Finding a New Focus

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Cindy Sydnor

Soon after returning to the United States, Cindy met Dr. Charles Sydnor, a neuro-ophthalmologist at Duke University, through friends. In 1979 Cindy married Dr. Sydnor and moved to their current location, Braeburn Farm in Snow Camp, North Carolina. They built a barn where Cindy continues to operate her teaching and training business.

She also became a mother, raising two sons and a daughter. Her daughter Eliza is a talented, focused rider who enjoys training horses, teaching and competing. Eliza also runs a successful teaching and training business out of the family farm.

"I may not be raising small children anymore, but helping Eliza keeps me busy," says Cindy.

In the 1970's and '80's Cindy trained numerous horses to the upper levels in dressage. She also found a new love in riding instruction. She trained dressage notables such as Jane Savoie and Kathy Connelly early in their careers, and while she does not consider herself their only trainer, she is proud to have contributed to these excellent riders' educations. Students who have come to Cindy for dressage training for eventing include Olympians Tad Coffin and Karen Stives, Mark Weissbecker and Robert Costello.

Today she continues to work with young horses and multiple students at Braeburn Farm. She also teaches quite a few clinics in Minnesota and Vermont, and Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Cindy’s philosophy is simple: "I want people to consider where the horse is coming from," she says. "You can't ride well until you're a partner with the horse. My goal in riding is not to prove anything, but to set a good example for the next generation. Just talking about riding isn't as effective as showing your students the way it's supposed to be."