About Sweetwater Farms
Sweetwater Farms is a working horse ranch dating back to the early 1960s, in scenic Bonta, California. This 16 acre property features many of the original buildings still in use and rustic grounds all surrounded by mature willow, cottonwood and eucalyptus trees.
Sweetwater Farms was a dream come true for owner Roberta Jackson. Growing a community based on family, friends and building lasting relationships between horses + people, Roberta and Sweetwater Farms have evolved into so much more than just a horse farm since its inception.
As a native San Diegan, Roberta established Sweetwater Farms in 1985 on the east side of Bonita, CA with her husband Dave and his sister. Since she was a child, it was this little girl’s dream to have her own farm after building a close relationship with her first horse, Nutmeg, a four year old quarter horse. This began the lifetime career of ‘horses + people’ for Roberta and the impact of building a community around them. The farm was and still is a hub for Dressage Training, Horse Shows, Training, Camps and Lessons.
In 1992, Roberta moved Sweetwater Farms to where it is now, on Equitation Lane in Bonita. It was at this time, she realized just how important it was to continue her volunteering and fundraising support of Bonita Equestrian Therapy (BETh) since they started as well in 1985. The financial threat of having to close BETh’s doors weighed heavy on Roberta because she felt so passionately about the cause and the positive impact it had on the lives of so many people with disabilities. In 2002 she was asked to take on the management of the therapy horses and facility. In 2005 she officially took over the cause and she ran with it, providing financial support and countless volunteer hours to continue driving the positive impact between horses + people here at Sweetwater Farms. BETh is now thriving and able to meet the needs of many children and adults with special needs.
In addition to her fundraising and passion for the farm, Roberta was also selected as the Coach for the University of San Diego Equestrian Team in 2004, earning Reserve Champion honors five years in a row and competing at the National Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition. She was instrumental as well in the development of a successful Military Service Member Pilot Program in 2008, the model of BETh’s 2009 Wounded Soldier Working Cow Program. Finally, she earned her Instructors Certification with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association and added to her education with online courses through Irvine College in grant writing.
Sweetwater Farms provides many different equestrian services including a riding school for beginner riders, extensive equestrian camps for children, a winning show team and Bonita’s only public horseback rides through the scenic Sweetwater River trails. Since its inception in 1985, Sweetwater Farms and Roberta have shaped the lives of so many ‘horse crazy’ kids, providing not only services at the farm, but also a close community that she would never consider a job. To her it’s a lifestyle. One that will continue to curate the powerful relationship between horses + people.
Roberta is also involved with the local Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Their mission is to introduce students in private and public middle and secondary schools ages 11 to 19 to equestrian sports.
Current Participating Schools:
Sweetwater Farms IEA Middle School and High School Teams
Contact Roberta Jackson for more information
- Phone: 619.252.0982
We’re now a United States Pony Club Center!
Visit us at Sweetwater Farms!
3051 Equitation Lane, Bonita, CA 91902
Take 805 to Bonita Road exit. Go east under freeway and make the first left at Plaza Bonita Road and the first right on to Equitation Lane.