Bakersfield Police Officer Nicole Anderberg is the first to admit that up until a year ago, her experience with horses was relegated to childhood dreams and a few lessons.
When she became a mom, she decided to introduce her kids to horses, allowing herself to live vicariously through them as they began to learn the basics of horse riding.
But when her son’s riding instructor noticed how much she loved equestrian life, she asked Anderberg a question that would begin a new journey for her and her family.
“Why can’t you learn?”
Anderberg realized she could and should still learn.
She was physically active, an avid runner who enjoyed the outdoors, and as a police officer isn’t one to shy away from a challenge.
That was almost a year ago, and what a difference year makes.
Anderberg is now the proud owner of two horses, a small ranch, chickens, and a chicken coop, she also started a small side business boarding horses.
Her mornings now involve feeding horses, sometimes with her four-year-old daughter, and watching her son take proud ownership of the chickens living in their backyard.
It’s everything she had ever wanted, but never thought she could do.
“It’s all super fun and adventurous for us,” Anderberg says with a laugh. “I don’t know how long this is going to last, but in the meantime, we are all loving it.”
Along with her police uniform, Anderberg’s new set of daily clothes consists of riding boots and a helmet that she wears when riding her horses in her backyard paddock. With her high intensity job, as well as her husband’s, who is also an officer at Bakersfield Police Department, coming home these days doesn’t just involve house chores and television time. Home has become a peaceful refuge for their entire family.
“We can all be out here all day. We just come out here and disconnect from everything, and it has brought us all a lot of peace,” Anderberg said. “My kids don’t even watch television anymore, because we are always outdoors with the horses or chickens.”
With a total of 10 horses living at the Anderberg ranch, she and her family have plenty to keep them busy along with their jobs in law enforcement. Neighbors board their horses in the stalls she has available, and many of them are friends and parents who enjoy the wholesome hobby for their families.
For Anderberg, learning to finally ride horses has shown her the ways her career as a police officer has given her the aptitude to be a horse rider.
“You really have to control your emotions and be OK for the horses, they rely on you to guide them,” Anderberg said. “It has been interesting for me to see how much it relates to law enforcement, because you can be in so much chaos, but you have to be in control of yourself. The minute you aren’t in control, things start to fall apart. Riding horses is similar, they need you to be in control of them.”