With a history spanning over three hundred years, The Southlands Foundation continues to provide the public with an understanding of the environment through outdoor recreational activities, particularly in the instruction of horsemanship, horsemastership, and husbandry to people of all ages.


Our Mission

The mission of The Southlands Foundation is to provide a historical and agrarian connection to the community, and cultivate a respect and love for the land and its animals through education, conservation and outdoor recreation.

The Southlands Foundation, encompasses nearly 200 acres overlooking the Hudson River in Rhinebeck, NY. Its unique history spans three hundred years. The property dates back to the original King’s grant to the Livingston and Beekman families from which Deborah Dows, our founder, is a descendant.

Throughout its history, Southlands’ extraordinary landscape has been open to the public. Since December 1987, a conservation easement donated to Scenic Hudson protects the farm so that it will remain forever green.

A month does not go by in which I do not receive letters from former students telling me what Southlands meant to them when they were here as children. Some tell of their riding, but more tell about learning to love the land and the creatures on it – to understand growing things – to learn to live and let live – and how their time spent on Southlands helped them cope better with the problems in their individual lives.
— Deborah Dows, 1988 excerpt from a letter to charter members