Testimonials from Susan's students

I had not ridden a horse for many years. I had grown up riding Hack line (“Horse’s for Hire”) horses and never learned the proper way to ride. I had no confidence, and some serious health concerns. I have a very bad back (3 herniated discs) peripheral neuropathy (I don’t feel my legs below the knee) as well as other issues. So needless to say, I was scared to death. I am 57 yrs old and did not want to spend my remaining days not doing what was always so near and dear to my heart (Horses).

Susan started me from the very basics, learning about bits, bridles, saddle fits, grooming, etc. We began ground work and she taught me how to gain the respect of whatever horse I was working with. Susan was the most thorough trainer I have ever seen. Using gentle methods, I slowly learned and practiced the ground work, which she taught me the importance of. She worked with my handicaps and after falling down several times (and taking Susan with me), I began to make some progress and gain my confidence. There was one point I had fallen on top of Susan and we both laid on the ground, laughing as “Sergio” (her horse) looked over us, wondering as if he did something wrong!

When I began to ride on a regular basis with Susan, she watched and corrected my every move. She has an amazing eye for seeing what you are doing even when you think you are not being watched! We rode many hours on the trails at Rarity Bay and my confidence began to grow little by little.

I got so much more with Susan than I bargained for. She even found me my wonderful super horse “July” who is now living with me. I am enjoying him very much and we are a very good fit together. I also gained an awesome friend with Susan. I know I can call her anytime with any question I might have. My niece will be starting her training this summer, and I have no doubt, that she will grow tremendously under Susan’s tutelage.

p.s. Susan is so good, I drove an 1 1/4 hours each way for my training. She was worth it!
— Jacqueline Russel
Riding in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park is a wonderful experience but it can sometimes be challenging. I trail ride with Susan Brown. There are no trails too steep, or trails too narrow or streams too wide when we spend the day challenging the mountain. Distance is measured by the amount of day light we have available. She will sometimes ride her horse Sergio but often she is on someone’s young horse that she is training. We have fun and when the day is over I realize that I have learned new skills while riding with her.
— Carey McHugh in TN
Last year I started exploring getting a gaited horse but knew nothing about them so I went exploring on the Internet and discovered Susan Brown whose specialty is gaited horses. I went to Rarity Bay to start taking lessons from her and soon found that I had met a real horse woman. Susan makes sure that you understand basic horsemanship and the underlying concepts surrounding horse behavior.

Susan guided me through the process of finding my Spotted Saddle Horse who is the best possible match for me. She further trained my horse Bangles to be an incredible trail horse making sure that I would have as safe a horse but also a very comfortable gaited ride.

Thank you Susan !
— Barbara Gordon, TN
Susan is a horse whisperer: She talks to, listens to, and understands horses. She gets impressive results from a horse in relatively short time spans. And she’s pretty darn good with the humans who own/ride these wonderful animals. No matter how much experience or knowledge you have, you’ll learn something from Susan. I’ve watched her with a number of horses and riders, and have personally benefited from her lessons. She’s simply terrific.
— John Wood, TN
When the elements of consistency that Susan teaches are in place with my horse and me, riding is much more pleasurable! My eleven year old gaited horse and I have been working with Susan for some time. Her step by step instruction has taken us from establishing good ground manners to in-saddle exercises that insure us a smoother and safer ride. Susan is able to approach skills from many different angles, and she offers so many tips that are both skill building and easy to understand. Sharon Elmore
— Sharon Elmore, TN

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Susan Brown has helped me come a long way in a short time. I’ve only been a client for a few months, but feel like I’ve known her for years. Her enthusiasm for her “job” is catching; now, I treat groundwork as fun time for me and my horse, when in the past I tended to view groundwork as a necessary evil. Before, it was something I “had” to do to “make” my horse respect me; now I see it in a new light, as a way for me and my horse to understand and respect each other. I plan on being a client and friend for years to come!
— Dawn Opolony, Wheaton, IL
Susan Brown knows Tenn Walking Horses.

I was fortunate to find Susan. Living in Atlanta it is difficult to find a trainer that actually knows gaited horses. Most, in my expereince, apply their knowledge of trotting horses to gaited horses which is not what I wanted. As a new TWH owner and new to horses in general the realization came to me that I really needed lessons for the benefit of my horse and to improve my riding experience. After contacting Susan we decided that I need a basics to intermediate training course and some time on the trails, all with her horses, so I can experience a well trained TWH and all of their wonderful gaits. Well I spent 12+ hours over a 2 day period with Susan and her horses and my transformation from a “bag of freight” on a horses back to a comfortable and confident rider was immediate. More than a few of the “high end” riders where I board and sometimes trail ride with were impressed at the transformation.

Susan has a special ability to read her student and apply lessons in a way to maximize success, she makes the lessons fun and her knowledge of gaited breeds, riding skills and trail riding are 2nd to none, she even explained ettiquette and saftey equipment never to be without on a trail ride.

I would highly recommend Susan regardless of riding abilty and hope to continue my lessons including my horse this time so that someday I can ride as effortlessly as she does. It truly is Riding with Pleasure.
— Bill Klenk, Atlanta, GA
“I am a new student with Susan. What drew me to her is her personal style and attention to my needs/goals. After meeting her, I discovered that she is easy to take direction from, and has a love for training horses and their riders.”
— Chuck Mann, Rockford, Il
I wish to thank you for all of your help. I came to you in December of 2008, without much horse knowledge. Basically all I knew was what went in the front end and what came out the back. My goal was to learn to ride, purchase a horse that would be suitable for trail riding with my 8 year old granddaughter, and learn to control my horse through natural horsemanship. Your patience with me paid off and you have helped me achieve all of these goals.

You were the one that put me on to Gunner. You suggested that I go take a look at Gunner near Indianapolis. Gunner first came to Indian Hills on April 9, 2009. Since that time I have put in quite a bit of time in the saddle and with your help we have become good buddies. He is truly an intelligent and respectful horse and it is only through your training that I have been able to maintain that relationship and become a confident rider.

I must relate an experience I had this past Sunday. I was riding in the ring coming up near the stage when all of a sudden I heard a loud noise that sounded like an explosion. One of the large side panels had dropped down. Needlesss to say it scared Gunner as well as me. Gunner jumped and I immediately pulled his head to the left. We did a half spin and he was then under control, all the while I remained upright in the saddle, a testament to your training. You had prepared me for the unexpected.

I am sure I will be back for additional training, so you haven’t seen the last of me. Your love of horses, your love of teaching and sharing your experiences make you special.
— John Schroeder, Geneva
I spent a week as Susan’s shadow in order to improve my riding of my Kentucky Mountain who didn’t gait often or consistently. I had decided to invest in my own riding (figuring I was the problem and not the horse!) and was looking for someone with gaited horses and who used classical dressage and I found Susan’s website. Lo and behold, when I came home (I live many, many hours away so bringing my horse wasn’t an option) and got my horse out on the trails, she started racking up a storm and hasn’t stopped. Even her already gorgeous gallop is softer and a dream (yeah, I know some people don’t think you should canter a gaited horse but when they do it as well as mine, it is a crime not to!). Susan helped me get a better position vis-a-vis the rack that I was looking for and a better feel for how it should feel and be ridden. She explains things clearly and builds on each little piece. I learned a ton in just a week and definitely will go to back for a second boot camp! Thanks Susan - racking is just way too much fun and my horse and I come back each ride with a big huge smile on our faces!!
— JoAnne Turnball, Montreal Canada