Sandy brings to the equestrian world an astute understanding of equine psychology and physiology. Her calm, kind approach to communication and development of even the most difficult horses, is second to none. She is capable of producing top level horses of all breeds, in dressage, eventing, as well as hunters and jumpers. Her passion is imparting the wealth of knowledge in whole horsemanship that she has learned as a lifelong equestrienne.
Raised in Southeastern Michigan, Sandy’s passion for horses and horsemanship has always been deep-rooted. From training sale horses in her early teens, to successfully competiting her high-strung warmblood at the upper levels of the jumpers, to ultimately falling in love with eventing in her twenties. During her college years she attended the world renowned Prolock Vale Equitation Centre in Somerset England, obtaining her BHS accreditations. For the fifteen years following her time at Prolock, Sandy evented through Preliminary with coach Robert Hutton, BHS Examiner and member of the Queen’s Guard. Upon returning to the States, Sandy spent the next twenty-three years under the tutelage of three time Olympian and USDF Hall of Fame inductee, Major Robert J. Borg. Together they trained off the track Thoroughbreds to Grand Prix, and though competition was not on their list of priorities, when Sandy did compete, she was exceptionally successful. Through Major’s coaching, she learned to listen to the horses, that each one, regardless of breed, has unique qualities which can be brought out and made special.
During this chapter of her career, Sandy is based out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. She looks forward to taking every opportunity to continue listening to each horse, and to translate their needs in order to assist their rider in becoming the best partner they can be. Whether Intro level or FEI, Sandy welcomes all levels of students. As the last active protégé of Major Borg, her mission is to carry on his phenomenal legacy and training philosophies to the best of her ability.
"His own life [Major Robert Borg] was the highest teaching example to which one could aspire. By instilling kindness with a will that is calm, yet inflexible, he brought out the best qualities of the horses and riders that crossed his extraordinary path. His indomitable will, strength, and courage enabled him to provide expert training to more than 600 horses over 45 years at his Thoroughbred Red Bob Farm in Oxford, Michigan. He took the raw material that presented itself to him, whether human or equine, and brought out the best that was in it. His students included Sandra Elwood and Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame members, Chuck Grant and Violet Hopkins. Elwood, a Grand Prix rider, said, “What Major Borg has done and taught has changed lives for horses and people, brought the rider and horse back together as a whole, instead of two separate entities.”"
- Excerpt from the induction speech of Major Robert Borg into The Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame, given by USDF President, Sammuel J. Barish
"Sandy is a very classically trained rider who has great instinct and is very empathetic and encouraging to the horses she works with. She has developed a great rapport with our young horses and is doing a wonderful job with them. We are really looking forward to watching as she takes them up the levels. We can't say enough good things about Sandy and the program at Santel Farms!"
- Kim & Allen MacMillan at Loon Creek Enterprises, Hunting, IN (Breeders of Sport Horses and Ponies for over 35) years