New dressage trainer and facility upgrades enhance Rancho Santa Fe’s Rancho Bellamar.
The sand is just settling in perfect furrowed rows while Juan moves around the short fence re-positioning the white plastic dressage letters at their homes. A gentle ocean breeze sweeps through softly waving palms where they stand sentry. One lucky horse and rider enter at A: They are the first team to christen the new, professionally developed dressage arena footing at Rancho Bellamar.
Rancho Bellamar has been here for years. Conveniently located five miles east of Del Mar, it is a friendly, peaceful, drama-free hidden gem of a boarding facility in San Diego’s Carmel Valley. With excellent prices, caring owners, staff and trainers and a range of boarding options, Rancho Bellamar offers a happy and healthy horse haven.
“I love how happy the horses are here,” says Mary Young, who recently brought her dressage training business to the facility. “No one is pacing or weaving in tiny stalls. This barn gives the horses that social herd environment feeling that is so vital for mental balance and relaxation in a safe way.”
In addition to the fabulous boarding options, wonderful attached trail system and brand new arena, Rancho Bellamar is proud to offer two on-site trainers: Charlotte Watson and Mary Young of MK Young Dressage. Charlotte and Mary both have excellent, complementary training qualities, offering systems for every range of rider. From first steps at summer horse camp on healthy, kind school masters to first FEI test, the trainers at Rancho Bellamar can help all riders find their passion.
Mary is fairly new to the San Diego area. She traded the snow of New England for the sunshine of Southern California and is excited to offer kind and classical dressage training and lessons. She started in a western saddle in 4H, moved through the Arabian breed shows and hunter/jumpers in college. Almost 20 years ago, she found her true passion in classical dressage with the help of a “silly,” 5 year old chestnut National Show Horse that couldn’t complete a 20-meter circle and a patient mentor in Dr Thomas Ritter.
Dr. Ritter introduced Mary to the extremely important fundamentals of a solid seat, quiet, independent hands and kind, forgiving outlook, helping to develop her belief that dressage is an art between the horse and rider first and foremost.
Mary regularly clinics with her excellent mentors, highly-respected international rider, trainer, writer and clinician Paul Belasik and Andrea Velas. She is very excited to offer a schedule of upcoming clinics at Rancho Bellamar to the discerning rider interested in correct classical dressage. “Whether you are entering your first dressage test or only interested in developing the harmony between you and your horse, I am excited to help you on your journey.” Mary welcomes new clients and horses for training and is thrilled to introduce the new changes at Rancho Bellamar.
“We are so thrilled to work with the incomparable Dave Martin and his business, Footings West, on the new arena. Dave is well known for his excellent work among the top riders and facility owners all over California.”
Rancho Bellamar offers a range of boarding options starting at $575 for large 40” x 40” and 50” x 100” individual horse pens, with large shady overhangs, automatic waterers, high quality alfalfa or Bermuda hay, tack room space, huge groomed turnout areas and on-site caretakers. Stalls with attached in-and-out and 24” x 24” pipe corrals are also available. “We have a large 80” x 220” sand schooling arena, standard 20 x 60m dressage arena, laser-leveled with new Apex sand blend, a large round pen, miles of attached trails and a wonderful supportive atmosphere,” Mary explains.
Article provided by MK Young Dressage. For more information, visit www.mkyoungdressage.com.