Who We Are
Xandra Bruckner

Xandra Bruckner

Gardener, 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 an intern 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 an intern; 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.

Since taking on the role of Gardener/Groundskeeper, I have found that Mondays are my favorite day of the week; I love walking into the greenhouse and seeing how much the plants have grown over the weekend! I have learned so much and there is still much to learn with gardening. It has been so cool to grow food for people and it is amazing to see God’s creativity through plants.

I still enjoy working in finance, especially when I get to track data and correspond with donors; I have a handful of pen pals that I have been in touch with for many years. It is awesome to see how God continues to provide for the Ranch through the generous hearts of donors across the country. I am touched by their faithful hearts and desire to be part of the work the Lord is doing in and through this place.  

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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