Executive Director: Stephanie Bergman
Stephanie Bergman is the new Executive Director of Blue Rider Stables.
Stephanie holds a MS in Environmental Education from the Audubon Expedition Institute/Lesley University and a BS in Biology from The University of Michigan.
She has over 20 years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector, including leadership positions with the Housatonic River Museum in Pittsfield, MA, Clearpool Education Center in Carmel, NY, and The Berkshire Environmental Educators Network, a program of Flying Cloud Institute in New Marlborough, MA.
Stephanie is passionate about helping charitable organizations increase their capacity through program development and evaluation, community/client relations and fundraising. She spent 18 years in the environmental education field, and still greatly enjoys sharing her knowledge of the local environment with others.
Synchronicity connected Stephanie to Blue Rider Stables in late 2012 when her eighteen month old daughter Lila experienced an incredible transformation as a result of therapeutic riding there. Lila refused to eat for the first two years of her life with no medical explanation. Having exhausted conventional medical treatments, including four months on a feeding tube, Lila was referred to Blue Rider by an occupational therapist. Shortly into her first lesson Lila began to cry as if she was hungry, and still sitting on the horse consumed more food than she ever had in one sitting. Through continued riding, Lila began to eat, on the horse at first, then off the horse as well. She was transformed, and has developed into a happy and healthy child who loves to eat.
Stephanie began volunteering in the office for Blue Rider in 2013 and began working for the organization in 2014 in the newly created position of Operations Manager. In this role she has developed internal structures and procedures that has moved the organization forward on its’ path towards long term sustainability.
She is excited to use her knowledge and experience to address the critical needs of the organization in the role of interim Executive Director as Blue Rider moves into it’s next quarter century.
Head Riding Instructor: Christine Sierau
Christine Sierau is the co-founder, former Executive Director and current 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 NAHRA 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. At age 14 she helped manage the stables at the former Jug End Resort in So. Egremont.
She has worked at various Jugendfarms (Youth farms) in and around Stuttgart, Germany for 10 years. These are farms for city children and children with special needs that offer a place to escape the city and learn about animals and gardening, and receive therapeutic riding lessons.
Christine has been teaching therapeutic riding and vaulting for the past 30 years in England, Germany and the United States, and since 1992, 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.