LEAH KELLER, MANAGER
Leah has been working at the Bay Harbor Equestrian Center since the summer of 2005. Her training methods revolve around Natural Horsemanship, which embodies earning the trust of the horse in order to have a relaxed partnership. Believing relaxation is the most important key to any successful riding pair, Leah always uses these methods with her training horses and students. She has ridden with Natural Horsemanship experts such as Bob Blackwell, Bryan Neubert, and Buck Brannaman, as well as attending many clinics as an auditor.
Dressage is also an important part of Leah's training, as it helps the horse learn balance and furthers their education in lateral movements. She's taken several lessons from Maryal Barnett, who comes to Bay Harbor once a month all year for clinics. Lessons from Bettina Drummond and Courtney King-Dye have helped sharpen her dressage skills and knowledge.
"It is addicting to me to see a horse that was once nervous and troubled become trusting and relaxed. It's equally addicting to see a rider improve from day to day, learning how the horse thinks, and understanding how to react to every situation that occurs."
SUSAN KLIMAS, TRAINER
Susan joined the Bay Harbor Equestrian Center as a trainer in May 2011. A native of Harbor Springs, Susan began showing on the Hunter-Jumper circuit for Black Forest Hall at age 10. She became a Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Instructor in 1994, and since then has taught riding in both the United States and overseas. Prior to returning to Michigan in 2009, Susan worked as a riding instructor for the Singapore Polo Club and then moved on to serve as Head Instructor for the Riding for Disabled Association of Singapore.
“My background is primarily Hunter-Jumper, and I love to teach kids and adults to jump. I always felt that ‘something was missing’ in my riding career and have now found it in Natural Horsemanship. I am always seeking to further my knowledge of horses and those that benefit from these magnificent animals. I feel that an open mind and heart is the key to all aspects of horsemanship.”