Our Instructors

Located on the Ridgefield/New York border and with easy access to the beautiful North Salem trails, Starbuck Equestrian offers both full service and regular boarding. We also offer many lease options.

Starbuck equestrian boarders have the advantage of being able to compete at our home base horse shows. The fourteen Stepping Stone Farm horse shows can qualify a rider for the equitation, hunter and jumper national finals. The horse shows are recognized by USEF, USHJA, NEHC, CHJA, M&S, FW-PHA.

Owner of Stepping Stone Farm

Head Trainer of Starbuck Equestrian

Head Trainer of Starbuck Equestrian


Bob Rose of Westport, CT

Having ridden and competed in my youth, I returned to sport in 2009 after having raised three children. Stepping Stone / Starbuck Equestrian came highly recommended to me from a friend and fellow Westporter. The instructors and staff are excellent and have always been supportive and positive in their approach. I could not be happier with my decision to be part of the Stepping Stone / Starbuck extended family.

Betsy Curtin of Wilton, CT

After a twenty-year hiatus from riding, at 45 years old, I called Stepping Stone Farm, which was always a favorite horse show destination of mine as a junior and young adult. To my surprise Janie was still there, and her daughters (Juliana and Amanda Starbuck) are the trainers! They got me back in the saddle, and back into shape. When it came time for me to lease a horse they couldn’t have found me a better match. Within 6 months Juliana and Amanda trained Bentley and I to a division championship at the Fairfield Hunt Club A rated show! What a year!

Peter & Danielle Getchell of Ridgefield, CT

Our daughter has been riding at Stepping Stone Farm and Starbuck Equestrian for 6 years. When we were looking for a trusted and safe equestrian facility for our daughter, who started riding at the age 3, we thankfully found Stepping Stone Farm and Starbuck Equestrian. And our daughter has been riding there ever since!

Our daughter started riding in their structured, fun and developmentally appropriate lesson program, which are taught by experienced, knowledgeable and caring trainers. As a family, we knew nothing about the sport or about horses. Everyone at the farm, from the trainers to the other families, were happy to share their knowledge with us. As an elementary school teacher, I know it is important to cultivate these meaningful connections with students and their families to make learning exciting and fun, whether it is in the classroom or learning a sport. I know how important it is to have that mix of structure, patience, caring and fun. This is exactly what the trainers at Stepping Stone Farm and Starbuck Equestrian instill.

We have found at Stepping Stone Farm and Starbuck Equestrian, that its not only about learning how to ride; its about confidence & self esteem, sportsmanship, responsibility, caring, friendships, all things our daughter has gained while riding at Starbuck Equestrian as is applying in her world outside of the barn.

Stepping Stone Farm and Starbuck Equestrian has successful and accomplished trainers who are passionate about the sport and have taken our daughter all the way from lead line in their schooling program to their competitive show team!

Shannon Rock-Castellanos of New Canaan, CT

Our experiences with Stepping Stone Farm and Starbuck Equestrian have been outstanding. Both our daughters (Ages 7 & 6) have been riding there for almost 2 years. During this time we have seen professionalism across the board and a sense of passion for running an organization that fosters strong development for our girls.

Our youngest daughter spent years riding at other farms prior but did not have the instruction needed to elevate her to the next level. Within a year at Starbuck Equestrian in the lessons program, she has become a skilled and confident rider. After seeing this positive impact, our oldest daughter began to ride and train as well. She quickly progressed to competing and performing at the top of her class.

Melissa Silverman of Ridgefield, Connecticut

The Stepping Stone equestrian program has not only taught my daughter to ride, but improved her overall confidence and self-esteem. She has made meaningful connections with her instructors and horses, made close friendships, developed horsemanship and a true love of riding. Stepping Stone Farm/ Starbuck Equestrian feels like family... and is my daughters “happy place.”

Millie Casinelli of New Canaan, Connecticut

My daughter and I have barn hopped for about a year before finding this hidden gem... Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian. When we discovered this farm we knew that our search was over and that we found our 2nd home. This very unique farm is truly a world of its own; a touch of heaven on earth!

The location is like no other farm. It’s beautiful, therapeutic and extremely peaceful. In it’s picturesque setting, Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian provides a quiet refuge to get away and spend special time with skilled instructors, wonderful friends and with each of the friendly, sound and well trained ponies/ horses that are talented enough to perform even the most challenging exercises.

This is such an awesome and happy filled place where daily pressures and concerns of this fast paced life can be put on hold if for just a little while. My daughter and I truly love this pearl of a farm. We have both bonded with our special extended family as well as the precious ponies and horses. I can’t imagine her riding anywhere else!

Janie Weber and her daughter’s Juliana and Amanda Starbuck, the owners and trainers at Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian are a dynamic trio. Each one of these very talented ladies have a unique and true gift for instructing. They are extremely patient, very skilled, attentive, encouraging and provide individualized, customized instruction for each of their students. They are also the nicest, most caring people I have ever met in the industry. They truly are top rate and definitely a higher caliber in comparison to other instructors at other farms. I cannot speak highly enough about them. They are very passionate about what they do and are totally devoted to providing the ultimate riding experience. Together with their highly qualified, skilled and very warm staff of instructors they create lessons that are inspiring, entertaining as well as informative.

In addition, the guidance and continuous support given by these gifted instructors are unlike any other farm that my daughter has been to. Lessons are always filled with positivity, pride and encouragement. Through patience, caring, trust and gentle pushing Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian has succeeded in turning my daughter’s life around. She has become extremely confident, is willing to face new challenges, has a higher self-esteem and has developed a great sense of accomplishment.

I am thrilled and excited about the amount of progress my daughter has made while at Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian. Her riding skills have improved dramatically. I have never seen any other activity she participates in to have such a positive transforming effect on her.

She has truly blossomed under the gentle guidance of these very unique and dedicated instructors. I feel extremely blessed and very fortunate that my daughter has been able to be part of such a wonderful and special place. I give my highest recommendation for anyone looking for an experience of a lifetime.

Thank you Janie Weber, Juliana and Amanda Starbuck and your amazing staff of instructors for the unique special individuals that you all are and for always creating a peaceful fun filled atmosphere. You have all made such a difference in my daughter’s life. I will forever be grateful.

Parents of Kara Mikhitarian of Cocoa Beach, Florida

It happened at a birthday pony party at Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian fourteen years ago. Our six-year-old daughter sat astride a sweet pony and began her first ride. What we saw in Kara’s wide eyes was the beginnings of a dream; for us it was the life-changing recognition that Kara’s love of horses and riding was being born. From that time until now, Kara’s dream of becoming a champion equestrian has been nurtured and supported almost daily by the caring professionals who run Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian.

Owner Janie Weber, along with her daughters Amanda and Juliana Starbuck, all champion riders in their own right, recognized Kara’s talent and passion at an early age and provided her with opportunities for learning, training and work that led to Kara fulfilling her dreams many times over. Throughout her childhood, under the tutelage of Janie and her staff, Kara acquired growing knowledge, finer and finer riding expertise, and four bedroom walls festooned with blue ribbons from local and state horse shows.

It has been quite a ride for her parents, too. As a family of modest means, we faced personal challenges to provide Kara with all the trappings and requisites of the equestrian sport. But somehow Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian was always there to help find a solution to a need. There was always a horse to ride, always a lesson available, always a way to compete in a show. Yes, Kara worked hard for her opportunities, totally dedicating herself with a grateful and determined heart. Through Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian’s Working Student Program, Kara flourished and had many successes. Because, she was committed to her dream and Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian was committed to her. One summer, Janie put her through a two-week equitation “boot camp” and subsequently, on a borrowed horse, Kara won the State Equitation Finals and earned Reserve Champion.

Today, Kara not only continues to ride, she also trains horses, and teaches lessons. As a counselor at Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian’s Summer Camp, she is an inspiration to young riders with their own equestrian dreams coming to life. Currently, Kara is a scholarship student at the University of Vermont and rides for her college equestrian team, where she has been the team’s high point rider.

All these exciting experiences began and were made possible by the rich opportunities she has had at Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian. A simple birthday party pony ride set Kara and this family on a path we could not have imagined, and one we all treasure.

Oh, and one more thing: Thanks to Stepping Stone Farm/Starbuck Equestrian and a wonderful deal the owners arranged, Kara now owns her own horse. It’s truly an equestrian dream come true.