Urszula & Valentino
Susan & Maurice of 3L Ranch
Urszula Kietlinska, San Diego, CA
I have been coming to the 3L Ranch for many different events over the years. Every time I was amazed with their hospitality and knowledge in horsemanship. I have always received help and the tools necessary to progress and develop my skills. They are very devoted and talented teachers. I feel very privelged and lucky to be taught by them. Thanks to Susan and Maurice I can fully enjoy my time with my horse and feel safe. I love them both!
Will Friday of Performance Equine Body Work
Will Friday, Topanga, CA
Performance Equine Bodywork
Maurice and Susan represent a combination of experience and talent in working with horses and their owners that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Drawing on a life time of classic training in a variety of disciplines, they really meet the horse and rider exactly where they are, with exactly what they need. Some trainers are experts at focusing on the horse, others focus on the rider. Susan and Maurice see the alchemy between horse and rider and deliver their focused training to produce a horse and rider partnership unlike what we see elsewhere. Maurice and Susan can help you determine your goals – whether it’s the dressage court or real ranch riding skills – and they will get you there in an effective and fun loving way. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with them at their 3L Ranch.
Aleesha Adams, Shadow Hills, CA
I first met Susan Nelson Thibault in 2006. As a trainer myself with several of my own horses I am always trying to further my knowledge and diversify my tools and approaches. I am extremely overprotective of my own (and my clients) horses as I know just how detrimental a bad training session can be for a horse. If I’m completely honest when I left England I never expected to find a trainer I shared that degree of trust and admiration with as my trainer Sue Edwards; 5* event rider, Grand prix dressage rider, key member of the British Eventing Coaching Development Team. So as you can see, extremely big boots to fill!
Cut to today, Susan is the only person I train my horses and my clients horses with. The thing that sets Susan apart is her experience and knowledge base as well as her insanely keen observation skills. Not only can she see, exactly what I am feeling in any moment but she has been there and knows exactly what I am feeling, exactly what needs correcting and exactly what needs addressing, whether that be riding a particular exercise, improving my timing, improving my position or even my mindset and the picture I’m creating in my head. She is by far the closest trainer I have worked with in the United States who teaches the way in which we are trained to “coach” rather than “instruct” in England.
A Coach explains the issue, answers any questions, provides an exercise in which you can practise addressing that issue so you can then work through it yourself. This enables the rider to feel the feedback, and notice and feel any imbalances, perhaps a loss of impulsion, too much flexion, not enough responsiveness and the trainer can guide you through to find the correct balance. An instructor may tell you what to do in the moment, what aid to use, but that's great for fixing it in your lesson, but not so helpful the next time you are riding by yourself.
The other thing that sets Susan apart from other trainers is her understanding of the skills and abilities of each person she teaches. She know exactly when to simplify and build confidence, She knows exactly when to work through an issue on the ground, or when she can ask her rider to trust her and work through to a more relaxed point even when (which on many occasions I was) not as confident in my own ability as she was; But she has NEVER let me down. I have always finished every single lesson with more confidence and a new tools for my tool box and I have never finished a lesson even thinking “that didn’t work” or “I don’t understand why we did that today”. In my opinion, a great trainer should be able to answer any question in not only a truthful way but in terminology that makes sense to me. Susan has never failed to explain exactly why she sets me a particular exercise or use an aid at a certain moment and in my eyes she is the trainer I hope I will be in the future. And because Susan is always furthering her own knowledge base with every different size, breed and horsenality there is out there, I will always have her there to keep aspiring to, and yet,she has no ego and is the most down to earth, approachable and genuinely caring horse person I know and has grown to be a very dear friend indeed.
Aleesha & Peroni