|About Susan Schaefer,
"The Horse Teacher
|This is the page I like least of all. My whole horse
career has been about my clients and helping
them work with their horses - not about me and
what I could do.... But enough of you have asked
about my background, so here it is in a nutshell.
|College Graduation 1976
|I was not born into a horse family. As a "service kid", we moved alot, and a horse was just
not in the budget. My first horse memory was on a rental pony named Sparkplug on a
family vacation somewhere in New Mexico. I think I was about 4 years old. All I really
remember was that Sparkplug was a black and white pinto and I loved making her trot....
much to the dismay (and my delight) of my older brother who was terrified when his pony
Midnight would try to keep up! Funny thing, I now own 2 black and white Paints.
Throughout my growing up years, I took riding lessons whenever I could and hounded the
rental stables wherever I could find them. Most of this time was on the East coast, and
English riding was how I got started. I'm sure my parents thought this horse-craziness was
a phase I'd outgrow. I even tried, "If I don't get a horse for Christmas, I don't want anything!"
Well, all I got were school clothes. Never did that again.
|Waiting For My Lesson
|Returning From A Trail Ride on
|I didn't get my first horse until I was 15 years old. Dad found a 3 year
old OTTB that didn't like to run. 16 hands and coal black. So I
named him Carbon and we must have covered hundreds of miles on
the trails around Yuma, jumping anything that looked jumpable.
Shame on me. I know better now. But I had to sell him just one short
year later as Dad's orders sent us to the other side of the country
and there just wasn't money in the budget for horse transportation.
|For the next several years I was a catch
rider - hopping on most anything that was
offered. I rode a national caliber cutting
horse named Mingo (dumped me on my
fanny in the first move - I learned why
everybody hangs on), went to my first big
Tennessee Walker show (it was much more
fun to take them trail riding), and met Wayne
Newton in the Arabian show arena. But my
focus was on my college classes where I
was a psychology major. The summer of
my junior year I hit pay dirt. I found a school
where you could actually get a degree in
horses! When Dad weighed one year at
Meredith Manor against grad school, he
was more than happy to write the check.
|Since 1976, I have worked in many different areas of the horse industry. I have successfully
shown English, Western, and Dressage. I have judged POA, APHA, PtHA, ApHC, AQHA,
Dressage, 4H, USPC, and Open Shows. I have organized multi-ring, multi-day shows and
worked in every conceivable capacity. I was a certified instructor at the community college level
in both Arizona and California where I taught many semesters of Equine Science to capacity
classes. My horse related articles have been published nationally (The Trail Rider, Bridle & Bit)
as well in regional magazines. I spent thousands of hours in the saddle training horses until I
had my "light bulb" moment. Although I was an effective trainer, my passion is in teaching the
owners how to train their own horses. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach
him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." I want my clients and students to become
equine label readers. If you understand the why, the how becomes so much easier. My greatest
satisfaction is having my clients tell me they got in a sticky situation with their horse, thought it
through, worked it out, and both horse and human were safe and happy!