Lientje Schueler began her riding career at a young age on her parent’s farm in Germany. She moved to California at the age of fifteen to work Amy and Jan Ebeling. Returning to Germany to finish school, Lientje moved back to California as soon as she could. Only this time, she returned to work for Olympian Steffen Peters in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.
Schueler has been working for Steffen and Shannon Peters for four years and has moved into the role of assistant trainer. She began working for the Peters Team as a working student in the summer of 2005. Soon, she was offered the responsibilities of becoming a groom for Steffen’s top competition horses. Lientje worked her way up and now has achieved the title of assistant trainer. “I am completely amazed by the opportunities that Steffen and Shannon have provided me.”
Being an assistant for Steffen has its perks. Schueler’s main responsibilities include schooling horses for Steffen on a daily basis as well as riding them on the weekends when he is away at clinics. “My job now is a mixture of riding horses for Steffen and Shannon, as well as taking care of my two darlings, Marlando and Oliver who are owned by Lila Kommerstad and Akiko Yamazaki respectively.” Both Marlando and Oliver were previously ridden by Steffen. However, Schueler rode the two when Steffen was away teaching or competing. Steffen noticed how well Schueler worked with the horses and was impressed. Steffen approached the owners of these two horses and asked if they would allow Lientje to take over the rides. Both agreed, and now she strictly rides the two of them. “I have been lucky enough to not only ride these wonderful horses but also to compete them at Prix St. George and Intermediate-1. Marlando is mentally difficult; I can only ride him for twenty minutes at a time before he becomes super hot. He is the most challenging horse I have ever ridden!”
Not only does Schueler benefit from the gracious opportunities of being an assistant for Steffen, but she is also developing her own clientele. Currently, Schueler has several horses in training including Chocolat, a 5-year-old Swedish mare bt Bellini out of Ambience and owned by Pinky Roberts of Escondido, CA. Schueler plans to compete the mare in the 5-year-old young horse classes this year. After many scores topping the 70% mark last season, she is excited to go on with the mare. She says, “Chocolat is wonderful. She received scores in the 70’s at our first show together. My goal is qualify her for the 2009 USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships.”
Lientje is no stranger to the USEF Young Horse classes. Last year one of Steffen and Shannon’s clients, Michelle Cooper, qualified on her lovely mare Lucky Girl BC (Hanoverian mare by Londonderry out of Westerlust for the 2008 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Dressage Championships. The pair was ranked seventeenth going into the championships. Unfortunately, Cooper injured herself just weeks before the competition. Schueler stepped in to ride the horse while Cooper recovered. Cooper decided to allow Lientje to take Lucky Girl to the championships in Kentucky were the two finished tied for Reserve Champion. “I was a really good learning opportunity, and I am thankful to Michelle for giving me the chance to compete Lucky Girl.”
Schueler looks ahead and states that she would like to have a training barn of her own and to expand her clientele. However, she wants to stay with Steffen Peters Dressage. “I think it’s a good combination to have and develop my own clients as well as having the opportunity to work the Steffen.”
Both Steffen and Shannon are extremely appreciative of Schueler’s dedication and hard work. Steffen explained that his training barn has grown quickly, and he needed someone to step in and help him. However, he did not just want anyone. He wanted someone with a super attitude, a superb work ethic and a successful show record. Steffen explained that, “It is important in this business to surround yourself and your clients with people that are hard working, dedicated, and that have positive attitudes. Finding people that are not only good people but also enthusiastic about work is difficult and Lientje is just that!” As a result of Lientje’s hard work and commitment to Steffen and Shannon, she has enabled for S.P. Dressage to expand and achieve even greater success.