Staff

Renaissance Farm is run by mother and daughter team, Maria and Arielle Blackstone.

Maria

Over the past four decades, Maria’s love of horses has led her to study and enjoy a variety of equestrian sports and disciplines including; dressage, jumping, carriage driving, and vaulting.

While living in New England, Maria achieved advanced level certification as a therapeutic riding and driving instructor, founded and directed the state’s first accredited therapeutic riding program, as well as the state’s first equestrian vaulting team and organized and hosted the first Rhode Island Equestrian Special Olympics

Having been a longtime admirer from afar of the Iberian horses, Maria purchased Rosaria, a lovely buckskin Lusitano mare with a ten week old filly by her side and Maria began a breeding program of Lusitano and Iberian sport horses, focusing on movement, color, conformation, and temperament. The program’s first two offspring, both fillies, won Champion and Reserve Champion Lusitano Mare when presented to the Portuguese judge at the ERAHC regional championships in 2012.

In 2008 Maria and her daughter, Arielle, founded the Transition Vaulters equestrian vaulting team. Coached by Arielle, the team competes at AVA, USEF, and FEI competitions and helps to promote the sport of vaulting with various exhibition performances with Maria as the teams Lunger.

Arielle

At a very early age, Arielle had the opportunity to participate in a variety of equestrian sports. At the age of six Arielle joined the In Harmony vaulting team and a lifelong admiration for the sport of vaulting began.

As a volunteer at the therapeutic riding and driving program, Arielle learned the ins and outs of carriage driving and helped with classes and eventually the training of perspective therapy horses.

Growing up, Arielle attended numerous clinics with family friend, mentor, and truly talented horseman, Harry Whitney, who taught Arielle to always consider the horse’s perspective.

After graduating from high school, Arielle spent several months as a working student for Master Horseman, where Arielle learned to appreciate classical training and horsemanship as an art form. Under guidance, Arielle started RF Espendoso, a young Lusitano stallion, under saddle. Arielle and Espendoso continue to train and the pair is showing tremendous talent and aptitude for dressage and Working Equitation.

Arielle is a very gifted and insightful rider and also a vaulter and coach of the Transition Vaulters. Arielle is currently working toward her USDF and AVA Bronze Medals.

Arielle has most recently been accepted as an Retired Racehorse Project trainer and will be competing in October with her OTTB Honorable Daniel.