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Boarder Comments

"Oakzanita is the best place to board! I love it because there is an unlimited amount of miles of trails to ride on. There are so many people to ride with if you don't want to go it alone. The care my horse gets is excellent and I never have to worry!"

Ever since I have brought my horses to Oakzanita Ranch, magic has appeared! My horses are not only happier and healthier... I am too!

Tucked away from the Hwy 79, Oakzanita Ranch is nestled in a quiet, Old Western Movie-like setting. Surrounded by beautiful California oak trees, rolling hills and mountainous views, the ranch has all the amenities I can dream for my horses.... a pasture to share, dependable feeding schedule, arena, round pens, longing areas, lessons, endless riding trails in all directions... and most of all... genuine HOSPITALITY from Bernie & Peggy Martin!!!

There are also many styles of horsemanship here, so all levels of horse and rider are welcome! (-:

I am writing to let everyone know that I feel Oakzanita Ranch is the next best place for your horse to live if they cannot live at your own home. Not only are all of the horses well fed, wormed, and attended to, there are ample places to ride.

When I fell off of my horse last December and rode back to the Ranch, Peggy came to my rescue along with another nice boarder. Peggy not only helped to calm me down but taught me a new technique using a tapping method, which aided in reducing my pain and difficulty in breathing. I felt safe with her. Peggy is a well trained professional and a great lady. An added bonus to keeping a horse at Oakzanita are all of the nice boarders and events that occur.

Bernie and Peggy are true horsemen and are always concerned about both "man and beast" alike. I admire their knowledge, kindness, and their sincerity. I no longer board my horse at Oakzanita, but Peggy still keeps me up to date with her Ranch e-mails.

Thank you Peggy and Bernie. With great admiration, M'Liss McGill
I have only owned my latest horse since November 2005. I live in Alpine and first boarded him at the Lazy A Ranch here in town. I was upset when I learned the Lazy A was being shut down January 1, 2006. I had known that Bernie and Peggy had a place in Descanso for quite sometime and made the decision to move Harley there.

From the moment he was unloaded from the trailer it was apparent that he liked his new digs. Oakzanita cares not only for the happiness of its boarders but more importantly the health and care of my horse. The people who board here are very friendly and helpful. The ability to ride the 125 miles of trails is unmatched. If you need advice or additional training for your horse, this is the place. I could not be any happier with my place at Oakzanita.

Jim Pontzious
I'll never forget the day I found Oakzanita.  I had just happened to read an ad in Riding Magazine about a boarding facility in Cuyamaca.  I had wanted to move my horse into the mountains, but couldn't find a facility that suited my horse and me.  After reading the article, I called and spoke with Peggy.  I felt very comfortable talking with her, and decided I needed to see this place in the mountains.  I drove up there with a friend, and when i stepped out of my truck, I knew that I had come home.  As I wandered around the facility, I noted how clean and well-cared for the horses and corrals were.  I then had the privilege of meeting Bernie.  He was very kind and welcoming.
Both Peggy and Bernie took my little family into their open arms and have since taken great care of us.  My horse has always had a wonderful home there.  His corral is kept tidy.  He is well fed (without being over-fed).  Peggy stops by and chats with him, and Bernie has taken the time to work with him to overcome his fear of men.  Oliver has become a better horse because of these two gentle people.
The atmosphere at Oakzanita is friendly and nurturing.  The air is clean, with a soft breeze rustling through the trees.  There are miles of gorgeous trails to ride on, that can be accessed right out of the back gate.  I don't think you'll find a more peaceful, friendly ranch around.  I am so blessed to have found such an amazing sanctuary.  I am also ever grateful to Peggy and Bernie for their friendship and support.  Oliver, Sara and I are very lucky.

Kathi Murphy

I tried a few places before. I have no doubt, “Oakzanita Ranch” is the best.

I like it, my horse love it, the price is right and…there are the 160 miles trails of the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

What else I’m looking for?

 Marcello Mastrocola


Having boarded at Oakzanita Ranch for over five years, I cannot express enough my appreciation for the support and education given so freely to me as a first time horse owner.  My horse, which quickly grew to horses, had lots of room to “be horses”.  I was constantly informed of their physical and mental well being and could take advantage of the regular vet, immunizations, chiropractic, or clinics offered through the ranch.  The trail riding possibilities out of the ranch continue to provide many wonderful experiences for my husband and me.  My thanks.....

Vickie M. Cottle   

Oakzanita Ranch is the perfect facility for riders that love to ride the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park trails. The ranch's location adjacent to the park is wonderful as is the care of the horses, the variety of accommodations, and the many amenities.

Cheryl Erpelding

Here is Spirit’s “testimonial” told by me.

I moved my horse to Oakzanita Ranch in January ‘05.  Being a new resident to the East County, I had no idea where I was going to board my horse. He had been boarded in the Del Mar area for the last 15+ years. I needed a facility close by that provided excellent care and had trails for riding. My neighbor referred me to Oakzanita Ranch. She had moved her horse there several months prior. I visited the ranch late in the evening. I was impressed with the cleanliness of the grounds and corrals. The layout of the ranch allows for horses to have contact with other horses or be separated.  

My horse is a Wild Horse adopted by me 25 years ago as a 15 month old stallion. He is now visually impaired: he has only one eye and can only see contrasts of light and dark with that eye. New places are extremely unnerving to him and it takes at least a month for him to acclimate to the new scents and surroundings. On the day of the move, my horse, who does not trailer well, walked right into the trailer! (I had been telling him about Oakzanita Ranch and how it was almost like going home to Mt. Shasta where he was born.) After more than an hour travel time, he departed from the trailer without me leading him but the driver, he walked out calmly, accessed the grounds with no snorts, “pawing”, or prancing (highly unusual for him), and proceeded to find the nearest green grass and began grazing. He splashed in the stream that ran through the grounds and appeared to be right at home. I stood there watching him astounded but very elated. He walked into his new corral and proceeded to find the hay left for him after I showed him where the automatic water bowl was located. If he could talk, he probably would have said, “MOM! I’m not stupid! I can smell and hear fine. I don’t need your help!" He checked out his new neighbors with no fanfare and went back to eating.

Peggy and Bernie keep a watchful eye out for all the horses. My horse is an easy keeper and after many months of good quality and quantity of hay fed, his weight began to show. To his dismay, they immediately put him on diet,  he slimmed down. The access to miles and miles of trails is incredible. Spirit is not relying on the other horses to lead the way. He is excited to in the lead, especially up the steep hills. The streams are an added bonus for him.  Our vet visited him in September and stated that the only way he would have known it was Spirit was because of his missing eye. He also stated that he hasn’t seen him look this good since we were in full training.

There are many factors that make Oakzanita Ranch a great boarding facility from the human perspective. But I think Spirit, straight from the horse’s mouth, communicates it all perfectly.

Danielle Belliveau and Free Spirit

Oakzanita Ranch  Peggy and Bernie Martin

11190 Hwy 79, Descanso, CA 91916 619-445-1289

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