Jacky has been riding at Blue Rider since she was 2. Her heart belongs to Oskar, although vaulting is a close second. She has many other friendships here, and Marcy and she have become quite a team. She spends her time helping out and teaching when not in college.
Christine Sierau is the co-founder and Mentor to the Riding Instructors of Blue Rider Stables. She also teaches lessons, with emphasis on body awareness.
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.
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 has 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, and Blue Rider alumni Trausti (Trusty) currently lives at home in her backyard.
Julia grew up in New York but spent a lot of time here in Massachusetts, as well as Arizona and Utah, for high school. Taking therapeutic riding lessons made her realize many other people could benefit from this as well. This led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship from SUNY Cobleskill, along with being certified as a PATH Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She started volunteering at Blue Rider in 2020 and became a full time instructor in the most hectic days in the summer of 2021. She enjoys being able to facilitate growth and a love of horses in her students. She loves to see how horses can bring people joy whether on the ground or on the horse. Bella has a special place in her heart, along with her three cats.
In 2016, at the age of 13, Caitlyn started weekly riding lessons here at Blue Rider. She joined the helper program and has worked her way up to being our barn manager; she has also been a camp counselor for many summers now and helps to teach lessons. Caitlyn also was a member of our vaulting team, and continues to vault and teach this discipline to younger students. Caitlyn and Mia have been a team for many years. Recently, Remedy has joined this team.
Maggie grew up on a small farm in North Carolina where she started taking riding lessons and learning to care for horses (among other animals). Maggie began volunteering at Blue Rider when she moved to the Berkshires in January 2018 and has been a part of the Blue Rider community as a volunteer and then a staff member ever since. As a member of the Blue Rider barn staff, Maggie fills in where she is needed, doing anything from mucking to assisting in lessons and therapy. She leases Baron, and ensures that he gets the attention he needs and deserves. When she’s not at Blue Rider, Maggie is the Dewey Hall Manager, an Alexander Technique teacher, musician, dance caller, and event organizer.
Avery came to Blue Rider as a 9 years old on a school field trip, during a snowstorm at the end of April, in classic Berkshire weather. She spoke not a single word that day, wearing a coat that was three times her size and weight. But from the moment she got home she would not stop talking about how great it was. She started lessons the next week and nothing has kept her away since.
Avery is the worker bee that keeps everything running smoothly. Working up in the office and down at the barn, she does her best to keep all the loose ends together. Her self given title is Chaos Manager, and she thrives when there is too much to do. She manages to keep all the little chores done in the background. She is great at teaching the newest and youngest students, who adore her. She also works in the office, keeping files organized and little jobs from piling up. Avery is Rico’s person, they are both goofy and skinnier than they’re supposed to be, love vaulting, and compliment each other in many ways.
Joely keeps the office running smoothly. She is the voice on the phone, and the smile in the office.