Lani Sattler has spent her entire life with horses. For more than 30 years she has specialized in teaching beginning riders, and she brings this talent to her work at Mount Holyoke College, where she has taught for 10 years.
When she’s not at the Equestrian Center, Sattler is busy running a small breeding and training facility in Holyoke, Massachusetts. She raises and trains Morgans, which she shows competitively in carriage driving. The highlight of her competitive career was winning the 2000 World Championship in Okalahoma City with her home-bred and home-trained “G’s Excellent Venture.” The pair scored third in the 2001 World Championship.
Sattler has participated in riding and driving clinics with Lisa Singer, Bill Lower, Pam Pruitt, Lendon Gray and the late Meri Straz. From each instructor, she looks for ways to better communicate with her horses. She is also an accomplished dressage rider, regularly showing her horses at local shows.
Sattler frequently asks her students at Mount Holyoke whether they think their riding class is only about learning to ride. She feels that riding parallels life and the challenges everyone faces. Through these challenges, students learn about themselves, and as a result, riding comes more easily. In her classes, riding is a positive experience, and she instills in her students love and respect for the horse. She also emphasizes the importance of laughter and not taking oneself too seriously.