mix of juniors and adults. Some have been with her over 10 years, and some will get a solid horsemanship foundation in preparation for what may evolve into an A circuit show experience with another barn later on. Others are Del Rio Farms boarders who can schedule lessons with Dee at their leisure.
Whatever the student's long-term goal, their time at Del Rio will be constructive and enriching, pleasant and fun. "My daughter and I have two horses at Del Rio Farms and love the facility," says Debra A.J. Booman, D.V.M. "The horses are well cared for and the place is always neat and clean. Our fellow boarders are supportive and fun. It is a park-like setting and feels like country while being close to the city. For me the finishing touch is the stream running through the property. It is a wonderful, peaceful, tranquil place to come hang out with horses at the end of a busy day." Holiday get-togethers with stable mates contribute to strong friendships that augment everybody's time with their horses, she adds.
Dee and Rich opened Del Rio Farms 14 years ago, but many still consider it one of the best-kept secrets in San Diego's North County. The gated, private facility has on-site management, three arenas, two of which have lights, turn-outs, a round pen, large corrals and grass pasture, and a scenic walking path and trailer parking. In short, it's a haven for horses and riders alike.
With room for 33 horses, Del Rio Farms currently has room for a few more. Horse owners are welcome to board without being in training and
for those who want instruction and/or training,
Dee offers a variety of packages to suit
For more information on Del Rio Farms, call Dee Gleason at 760-731-2244.