Who We Are
Xandra Bruckner

Xandra Bruckner

Finance Assistant
Session Instructor

Leesburg, VA

When I was seventeen years old, God placed a unique desire in my heart: the dream of starting a ranch that paired kids and horses together, using aspects of psychology as a tool to help them. I went to college to major in psychology, but I struggled with the seemingly impossible task of starting a ranch from the ground up. On my nineteenth birthday, the book Hope Rising was given to me.  It came at a time when I was beginning to give up on my dream. 

God's timing is perfect—He has shown me that time and again.

I applied at Crystal Peaks to become a full time volunteer in 2010 and was accepted to come out for the 2011 season. I was amazed at how God paved the way for me to come to the ranch. I enjoyed every minute of being a full time volunteer; it was truly a blessing. I loved working with the kids, talking with the parents, participating in the clinics, forming lifelong friendships with the staff and other ​interns, and learning more about horsemanship. When the season finished in November, saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do; but God is good and I was asked to come back as a session instructor for the 2012 season.

What is there not to love about my job? I get to play with kids and horses—even scooping poop is fun! Coming back has really felt like coming home!

I love working with the kids who come out, each one is so different and has a unique story. It has been so much fun to work with some of the same kids I worked with last year. I’ve also loved catching up with them and jumping in where we left off. It has also been a joy getting to know all of the new faces that have come out this season. God is so good! I came out to Crystal Peaks to serve others, and God has turned that around and blessed me and ministered to me through the awesome people He has placed in my life!

What do you love about Central Oregon?

I love so much about Central Oregon: the people, the way of life, and the landscape. People on the West Coast seem to be more easygoing than people on the East Coast and actually take the time to talk to you (even in lines at the grocery store!). Pretty much every weekend last year, my friends from the ranch and I would go hiking or sightseeing. There is so much to see in Central Oregon, it is a beautiful place!

Share an interesting fact about yourself.

I was blessed to live for four years in Vienna, Austria. That experience opened my eyes to all kinds of people from all walks of life.

What is the funniest thing a kid has ever said to you at the Ranch?

One day while scooping poop with some kids, a 6-year-old was struggling to lift up a pitchfork full of poop. She said, “Wow, this poop is beefy!” I could not contain my laughter, hearing an adorable 6-year-old call poop “beefy” was hilarious to me.

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