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Staff Members

  • Erika Eckstrom

    Erika grew up begging her parents for more saddle time. When Erika was 5 years old, she wrote down her 20 year plan in crayon. This plan had her buying a horse by age 15 and running her own stable by age 25. As it turns out, her younger self was pretty close to accurate.

    To get more time in the saddle she grew up in other people's barns in the Ithaca area, working hard in trade for lesson and riding opportunities. She purchased her first horse, Margarita, at age 13 with her own money that she had been saving since childhood and spent the following years taking in rescue horses and rehabilitating them with patience and determination.

    Those rescue horses taught Erika the intense need for teaching trust, confidence and patience. To teach a horse to be a trail horse, not only does the rider need patience, but the horse did as well. By training scared, abused or abandoned horses, Erika was able to gain vast experience in relationship and trust building that has extended to her horses today.

    Erika spent a number of years in Washington, DC where she earned two bachelor degrees in anthropology and music theory, and a master's in public communication. During this time period, Erika worked in a number of positions including acting as a lobbiest for the Violence Against Women Act of 2004, a spokesperson on The Today Show for dating violence issues, a press relations assistant at the Peace Corps, and an archeologist in Tel Megiddo, Israel. Her time and education in the city prepared her for business ownership, marketing and the important people skills that have made Painted Bar Stables such a success..

    Erika purchased the stables in 2008 and has since been working tirelessly to repair the stables and renovate the 1851 farm house. Since then, she has a collected, bred and trained a beautiful herd of horses that are well known for their friendly demeanor, interesting personalities, and wonderful trail riding abilities.

  • Jen VanDusen

    Jennifer Marosek VanDusen, CF, began riding horses at the age of 7 and successfully competing in the show ring only a year later at the ripe old age of 8. She grew up riding Hunter Jumper with Frieda Kinner at Bruner Stables in Southport Elmira and later delved into the world of Western Pleasure as she grew, honing her equine skills through the Chemung County 4-H programs and the Pennsylvania High School Rodeo. She went on to show with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association while attending college.

    Jennifer is an equine educator through and through. She has worked with and trained horses at a variety of farms throughout New York, Illinois, North Carolina and West Virginia. Throughout her life she has pursued, and continues to pursue, a well rounded education in equine topics, education, and pedagogy, earning a Bachelor of Science in Equine Science and a Masters in Education from Salem University in West Virginia.

    An eternal caregiver, Jennifer has always been interested in making sure that horses are as healthy and comfortable as possible. Because a horse is only as good as the hooves it walks on, Jennifer realized that her true passion was in the science of hoof care and farrier work. She is a graduate from the Cornell University Farrier School, studying under Certified Journeyman Farrier Steve Kraus. From there she went on to apprentice under Certified Journeyman Farrier Kirk Smith. Jennifer is a Certified Farrier and ongoing member of the American Farriers Association, where she served as the treasurer from 2012 to 2016 for the local chapter, the Western New York Farriers Association. She is also a member of the World Championship Blacksmiths, with whom she has competed as a blacksmith forger.

    Jennifer first came to the Painted Bar Stables in 2011 as a specialty farrier. Her knack for problem-solving to help special needs horses helped her gain a foothold in the barn and made her an indispensable contractor for the stables. Since Jennifer came to Painted Bar, the instances of abscesses, bruising, and temporary lameness have decreased significantly. She has also made a tremendous impact on our horses with long-term lameness issues, such as arthritis and navicular, through her careful hoof support plans.

    Jennifer had always offered amazing support for the instructors at Painted Bar Stables, giving advice and offering teaching techniques that could improve rider position and lesson planning. In 2016, after 3 years of begging, Erika Eckstrom finally convinced Jennifer to come on board as the Head Instructor. This gave Jennifer the opportunity to have the best of both worlds, keeping one foot in her farrier passion and the other in her well-founded pedagogical background and love of education.

    Jennifer continues to shine as the Head Instructor and In-House Farrier for the Painted Bar Stables where she cares for and supports 46 horses and over 40 students. She brings with her a passion to continue her education onward knowing that the best educators are students

  • Alyssa Anway

    Bio coming soon
  • Taylor Bowes

    Bio coming soon
  • Tori Shannon

    Herd Manager: provides care, support and monitoring of the herd as a group and as individuals and their living environment. Monitors each horse's wellbeing in terms of weight and diet, soundness, health, injuries, workload and psychological wellbeing. Ensures that the barn is cared for and maintained and all necessary inventory is in stock.

    Chief Happiness Officer: supports the happiness of employees in a company. They usually report to the owner and are in charge of creating and implementing programs that aim to improve employee satisfaction, motivation, and overall well-being.
  • Teresa Fico

    Bio coming soon
  • Sarah Reich

    Bio coming soon
  • Daniel Salisbury

    Bio coming soon
  • Ed Mackay

    Bio coming soon
  • Anna Gardner

    Bio coming soon
  • Antigone Elliott

    Bio coming soon