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Introducing Susan Derr Drake, Horse Listener > The Competitor

 You Tube: Susan Derr Drake Grand Prix Dressage Freestyle

Susan has competed in 116 Grand Prix de Dressage Tests including at World Cup and Olympic Qualifying Competitions.  Many times Susan was  the AHSA/USEF Judges Forum demonstrator on one of her self developed Grand Prix horses. She has been United States Equestrian Team Long listed and was the 1984 Olympics FEI Head Schooling Steward.  Before that she competed in over a thousand dressage tests from Training Level to Grand Prix on many horses leading to that point.  She was awarded the USET Asimus Scholarship to study with Arthur Kottas in Vienna, Austria.  For years Susan would fly to Germany twice a year for schooling, and attended clinics with the world's best coaches in Europe and the US.  Although she has learned great insights from so many gifted teachers, she gives greatest honor to Karl Mikolka for his genius work on the timing of aids, and Charles De Kunffy on Artistic relevance for her foundation. Her earlier years included showing Hunters, Jumpers, Arabians (Halter, Saddle Seat, Native Costume, Western Pleasure, Bareback classes), and as a child playing with Gymkana (Barrel Racing and Pole Bending).  She also was a stunt/rider in movies. While living in Turkey for 2 years she galloped a race horse on a race track, and was trained by International Jumping Coach in Turkey, jumping 4-5 foot  high fences. Her German coach would have her do Shoulder-ins and Half Passes between combinations to supple the horse. Her love of Dressage was born at that time in 1968. 

Susan is continually asked if she will compete again. She admits there is tremendous value in this one of many paths to personal growth, for a rider and the horse, from competition. But just for now, she enjoys the quiet intimacy in her Zen Garden Dressage Court at home. The peace and tranquility and deep connection win her heart and passion. She loves the time to help others on their path with all that she has learned. Her goal would be to bring this new way of harmonizing to the show ring or demonstration arena at some future date only if it does not compromise the softness, throughness, total relaxation, deep connection and joy developed and experienced between her and her horses at home.



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