Tracie Ruzicka

Tracie is the owner, operator, and head riding instructor at Rivendell Riding Academy. She has taught horseback riding since her time as a "B" in the Millbrook Pony Club.

Tracie built Rivendell with her husband, Jon, as a family place where everyone is encouraged to participate and experience the joys and accomplishment of riding and handling ponies and horses. They have maintained the farm for the past 23 years. Their children, Harrison and Prudence, rode to high levels in eventing and showjumping while growing up.

Tracie instructs riders from Beginner to the Training level in Eventing.

Harrison Ruzicka

Harrison was raised on the family farm and has ridden nearly every day of his life, competing up and down the eastern seaboard. As a teenager he trained his own throughbred, Grand Jury, to Preliminary-level Eventing and Level 5 in the Junior Jumper divisions. He has also trained and schooled many other lower-level horses.

Harrison has ridden twice for the United States as a junior. He won the team and individual gold medals for Eventing at Glen Oro in Canada. He was also on the Silver medal team for Jumpers competing in India at their national horse show.

Harrison earned a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. He currently teaches history at the Kildonan School and also teaches lessons at Rivendell part-time.

Gretchen Scott

Gretchen has extensive experience riding and competing in both Combined Training and Dressage. She is a Graduate "B" Pony Clubber, earned a B.S. Degree in Equestrian Science, and has worked extensively with such local notables as Michael Page and Lendon Grey.

For more than 20 years, Gretchen's approach to teaching has been to make it as easy as possible for horse and rider to understand what is being asked of them. She uses a variety of exercises and activities to establish and confirm the different elements that contribute to a well-rounded equestrian.

Her teaching is based on a combination of practical experience and theoretical information, and her aim is to develop her students into self-sufficient horsemen. Whatever your goals, Gretchen aims to create an atmosphere of enthusiasm, learning, and respect for equestrian sports.

Jazzelle Colley

Jazzelle has been riding at Rivendell since she was 8 years old. Over a year ago Jazzelle took on the responsibility to take Ben and train him. They have made great strides, getting second at the Dutchess County Fair high jump invitational in 2014. Both Ben and Jazzelle learned, that day, exactly how far they could go.

Jazzelle teaches the beginner level classes and our summer program.

Beyond her passion for riding, Jazzelle hopes to study nursing at Mount Saint Mary College and become a nurse practitioner.

Sadie Pettyjohn



Sadie started  riding  in 2009. She received  her Bachelor's at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY studying Psychology. S

he is currently attending the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and will graduate October of 2018 with her Master's in Psychology.

Although school keeps her busy, teaching young students during the summer is a job she truly enjoys.

Skyler Nuccio: Groom

Skyler Nuccio is a twenty-three year graduate of SUNY Cortland with a biology degree.

Skyler first joined the Rivendell family when she was six years old. Riding with Tracie until she started high school when she took a long break from riding to immerse her self in school sports.  Attending Pine Plains High School, she played field hockey, winter track and field, softball, and swimming. At SUNY she continued on to play a year of varsity field hockey and softball.  After graduation she continued to coach a local summer swim league, known as the Stanford Sharks.

She has now found her way back to the old barn to work with horses and ponies again.

Skyler loves to to sing and dance. (You may even catch her singing and dancing while in the barn). An extreme animal lover, Skyler saves baby birds whenever she finds one. 

Moving to the farm with her are her two puppies, Bella and Luna, so the barn has two new members.