by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Soul of Photography

Animals and Nature

student_csiki2Eight-year-old Helena Csiki (pronounced “chick-ee”) adores all animals. “I love animals and nature,” she shared. “I have thought about becoming a veterinarian.”

So, when Helena was introduced to equestrianism at the young age of five, it was only natural that this animal lover took to the activity right away. “My family has a background with horses and equestrian sports,” explained Helena. “It looked fun so I tried it and have loved it ever since!”

Today, Helena rides horses so often that she has become a member of the Pony Club at Horsemanship Academy, the barn she belongs to at Valenti Equestrian Club, located in Rancho Santa Fe. “So far, I have done hunter/jumper and polo,” she shared. She has ridden most of the horses at her barn, but her favorite is one named Maggie. “You get to interact with an animal and it’s fun!” she said. “The most challenging part about it is understanding that the horse is feeling what you’re feeling, so if you are nervous the horse feels that.”


Name: Helena Francesca Csiki (8)
School: Del Mar Pines Elementary
Grade: 2
Parents: David and Mary Csiki
Favorite Local Spots: Crest Canyon, Dog Beach, and Valenti Equestrian Club in Rancho Santa Fe where I ride horses

student_csiki3Helena is currently in second grade at Del Mar Pines Elementary School, where her favorite subject is math. “I like solving problems,” she explained. Her family has lived in Del Mar since 2011. She loves living there for its accessibility to all her favorite outdoor activities. In addition to horseback riding, Helena enjoys spending time with one of her favorite family members – her pet dog, Michelle. She also likes singing and playing the piano.

One day, Helena aspires to be a veterinarian, a musician, or a professional equestrian (or perhaps all of the above). For now, she enjoys spending down time with her family, friends, and neighbors. “I like helping people,” added Helena, “which inspires me!”