Susan Lang graduated from the USDF L Program over 12 years ago, and has served as an officer of Kansas Dressage and Eventing Association (KDEA) for over 25 years. She is also a USEF ‘r’ Dressage Technical Delegate, a member of the USDF Technical Delegate Committee, a USEF “R” Western Dressage Judge, and an AQHA Western Dressage Judge. She competed her previous mount, a Pinto Dutch Warmblood, through Fourth Level and is now starting another Pinto Oldenburg on his dressage journey. Susan also organizes all the KDEA schooling shows and teaches in the local area. She is also an ambassador for The Dressage Foundation in Kansas.
How long have you been involved in the sport?
I have been involved in dressage since 1987.
How long have you been a USDF member?
I have been a USDF member since 1987.
What made you decide to participate in the USDF L Education Program?
I wanted to know what judges were looking for so that I could be a better competitor, and better understand the Pyramid of Training.
How long did it take to complete the program, start to finish?
It took 1.5 years to complete the program, as Region 4 did not have shows to host the D-1, D-2, and Final Exam, so I had to join the Houston L Program Part 2 to finish.
Do you plan to further your dressage education and to continue to apply what you learned in the program to become a licensed official?
I decided instead to become a USEF Dressage Technical Delegate, rather than pursuing a USEF judge’s license.
Do you serve as a judge for schooling shows in your capacity as an L Graduate? If so, on average, how many per year?
I judge about 4 to 5 shows a year as an L Graduate.
What impact did the program have on your dressage knowledge?
It is the basis for competing, teaching, training, and giving back to my community. USDF’s L Education Program is a great program, and I promote it to all! Recently, the Alamo Dressage Society held a “Taste of the L Program” and I advised all my students to sign up and attend the virtual sessions!
Name three things you took away from the program that you think every rider should know.
Three things I took away from the program: Judge’s want to see you do well. Know and understand the Training Scale. Read your tests- they are a roadmap to improving you and your horse’s partnership! Biomechanics matter! (OK, that’s 4)
Have you participated in or completed other USDF programs? Describe.
Other programs I have participated in include Technical Delegate seminars, Adequan®/USDF FEI-Level Trainers Conference, Upgrade Your Judging Eye, other University Credit programs, and have earned my USDF University Gold Diploma. I am also a member of 2 other GMOs.
Have you served in any other official capacity with USDF (council/committee member, council/committee chair, PM/GM delegate, board member/Regional Director, etc.)? Please describe.
I have been the KDEA delegate at Convention (have been to all but about five conventions since 1990) and a member of the USDF Technical Delegate Committee for three years, among other roles.
Tell us about your horse(s).
I have a coming-5-year-old Pinto Oldenburg cross gelding that I will be competing in both English and Western Dressage. I board him at Capall Stables in Wichita, KS, and also teach a limited number of lessons in the Wichita area, focusing on rider biomechanics to create better harmony with the horse.