Owner: Sage Stachowiak

My name is Sage and I am one of the owners of Rivendell Farm. I live on the property with my husband and co-owner, David. In addition to the human family members, we also bring along a small pack of four dogs (Annie, Lucy, Ariella and Harper, with their introductions to each are coming in future posts) and three cats (Merlin, Brayden and Felix). My dream since I was growing up was to one day own a farm, and create a place for everyone (humans and horses alike) to feel welcome, supported and taken care of. I have always believed that family is much more than just who you are born into- family can be many things. I have friends who are family, my team at work is a family, and the people I board, ride and train with also are like a family. Buying Rivendell Farm is the biggest, scariest, but also the most rewarding thing I have ever done, and the property, Rosemoore Acres, has its name in this same sentiment. Have you ever seen the movie ‘We Bought A Zoo’ with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson? Well, the movie features a newly widowed father searching for a new home and start with his kids after the loss of his wife. He eventually goes on to take a chance on ‘Rosemore Zoo’ an old, falling down place that had been partially abandoned and left in the hands of a few caring (and quirky) individuals. When he’s reflecting on buying this zoo on a whim he says “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. This is the biggest, scariest thing I have ever done, but it’s an adventure! Life is all about adventure! And at the end we will look back and see that this was the best adventure of my entire life.’

Rivendell Farm and Rosemoore Acres are my biggest adventure. At the end of the movie, he realizes not only that he bought a zoo, but also that he found his family in it. He found his new family amongst the staff, caregivers, clients and animals that he was able to provide a place for them to call home. That is my goal and dream here at Rivendell Farm. Is that we all find our family, our community and we enjoy this crazy adventure together.

Sage with Horse
Sage with Horse

Owner: David Stachowiak

Setting foot on Rivendell Farm for the first time brought back childhood memories of summers at David’s grandparents’ farm in Wisconsin with barefoot races down the gravel driveway, pretending to work the fields on the green Oliver tractor, and a claw foot tub in one of the bathrooms of the hand built farmhouse.
Owning this farm carries on the tradition of farming in David’s family, most recently his grandparents who grew cash crops for around 25 years to his aunt and uncle who run a hobby farm. Although David is originally from Wisconsin, Connecticut now feels like home having lived in the northeast for the last 20 years.
The first morning David woke up at 2 Cherry Lane, and looked out over the pastures he said "if I can wake up every morning and look at this, that will make me very happy"! The magic of Rivendell Farm.

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Rivendell Staff Photo

Barn Manager: Roger Passavant

Roger's commitment to Rivendell Farm is evident in everything he does. Responsible for the entire property as well as individualized horse care, his meticulous attention to every detail and knowledge of property maintenance create the magical beauty that is "Rivendell Farm".

Tending to the rolling lawns, grass pastures, and riding arenas are secondary only to the care he gives each horse and attention he gives to each person. Loved by the "kids" and respected by all who know him, whether he is working on the property, working with the horses, or coaching the local soccer teams, Roger gives 100% to everything he does. His favorite saying; "30 days at Rivendell fixes everything"

Our Team

Staff Sara
Sara Hultgren
Riding Instructor

Sara Hultgren began working with horses at age 7 and has been dedicated to their sport ever since. She worked as a farm hand, show groom, exercise rider, and instructor throughout college. Sara emphasizes a strong foundation in education, safety, and balance between horse and rider. Sara is committed to problem solving with her students, both human and equine, teaching the “whys” behind their interactions. She approaches each horse as an individual with a unique voice, and adjusts her technique accordingly to the horses’ learning needs. Her true love for fun, united with her passion for teaching others, makes her a favorite not only for children and developing riders but also for the more advanced equestrian. Sara has exhibited and coached professionally in Dressage (USDF), Hunt Seat (USHJA/CHSA) and combined training (USEA/CCTA/NEHC). Her accomplishments as a professional also include coaching for various organizations including both the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) and Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). As a coach, she strives to develop rider expertise through knowledge and responsibility which enables her students to successfully compete at the highest levels in their desired disciplines. Sara has worked under the guidance of trainers such as Debbie McDonald, Dennis Callin, and Charlie Jayne. Her lifetime equestrian influences include Ray Hunt, Kathleen Lindley Beckham, and Denny Emerson.

Autumn Standish
Riding Instructor

Hi my name is Autumn Standish, I am a passionate equestrian who started her equine journey at the age of 3 here in CT at Movado Farms. Horses have always been my outlet offering a safe space to learn discipline, resilience and accountability. My main focus has always been the progression of horse and rider, with emphasis placed on safety. I do believe that riders - and horses - need to work in unison to fulfill their potential, and I ask my students to give their very best. I don't expect perfection, but I do expect you to try for it- there's no room for "I can't" around here! I would rather you try, even if you fall a little short at first. I specialize in beginners of all ages and the nervous riders, I will take as long as necessary to reach our agreed goal. My main focus is to help you become a safe, effective and confident rider. Whether you want to develop your skills toward competition, learning a new style or skill, or simply improving your riding. My own equestrian background has been quite varied. After training at Movado farms for 10+ years I became a trail guide at the age of 16. After high school I studied Equine science at post university while also working as a full time barn hand/groom for a dressage barn were I gained a lot of knowledge and experience related to showing world. Through my entire life I have strived to become the best rider and instructor that I could possibly be and I’m exited to share my knowledge and ways of learning with those who want to learn about this amazing industry!