Favorite Horses, Lifetime Goals, and Challenges

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sharon McCusker - Dressage Trainer and Coach

Sharon has been a successful FEI competitor for more than two decades with a number of different horses, but her two best Grand Prix horses – Peter the Great and Juli Sherif – are her favorites so far.

“Peter the Great was a really good horse. I learned so much with him,” Sharon affirmed. “He was really instrumental in helping me get a lot of my education and exposure and a lot of competitive experience. Horses are all so different – they all teach you something. They all bring something new to your training.

“The horse I have now, Juli Sherif, is a special horse.  He has an amazing work ethic. He’s smart and really works with the rider. Although basically laid back, you can make him hot – but when you drop the reins, he’s totally cool again. He has a great character and really loves his work.”

Summing up her career and goals, Sharon says, “Everything changes so much. I keep trying to improve, to be a better rider, to make my horses as good as they can be. That’s always been my goal and always will be. You never stop learning. Every horse is a new opportunity. As they develop and change, you’re learning more and more all the time.”

Sharon notes that the most challenging part of her career has been to keep a balance between her life as a full-time dressage professional and a full-time wife and mother. Sharon’s career not only includes managing her Souhegan Farm and all of the boarding, training, and sales aspects of it, but also continuing as a successful competitor, traveling to shows in the Northeast as well as seasonally in Florida.

“I have an incredibly understanding husband who has a lot of patience,” Sharon explains. “He has a passion of his own as a runner, so he can understand the commitment a sport takes.”

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