By The 'Numbers'
I was born in Denmark in 1971. Raised in Denmark and Africa. I have been riding since a toddler, showing in dressage and jumping since eleven untill sometime in my twenties when I decided to train purely for the pleasure of it.
I moved to the US in 1993. While started in Classical Horsemanship by several Danish instructors, first and foremost, Christine Hermann, I have trained with a variety of trainers, among them a great many unknowns, but also the late Olympic hopeful Barbara Silverman, Los Angeles based dressage trainer Jane McLoud, and Jane’s mentor, Liz Searle, renowned dressage judge and clinician.
In Los Angeles, I worked for Jane for about 18 months, enjoying monthly clinics with Liz Searle, then gradually developed a combined training barn in partnership with Mike Hennigan-trained Christine Pettit, working with mainly dressage horses and jumpers. But over the course of six years in LA, I worked with a diverse range of horses from endurance-horses to ropers, as well as Andalusians, Lusitanos and Arabians. This was a wonderful complimentary education to the excellent instruction I had received from Jane and Liz – all these different horses from all walks of life truly highlighted for me the many uses and rehabilitating value of honest dressage.
In 2003, my then husband and I decided to move out of the city and settled on a 30-acre ranch in Gainesville, TX. Here I continued my study and training in dressage and jumping, as well as occasionally experimenting with cutting, reining and team penning, though I soon came to the conclusion that it was not for me, mainly because the training methods were at odds with my personal beliefs and philosophies about horses.
As a devoted Classical Horsemanship rider and trainer, I on occasion ride for the Foundation for Classical Horsemanship. After twelve years in Texas, I now live in North Carolina in the heart of East Coast horse country.
Since 1996, I have been learning about natural horsemanship, in particular through the study of the work of Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, but also Parelli. However, here, too, after years of experimenting, I found that my questions were most profoundly answered in the tenets of the centuries old 'true dressage', and so since 2010 I have refocussed to concentrate entirely upon my classical education. Since 2004, I have kept up my education riding with clinicians Walter Zettl, Eddo Hoekstra, Carol McArdle and since 2010, Stephanie Millham.
I started writing for the online magazine www.HorsesForLife.com in 2005 after I conceptualized and created the first East Meets West clinic, an event that garnered international attention and caught the magazine's eye. From 2008 till 2012, I went on to write a regular column for HFL titled ‘Riding By Torchlight’. This column explored the many facets, nuances, issues and predicaments facing equestrians and in particular, dressage riders, today. These articles are now being compiled for an anthology in collaboration with an equestrian publisher.
While I have considerably scaled back on my training business to make time for my other pursuits, I continue to teach on a limited basis.
For more on Susannah and her books etc please go to www.SusannahCord.com
The Scenic Route