Susy Stark grew up in Monmouthshire, South Wales, and began learning to ride at the age of six at a local riding stables. After a series of loan ponies she had her own horse at the age of fourteen. Matt was a scrawny, two year old, 14.2hh black Welsh Section D gelding, whom Susy backed and trained herself. Once he was four she started competing at local shows, whilst still helping at the riding school. Susy was very involved in the day to day running of the yard and helping with lessons and the younger children with their ponies.
At the age of seventeen she bought another young horse; Otis, a bay 16hh Welsh Section D, so that she could expand and develop her schooling and training methods, and experience. Two years later, in 2009, Susy enrolled at Usk equine college on an Equine Business Management Course, which incorporated the BHS exams. At the end of the academic year, armed with her BHS Stage I and II, Susy and Otis relocated to Berkshire to gain work experience at a busy riding stables. After a month she was offered an advanced apprenticeship.
Twelve months later Susy had passed her NVQ level three in Horse Management, BHS Stage III, PTT, Stage IV, and completed her AI portfolio, to become a responsible member of staff. Susy continued to build her experience and knowledge, whilst also competing successfully in dressage with Otis.
In 2012 she left this busy riding school to become Yard Manager at another Berkshire riding stables. Here Susy developed her teaching skills and increased her knowledge about the business aspect of running a riding stables, by completing the NVQ level three in Equine Business Management. During her time at this yard, she realised that teaching people to ride is her true passion.
In June 2014 Susy took the big step and became a freelance instructor, setting up her own business, Stark`s Equitation. Susy currently divides her time between teaching individual clients on their own horses, exercising and schooling horses, as well as offering her clipping services. Susy also teaches at rallies and camps for The Vale of Aylesbury Hunt Pony Club and Garth South Pony Club.
In the autumn of 2016 Susy took back the ride on Matt while her Mum recovered from an operation. In October, Susy took Matt to the British Riding Club Area 6 Novice Dressage Qualifiers - his first dressage competition in seven years, and only his third test in his life. They won the prelim class, thus qualifying for the championships in April. Matt returned to Susy for four weeks preparation in March, and in April 2017 they contended the Novice Championships. To her surprise, she and Matt were crowned the overall individual winners.
After spending the latter half of 2016, and the first half of 2017 studying hard, Susy successfully passed her Intermediate Teaching Test in June 2017, giving her the title of BHS II.
In her spare time Susy also writes a daily blog; The Rubber Curry Comb, and has published the first five books in the children`s series The Awelon Tyn Stories. Susy has collaborated with Rose Lewis and Georgie Hibberd, who illustrate the books in the Awelon Tyn series.