Co-Founder and Head Riding Instructor: Christine Sierau
Christine Sierau is the co-founder and Head Riding Instructor of Blue Rider Stables.
Her equestrian education includes a Stud Assistants Degree and Riding Instructor Degree of the British Horse Society received at the St. Laurence Stud Farm – a prominent Stud Farm in Cornwall, England. She received her NARHA Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors License at the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan and is a licensed Massachusetts riding instructor.
As a young child and teen, Christine lived with adults with disabilities. Her family started Berkshire Village, Inc. – the first life-sharing household in Massachusetts. By age 14 she helped manage the stables at the former Jug End Resort in So. Egremont, MA.
While living in Germany, she worked at various Jugendfarms (Youth farms) in and around Stuttgart. (programs on city spaces for children and children with special needs that offer a place to escape the city and learn about animals, nature, fire, and gardening, and receive therapeutic riding lessons). She also trained with Linda Telington-Jones during this time.
Christine has been teaching therapeutic riding and vaulting in England, Germany and the United States. Since 1992, she has been developing and implementing Blue Rider Stables’ programs and lessons, integrating the wisdom and intuitive qualities of horses with her keen knowledge of body awareness, child development and the special needs of people with disabilities of all ages.
Barn Manager / Riding Instructor: Rachel Tarnauskas
Rachel Tarnauskas began riding at nine years old, taking her first lessons at Blue Rider Stables. She has owned and trained her own horses, showing them on the local show circuit as a junior competitor. Her travels throughout the United States, working in a variety of different equine environments, have provided her with experience in endurance training and racing, vaulting, natural horsemanship, starting young horses, and restarting “problem horses.”
Rachel is a Massachusetts-licensed riding instructor and is currently studying the art of balanced riding and the Alexander technique which connects the relationship your body has to the horse.
Rachel’s passion has always been liberty work and the importance of communication between horse and human. “I believe that good communication creates a solid bond between horse and human and with this unity anything then can become possible”.
She teaches both English and western style riding and prefers to start her students bareback so as to fully integrate the communication skills needed to make a bonded partnership possible. Rachel continues her equine education through internships, clinics and professional opportunities.
“Rachel’s knowledge of horses and humans combine nicely to create an adept teacher. Since I began riding with Rachel my skills have improved and my fears have dissipated-all taking place in a safe and respectful atmosphere where I never feel judged or asked to do anything beyond my abilities. At the same time Rachel has an uncanny ability to know exactly what will work to improve my skills and keep me feeling safe and happy.” – KW
Riding Instructor / Vaulting Coach: Anna Seagull
Anna Seagull is Massachusetts licensed riding instructor and a lifelong horse woman. She was literally riding before she could walk! She is passionate about helping riders communicate with their horse from on their back and from the ground through body language and nonverbal cues. Anna has experience working with a wide variety of horses, including starting young horses and rehabilitating rescue horses. She competed on the local show circuit as a junior rider, and won multiple championships in barrel racing and gymkhana games on her quarter horse. Anna believes that the foundation of any good relationship is trust and awareness. While working for a member of the US endurance team, Anna completed many 50 mile races and had the opportunity to crew for the World Equestrian Game time trials. Most recently Anna has been competing in and coaching vaulting. She started Big Twist Vaulters in 2015, and in 2017 took the team all the way to the Regional Championships. Anna is a Bronze level vaulter. Anna believes that her job as a coach is to allow the space for her vaulters to grow and learn, rather than sticking to a fixed agenda. She says “It’s always a challenge to keep the team together as everyone learns at a different pace, but so rewarding to see how proud my students are when they figure things out on their own.”
“Anna has been a huge component in my daughter’s growth as an athlete, as a teammate and as a person. She’s been able to use what she’s learned vaulting and horseback riding and translate it back to her figure skating and school. Through Anna’s coaching, she’s becoming more social, patient, and has better concentration.” -GB
Riding Instructor: Becky Daddona