By MOLLY WESTFALL
When ownership of Greenleaf Stables was passed on to Paul and Rick Greenleaf in 2013, Lynette Piers was just a boarder, with two horses, living behind the property on Laning Street.
The stable was originally purchased by the Greenleaf brothers’ grandfather, Paul Waszkiewicz, in 1932, but the brothers were faced with a choice in 2014. They were both living out of state, and the current lease on the property was up. They enlisted Piers to help. She assumed the position of barn manager, and restoration efforts began.
During the course of renovations over this past year, the crew at Greenleaf has built overhang shelters behind the pasture so the horses can escape the elements on snowy or drizzly days. Trees have been cut down or trimmed. Fences have been replaced, and stalls have been renovated so the horses have a safe and clean place to call home.
The crew at Greenleaf also provides hay and grain to the horses to ensure there is enough nourishment for all of them.
Greenleaf Stables strives to promote a natural horsemanship. First and foremost, they believe their horses should be given the space to roam and to play in a herd environment, just as they would in their natural environment. Greenleaf Stables, situated next door to Rogers Orchards, is home to a large roaming pasture for their horses, with trails for boarders to ride on that are owned by the town of Southington.
At the time Piers took on the management responsibilities, she had a team meeting at her home to compare multiple types of grains, ensuring they were picking the best possible nourishment for their horses.
Lynette’s team is made up of boarders and horse lovers who have reserved a special place in their hearts for Greenleaf. Fortunately, many members of the team live in surrounding areas around the property, just walking distance to their beloved horses and Lynette. She states whenever a repair is needed, a horse needs assistance, or a fellow boarder needs a hand, there is never a problem finding someone eager to take it on.
Lynette calls this team the “weekend warriors” as they all have full time jobs and schooling to tend to during the week, but they never pass up the chance to assist and are all committed to their goals. In 2015, they hope to create the image of a Kentucky Horse Farm, right here in Southington. In addition to the “weekend warriors,” Louis Tascherau, Greenleaf Stables’ full time care taker, actually lives on the property in order to keep an eye on things.
Lynette said that Greenleaf serves as “a lot of different things, for a lot of different people.” The space serves as a safe, clean, enjoyable space for the boarders and their horses, but also as a beautiful town landmark for neighbors and residents of Southington. Admirers will actually bring carrots on their walks to stop and visit the horses.
Greenleaf is a friendly and casual environment that promotes all different types of riding styles. Lynette shared that she prefers the English riding style, while some of her fellow team mates prefer Western, and even bareback. One of the farm’s horses, Ruffin, was recently named the Connecticut State Dressage Champion. But there are also horses and boarders that prefer the more recreational side of things.
Nicole Pascarillo, a friend of the farm, serves as their barefoot barrier and also provides training and riding lessons for boarders and customers. She graduated from Post University with a degree in equine studies. Whether you’re looking to compete in horse shows, or simply ride the trails of the stable, there is a place for you at Greenleaf.
Greenleaf has developed into a place for local students to come and complete volunteer hours—a recent Southington High School student volunteered and got some experience under his belt for his future in environmental law. The stable hosts veterinary clinics for the students in the equine studies department at Post University. Greenleaf works with two different veterinary facilities, Beckett and Associates Veterinary Associates, LLC out of Glastonbury and Stacey Golub of Middlebury, who is also the founder of the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue.
The Greenleaf brothers had three specific goals in mind in founding Greenleaf Stables: to create a sense of community and a family-friendly environment for their customers, to provide the best possible care for the horses with emphasis on quality feed, shelter and safety, and to give their boarders a country oasis where they can spend time with their horses and enjoy the natural beauty around them.
Lynette said that her team has left no stone unturned in the restoration efforts of the property and in providing the boarders a sanctuary in which to enjoy their horses and love of the sport.
“Our boarders are truly awesome,” said Paul Greenleaf. “They’ve really come together to form a community. They help and support each other and work together to make conditions better for everyone. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
Rick added, “We’re extremely grateful that so many people have come forward to help us. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate their hard work and expertise. None of this would have been possible without their help.”
There is a certain sense of camaraderie within the family at Greenleaf Stables. Their love for the property, the business, and their horses shines through in their pride and dedication to maintaining Greenleaf Stables as a gem in the Southington community.