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.

Kelly Latin

Kelly came to Rivendell as a teenager in high school, where her love of riding and ponies were easily fulfilled. At Rivendell, she learned many aspects of horse care and barn management while competing at local events.

Kelly left Rivendell to pursue a military career in the United States Army. After exiting the service she achieved a B.S. in Biology and a M.A. in Educational Psychology.

Today she has returned to Rivendell with her two children, Alexis and Tyra, to share her enthusiasm and knowledge of ponies with others. Kelly is a weekend instructor (and a high school biology teacher) during the school year and a dedicated camp program director and full time instructor during the summer months.

In 2013 Kelly was selected for the Salisbury Trust Scholarship and received their Sportsmanship Award as well.
In 2015 Kelly and Callie had a very successful season eventing at the novice level. Wins at GMHA, Larkin Hill, Rega Meadows and second at Fitches Corners and the Area Championships at Geneseo.



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.

Mark Werthiem

Mark started riding at Rivendell at age 3 in 1987! Spending many long summer days and after school hours at Rivendell throughout his continuing childhood, Mark made lifelong friends both human and equine. Mark started competing his first pony, Joe, in 1993 and never gave up despite how difficult Joe could be. He continued on to event through the preliminary level, and represented Area 1 at a 3-day event at Glen Oro in Canada with Harrison Ruzicka, taking a junior team 1st place and an overall team 2nd.

Mark has been a teacher here for several years now. He is currently pursuing a degree in History at SUNY New Paltz, and hopes to continue teaching at Rivendell while pursuing a Masters and Doctorate in History.

Mark brings an entertaining and unique perspective to his teaching, always striving to make his lessons interesting (Rule #1- you gotta have fun!), enjoyable, and most of all, instructive. Look for him teaching or riding at Rivendell, and always volunteering at local events!

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.

Jennifer Shute: Groom

Skyler Nuccio: Groom

Jennifer has been part of the Rivendell family since she was a young child.  She rode the famous mustang pony Hot Cocoa.  Once she out grew Cocoa, she rode Sydney, a bay TB gelding.

She was a working student for many years.  She has now graduated to Oscar, Harrison Ruzicka's favorite preliminary mount and competed at training level eventing and 3' jumpers successfully.  

She now is in residence at Rivendell and is incharge of the night feeding as she attends Dutchess Community College working towards a future in forensic science.

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.