Blue Fox Farm has a long and proud legacy of developing top hunter/jumper horses and riders. As the Rancho Santa Fe facility's resident trainer, Alixe del Valle Garcia is continuing that legacy with a few slight tweaks. She's introducing a new name for her training business, DVG Show Stables, and, since June, she is enjoying the assistance of talented trainer Chloe Dibley.
The new name stands for Del Valle Garcia and carries on the name of Alixe's mother's stable in her native British Columbia. But the emphasis of the program it identifies remains the same. Alixe and Chloe are good friends and a great team as trainers. They welcome adults, juniors and pony riders with only two rules: Students must have goals in their riding and they must be nice, able to work and play well with others.
"Everyone here is really nice and that is very important to me," says Alixe. "It's a big deal to me that kids are nice to their parents, to each other and that everybody here is conscientious and helpful toward each other.
"You have to have a goal," Alixe continues. "Our main focus is on those who want to compete, whether it's doing well at a county show or an A show."
Alixe has her own goals, too. With adult students, the emphasis is to give them the skills and confidence needed to ride safely and have fun. With kids, she's a bit more ambitious. "I am equally interested in helping them develop as horsemen and as people," she says. "I want to help make them good human beings, give them something to stay focused on and help them achieve whatever they want to achieve. In short, I want to help them grow into productive adults."
Horse care and general horsemanship are a big part of the curriculum at DVG Show Stables. "We place a really strong emphasis on horsemanship and on forming a bond between horse and rider," Alixe explains. "We have full time grooms available, but our kids groom their own horses and Chloe and I teach a lot of stable management and care." It's a non-negotiable tradition Alixe learned from her mom, Linda Del Valle Garcia, in whose training program she received her equestrian education and began her professional career. Linda's business revolved around sales horses, providing Alixe a great catch riding background.
Alixe took a break from the business to study international relations at the University of British Columbia. The experience was great but the main thing she learned was that she missed the horse world too much to leave it behind. So, she lit out for the warmer climate of California and found a spot with Blue Fox Farm. In addition to coaching, Alixe campaigns clients and sales horses in all the hunter and jumper divisions.
A San Diego native, Chloe is well known on the Southern California hunter/jumper circuit, where she spent several years as Andrea Hill's assistant. She's a whiz with ponies and pony riders and with horse/rider match ups, Alixe reports. Chloe came on board shortly after Alixe had her first baby this past summer, and together they look forward to building up to a clientele of about 30 horses. DVG Show Stables has three school horses and a highly-regarded lesson program that is perfect for beginners or those without their own horse.
Blue Fox Farm
The beautiful training facility that will continue to be known as Blue Fox Farm is owned by longtime horsemen Kenny and Nancy Nordstrom. They keep their hand in the business and judge frequently at top national shows while enjoying their retirement, often while sailing their boat in Mexico. Veteran trainer Cathy Robinson was Blue Fox's main trainer for many years before passing those reins to Alixe. Cathy judges regularly on the local circuit and is working toward her large R USEF certification.
Alixe considers Cathy, Kenny and Nancy as second parents. "I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to work for and learn from them,"
Set on a shady, private, five-and-a-half acres, Blue Fox Farm has 32 fully enclosed stalls and enough turn-out space for every horse to enjoy half their day there. The stalls are 12 by 12, 12 by 16 or 12 by 24 and kept fly free by a central fly system.
Riding and exercising opportunities are ample. There's a large main ring and a smaller ring that's suitable for beginners. A walking track surrounds the smaller ring and all surfaces feature all-weather footing that facilitates nearly year-round riding. A covered Eurocizer is great for exercising horses on the few days when the rings are too wet and a lovely trail around Lake Hodges is popular break from arena work.
For more information on DVG Show Stables and/or Blue Fox Farm, call Alixe del Valle Garcia at 760-745-3922 or visit www.bluefoxfarmsandiego.com.