Quality Hunter/Jumper Training for Both Horse and Rider

Autumn Road Farm is an accomplished Hunter/Jumper training and boarding facility located within Buena Vista Farm in Zion, IL. Owner and head trainer, Sara Rhodes, is committed to the advancement of her students and the quality care provided to the horses. She encourages her students’ growth within the sport by providing a well-rounded, safe and supportive program. Her students compete at “A” rated shows.

Client Testimonials

I’ve been riding with Sara Rhodes for the last five or six years. I can say without hesitation that she always thinks of and puts the horse and the rider first. Sometimes to her own detriment. She knows the value of goodwill and friendship. She listens to her client’s goals and develops a strategy to obtain those goals for every client based on their level of ability. She works hard to give her clients every opportunity to be as successful as they want to be. She is one of a kind and I’m thrilled to be working with her.
Yvette Heintzelman
Getting back into the saddle as an adult is never an easy transition. The nerves, the confidence, the physical changes, all of which can wreak havoc on your mind and body. Faced with all of that, Sara took her time and made sure to push me at the right pace, always challenging but also encouraging. That steadiness in approach got me back in the show ring, it boosted my confidence so much so that I even took on the challenge of a green horse, but most of all it made me fall back in love with all aspects of the sport.

All of that is why I also felt 100% comfortable having her start my three-year-old son in lessons. He is now five and true to form she pushes him enough to improve but cautious enough to ensure his safety at such a young age. Her connection with him is endearing and I look forward to seeing that partnership grow in the future.

At the end of the day, if you are looking for a high caliber training program with a highly attentive individual program, Autumn Road Farm is the place to be. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the incredible staff of grooms who treat our horse’s like family.  Truly top in class.

Jessica Krpan
Autumn Road Farm is the team of choice! Sara is not only talented as a rider, but is also a remarkable trainer! She will take any student as far as they are willing to go and will unlock the true talent of any student. For me, she was able to take me from the Large Pony division to the Large Junior Hunter’s to winning Nationals in the Children’s Jumper Division at the Washington International Horse Show. Autumn Road Farm is also located at one of the most beautiful facilities I have ever stepped foot in. The horses live in a little slice of heaven and the care that they receive is some of the best! The combination of superb training and the high-quality facility will guarantee a successful horse and rider team!
Ryan Goodman
Sara is a great trainer with a keen instinct for designing a successful program for each one of her students.  Sara welcomes input from clinicians and trainers from other disciplines to find the best program for horse and rider.  She works hard to find just the right horse for her clients, their goals, and their budgets. Her positive attitude and great sense of humor make Autumn Road Farm a joy! Sara’s incredible staff know each one of the horses well, and how to manage them. They are a strong, professional, and integral part of Sara’s program.
Laura Aliamo
Sara runs an extremely professional operation. Her care and concern for both horse and rider are exceptional. She is an accomplished horse woman who tailors her program to each individual horse and rider no matter the age or experience. The horses are cared for by two of the best grooms in the business and you never need to worry. It is a pleasure to be at Autumn Road Farm.
Cathy Nelson
Sara Rhodes makes riding fun! Whether I am taking a lesson or discussing any aspect of riding, I know that Sara will respond to me with thoughtfulness and honesty. My horse and I are always treated with patience, kindness and respect. Sara is very knowledgeable and caring, and goes above and beyond to make sure that my horse and I are in a program that is appropriate for our level. My horse is always immaculate and looks amazing after being in her care this winter. I highly recommend Autumn Road Farm!
Parvin Work
Sara Rhodes is a consummate professional who we completely trust and who takes wonderful care of us and our horse, Valentino. Sara has a unique ability to immediately establish a bond with every horse and to know what each horse needs in terms of care and training. As a result of her dedication, the horses in her care are fit, healthy, beautifully turned out and at their peak level of performance. Our Valentino feels and looks amazing and is very happy with Sara. Sara’s patience and positive, encouraging and reassuring manner have built my confidence and have enabled me to reach beyond my comfort zone and tackle jumps that I never thought I would be jumping…and I am having a blast doing it! Her honesty and integrity are unmatched. She sets the standard for what a horse trainer should be, both in and out of the show ring. I am not at all surprised that she has enjoyed such tremendous success in her career. She works very hard and approaches each horse and rider in her care with compassion and love. As a result, she brings out the best in each and every one of us. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be part of Autumn Road Farm.
Stacey Baumeister
For over 45 years I’ve boarded, owned and shown horses the the Chicago area. Finding your perfect trainer and program in this area is a challenge. For the past 10 years, I’ve been fortunate to be boarding and riding with Sara at Autumn Road. Sara loves the horses in her care and this is evident in every aspect of the ARF program. Sara’s an accomplished trainer, whether your goal is w/t/c and local or WEF and indoors. Can’t imagine being anyplace else.
Maureen Boyle
There are so many things I appreciate about Sara and Autumn Road Farm:

  • The horse care is phenomenal: Sara and the grooms know every inch of my horse’s body and behavior, and they customize care for her like she’s their own; they have literally transformed the fitness and soundness of several of my horses (and the old fashioned way, without any gimmicks)!
  • The communication is exceptional: Sara is extremely organized and proactively communicative; I always know in advance about her schedule, my horse’s health or program, horse show/clinic opportunities, etc.
  • No politics: Sara works well with others across the horse industry (vets, farriers, other trainers, etc). She’s open to new ideas, questions, and treats everyone with respect and attention –from novice to expert and from budget-conscious to big-spender. Because of her honesty and integrity, I feel as though Sara will always recommend what she feels is in the best interest of me and my horse, even if it’s not what would best serve her own interests.

In short, Sara is the kind of professional I trust with my business – especially when it involves so much time, money, and the well-being of a beloved animal!

Alison Sparks Johnson

Autumn Road Farm is currently accepting new students to add to our team!

Please contact Sara Rhodes for more information regarding Autumn Road Farm's training programs, services and boarding.