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.
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
Before coming to Blue Rider, Becky worked at Riga Meadow Equestrian Center as the Barn Manager and Instructor. She has been working with horses since she was nine years old. She taught her first lesson at fifteen. Becky graduated from the United States Pony Clubs in 2001 with a C-2 rating. After graduation she specialized in Icelandic horses. She has a broad and varied horse experience, from jumping and dressage to driving, vaulting, western and starting young horses.
Joely keeps the office running smoothly. She is the voice on the phone, and the smile in the office.
Gretchen brings with her a wealth of knowledge through her life skills and job outside of Blue Rider. She heads our Fundraising Committee, does all of our data entry and is instrumental in our social media.