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Christina Andersen

 

I grew up on Nantucket Island, riding my pony, Whinnie along pristine beaches, lush conservation land, and the yards of vacant summer homes in the winter. As Whinnie and I outgrew each other, she retired to a farm in Vermont. For about three years, I did not have much interaction with horses. My senior year of high school, I began volunteering at SeaPony Farm, a very special therapeutic riding facility. During my years there, I reconnected my passion for horses. I assisted people of all ages with varying mental, physical, and emotional abilities to interact, learn about, and ride horses. I realized the profound impact horses had on me growing up, and the important lessons they unknowingly taught me. I knew I would work alongside them again.

The VERY FIRST time I drove to UMass, my mother and I drove past a huge red barn with a large field of horses on our way to the Open House. I had no idea what it was, or where we were, just that it was beautiful! It wasn't until recently that I remembered and realized it was Blue Star. After seeing the Cupcake video and traveling past the farm when going home, I knew that I loved this organization, and that I would one day be part of it.

I took the Draft Horse Husbandry course, and fell deeply in love with the drafties and the empowerment, confidence, and happiness we shared together. That summer I began my internship at the farm. I was here 9-12 hours a day then drove home smiling to check our Facebook page to see what else had happened. I loved it so much. I was studying Animal Science at UMass, and knew I wanted to somehow improve the lives of horses, and possibly educate people about it. After a year of volunteering, I began panicking about my rapidly-approaching college graduation and lack of employment opportunities. Pam helped me follow my heart, and encouraged me to create a life for myself along these horses. Now I am the happiest I have ever been!!!