“I've been thinking about writing this review for some days now, and I seem unable to get to the point.
I met Susan in 2010, at one of the most critical moments in my life. I stayed at La Luz the first time because I wanted to learn more about starting young horses. Those internship weeks are actually the reason I work with and for horses is now my job. To me, the true gift of teaching is giving/sharing information and knowledge with a person at exactly the right moment, without the person feeling pushed, but feeling as if they discovered it themselves.
Susan is that gifted teacher, with the biggest heart for horses and people, down to earth and an equally important sense of humour.
Thank you Susan, for everything."
"My best childhood memories are of riding horses and spending time at the stable. At age 42, in an attempt to reconnect to that childhood joy, I picked up riding again after 29 years. I found it difficult and did not enjoy it at all. I signed up for lessons at several local stables only to drop out after two lessons. I was always told to whip the horse I was riding which did not seem fair since I was the one who didn’t know what I was doing. Also I noticed that the horses I rode were grumpy and agressive or shut down like robots. Not my idea of having fun. Not wanting to let go of the idea to return to riding.
In 2009 I searched online for riding holidays and I found Live and Breathe horses in Spain. I knew instantly that that was where I was going to go because the horses on Susan’s website all had soft eyes and relaxed facial expressions (as you can see in her videos). I figured anyone who had horses who looked like that would not abuse them just so I could ride. I was right.
With Susans expert guidance I picked up riding, but also learned ground handling skills. Susan’s motto is, the horse has got to enjoy the work as much as the rider or handler. Otherwise why do it? I learned to observe them, care for them, play with them, meditate with them. In the process I learned about myself, my weaknesses and my strengths. I learned I had to be clear, firm and consistent in what I asked. Susan shared many of the lessons she learned in life, but she also listened to mine.
Ten years down the line, still unable to find a good place to ride close to my home in the Netherlands I took the plunge and bought my very own Friesian gelding. Susan came over to Holland to help me settle him into his new home when he arrived in November 2018. It was great to have her here in The Netherlands, because it was overwhelming for me. My horse was stressed by the move and did just about everything you do not want a horse to do. Kick out with his front legs, push me over, jump the fence, and try to break loose and run off.
She now coaches me long distance when possible, through video feedback. I am so happy to see that my horse, Jelle, now shows the same soft facial expression I saw in Susan’s horses so many years ago on her website. It's all I ever wanted."
“Susan has created a center of equine excellence which delivers a rich and fresh experience of learning about all kinds of horse topics which i didnt even know I needed to know about. The teaching has been practical, relevant and knowledgeable inducing a state of body, mind and feeling compatible with great onward progress. I am taking away very useful new tools to use in my own horse world.
I only hope I can retain this level of practical and theoretical improvement after my return to England and that I can return here soon for further progress."
“And Breathe, Aaaaaaaah...
Anyone who has ever had a lesson from Susan knows what I am talking about.
In just one lesson, Nowata and me got so far, we functioned as one. One mind, one body. I could only think "I understand you". This feeling was so strong, intense and meaningfull, I had it eternalized in a tattoo.
Thank you Susan for that experience."
JULIE VAN VLASSELAER
“Coming from Singapore, Centro Ecuestre La Luz was different from any riding school I have ever been in. The teaching was more natural, more considerate to the horse and I was very happy not to have to use my whip, so guys, dont bother bringing yours ! The horse are healthy , happy, sensitive and very well schooled. A big thank you to Susan for being so nice and calm, the excellent teaching meant I could look at riding differently and really enjoy it . I finally learnt how to relax on a horse and feel the wonder of my horses legs. Also the groundwork which was totally new to me was great to help me understand how our body language and breath affects the horse. Being allowed to help out in the daily care of the horses was a great opportunity to learn stable management skills.
I hope i can return to this peaceful sanctuary for horses and humans, I will be recommending it to all my friends."
“Centro Ecuestre La Luz is beautifully situated in the hills and has a very sympathetic atmosphere. The horses are so happy and alive showing all their own personalities. I learned to communicate with horse, to befriend them and " work " with them, the excellent guidance from Susan helped me fell as close as you can get to talking with horses, reading them and sending them messages which they can understand."
“We have been so incredibly lucky to have met Susan and visit her at La Luz a number of times. What she says and teaches with respect to horsemanship also applies to so many other aspects of life and we have grown and learned a lot from her and her wonderful horses! It has opened new roads for us as it has made is become more aware. and once that happens, you dont ever want to go back but rather discover even more. I am so happy to see that she has found a platform to share her insights and experience. If you ever have the opportunity to go see her in person I would highly recommend dropping everything and GO!"
“I wanted to say THANK YOU to Susan. I own a 4 years old Arabian mare. We came from bucking, running, jumping to trot in 3 months. When I bought her she was ridden a few times, she has great potential and WOW bloodlines but is VERY sensitive. She bucked me off hardly 4 times and I thought wow, I bought a very expensive straight Egyptian mare and all we can do (probably) is to have nice foals with her. With Susan from Live and Breathe Horses we started from the very beginning.
Horsemanship, breathing, groundwork.
Lots of breathing and trying to connect with Minwah without pressure but with a save feeling for her. I can’t post any bucking videos because the last time she did that, my husband filmed, but switched the camera off to help me because I fell so hard and couldn’t breathe. So now I’m soooo happy that we can do a small trot!!! Even if it’s on the lunge I’m so proud.
Susan said, this horse is a GREAT TEACHER because she is so sensitive and smart and is giving feedback to every single movement of your muscles in your body.
So glad I bought Minwah to learn so many things about horsemanship AND me. Looking forward to learn lots of things about connecting with the horse with body and soul, feel the horse, breathing and lots more with you, Susan!"
"Such a beautiful place, with the square patio full of flowers, very open and easy going atmosphere and great surroundings. The horses are all such unique individuals great for making different contacts. With Unica I felt so grounded, alive, trusting and carried in her big warm presence. making it much more attractive to connect with what is underneath me. Sitting on the pad instead of a saddle helped alot with the feeling of connecting and grounding.
I am very proud of cantering and feeling so good about it, Susan your trust in me really helped alot!"
“Susan is an extremely gifted horse trainer and teacher!
We spent a day at her ranch learning how our body language, emotions and intention can direct horses without touch or sound. It was a very powerful and enlightening experience.
I highly recommend it!"
“This place is so peaceful and run from the heart, the horses are beautiful and so well balanced and the instruction has been very lovely, warm hearted, patient and brilliant. My goal was to stay with horses and get back to my security by handling them and reconnecting with them. After the death of my own horse 3 years ago I didnt know how to feel safe anymore around them. So this has brought me more than I ever could have expected, I am very happy also how the course was created directly around my personal needs. It has been heavens gift to stay here !"