Becky’s mom used to say, “Her third word was ‘horse,’ but I don’t remember what her first two were because she never talked about anything else after that.” Becky started taking care of other people’s horses at age eight, started riding at ten, graduated from the Litchfield Pony Club with a C2 rating in 2001, and still doesn’t talk about anything other than horses. She has worked as a trainer, instructor, and barn manager in the US, Canada, and Iceland, and has tried most horse-related activities. While home on winter break from college in 2000 (where she was studying Equine Sciences and Equine Facilitated Therapeutics, although she graduated with a degree in literature), a friend suggested that Becky visit Blue Rider Stables; she stayed involved with the program as a student, volunteer, and instructor since then, and finally started working here full-time in 2018. Her horse Svadi came with her in 2018. Becky joined the Board of Directors in 2023.
Tayo Kaufman has been involved with Blue Rider for over 15 years. He grew up in the Southern Berkshires / Northwest Connecticut in the 1980s and has since settled back in the area in the early 2000’s to raise his family. He went to school at the University of Connecticut majoring in Business and Management Information Systems, and has been working in the software industry since.
He became involved with Blue Rider through his niece and nephew, who both grew up at the barn. Tayo became directly involved by volunteering at events and helping with sound and music over the years – and thus forming friendships and connections with so many people involved with Blue Rider.
Tayo joined the board to help support the mission and because of the haven and special place the Blue Rider represents in the world for so many people and animals. Tayo brings particular logistical and financial background which can help Blue Rider moving forward.
Don has been involved with Blue Rider Stables, either directly or indirectly, since 1993. That was the year that he and his wife moved to Jug End, next door to what would become the site of the current barn. When the stable moved their operations from Sunway Farm in Housatonic to its present location in 1995, we became involved with both the entity and the facility. Whether mucking out the barn on a Sunday afternoon, rounding up escaped herd members in the middle of the night, performing traffic control for events held at Jug End, or running the food concession for several years at the annual fund-raiser at French Park, we have always had some level of involvement with Blue Rider. Since May 2021, Don serves on the Board of Directors.
Don is a registered Professional Civil Engineer in Massachusetts and New York, and has retired from a career in construction supervision, construction management, and public works administration. The last ten years of his career were spent with the State University Construction Fund, building and renovating academic buildings, athletic facilities, and underground utilities on various SUNY campuses.
Don is very familiar with both the mission and the operations of Blue Rider Stables. With his public works experience, Don has direct knowledge of operating budgets and capital budgets necessary for Blue Rider Stables’ current operations and future expansion. The vision of a capital improvement program and corresponding funding mechanisms are essential for the survival and future growth of Blue Rider Stables.
Julia Kadison always thought she loved horses, but never really got a chance to test that assumption until recently. For many years, her to-do list was topped with ‘take horseback riding lessons,’ and she finally got the opportunity to do just that in 2021. Wanting to learn more about horses and having some free time on her hands, she signed up to volunteer at Blue Rider Stables. Julia loves being around and taking care of the horses and she truly believes in the stables’ mission and the amazing work done there. With the desire to help out even more to ensure the long-term prosperity of the stables, she joined the Board in the Spring of 2022.
In 2019, Julia left the ‘corporate world’ after 36 years in business, communications and marketing. Her career included roles in market analysis, leading a consulting practice, running advertising and promotions for the national Got Milk? program, and serving as CEO of the National Milk Promotion Board for 5 years.
Julia has Board experience from both the inside and outside, having sat on 2 corporate and an NFP Board, as well as running the Board of the National Milk Promotion Program, with oversight of a $100MM+ national program. She also sat on the Board of Directors of the Innovation Center for Dairy, a 25-member Board comprising CEOs that represented more than 80% of the combined dairy industry. Julia earned a BS in Psychology from Emory University and an MBA in Marketing from the NYU Stern School of Business.
After 20 years of being a “weekender” in Canaan, NY, Julia now lives there full time, with her husband Steve and their 3 labs.