Our Team Members

This is our core staff. These amazing ladies give it their all. They are the women that make sure our animals are well cared for, and have everything they could possibly need. And not only that, these ladies work so hard for YOU, so you can enjoy every second of your stay with us. 

Bonnie Buongiorne

Bonnie witnessed the healing power of horses and saw the sustaining impact of this bond between animals and humans, which led Bonnie to be interested in horses.  Bonnie, herself, faced her own life-threatening health challenges a few years later and promised, if she survived, to do something good with her life. Out of that promise, she began to have visions of that led to the creation of Ray of Light Farm.

Bonnie brought 15 years of building experience and entrepreneurial skills to establish the farm.  She earned her B.S. from SUNY Brockport, her M.S. in Exercise Science from UMASS and her M.A. in Worship and Spirituality from Hartford Seminary.  Her focus on Women’s Leadership work gave Bonnie the knowledge to develop the Ray of Light Farm non-profit organization.

Bonnie continues to pursue her education and is now a Connecticut Licensed Massage Therapist for humans and a Certified Equine Massage Therapist. She is an active member of the Medical Mission Sisters based in Philadelphia where she is an Associate dedicated to be a healing presence in a wounded world.  Her dedication to the farm’s mission and her passion to continue serving the community inspires the creation of programs like Wellness Walkabouts©, Taking the Reins and HorseFeathers Veterans Programs.

Founder

President

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Sanna Piispanen

I was born and raised in Finland. I came to the US, on my own, at the age of 18. 

Horses have been my life as long as I can remember. It all started out as an innocent hobby when my grandparents would take me for riding lessons. Little did my family know, it would soon turn into a lifestyle. 

I have been with the Ray of Light Farm team since 2012. I started out as a part time instructor and trainer, and it's all been a one big journey from there on. Life before ROLF, I worked with a variety of different breeds of horses, different disciplines, show horses, pleasure horses, breeding horses, horses of all different ages and genders. I love all horses.

In 2016, I spent 6 months at a high level private dressage farm in Long Island, working and learning with two of the most wonderful Grand Prix trainer/riders, Wendi Schnittjer and Tine Zinglersen.

In 2021 I reached Level 2 Master Certification with Chris Irwin, of Irwin Insights. I look forward to the future of learning more!​

Irwin Insights Certified Level 2 Master Trainer

Barn Manager

Trainer, Instructor

Alexandra Larrick

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Irwin Insights Certified Level 1 Master Trainer

Barn Staff

Trainer, Instructor

Makayla McPherson

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Irwin Insights Certified Level 1 Master Trainer

Barn Staff

Trainer, Instructor

Matthew

McPherson

Matt is our young crew chief, who is ready to learn anything and everything!

Barn Staff

Sally Sanders

Sally moved to CT in 1994 and started teaching at her home on a rescued mare. An increase in students brought two more horses home to teach on. For the winter months, she made arrangements with the previous owners at the Stables at East Haddam to bring her students to the indoor arena. This led to teaching at the farm and started her relationship with the new owners of Ray of Light Farm.

Sally thanks her teaching success to the numerous kind, patient and dependable school horses she has been blessed to work with over the years. Without them, she would not be in the ring today.

Irwin Insights Certified Level 1 Master Trainer

Trainer, Instructor

Evelyn

Bailey

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Interim Director of Horse Feathers Veterans Program 

Our Horse Care Professionals

Sara Drynan Muirhead

Hoof Care Specialist

My life work has been to practice both the art and science of holistic well- being. Along with my Masters in fine Art, my studies in homeopathy, natural hoof care, and alternative energetic healing modalities has fueled my passion to share the art of holistic health care for horses and humans. 

 

By working on thousands of horses and their humans under Dr. Regan Golob's tutelage, I have become invested and enthusiastically driven to introduce alternative options for people to empower their health and those of their animals. 

There is no solitary solution to turning on the healing capabilities of the body, so the beauty of the science based work I have immersed myself in has a broad range of possibilities. It is harnessing the awareness of the whole picture and peeling back the layers of ill health from the many physical, chemical and emotional stresses we all live with. It is allowing for miracles by believing there is more that can be achieved than merely surviving. 

On a daily basis I embrace the opportunity to share what I have learned and live to make my world a brighter place.

Hoof Cares 

860 303-9671

hoofcares@gmail.com