Lehua Custer was born and raised in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Her love affair with horses began at an early age with her first horse, a frisky Appaloosa named Thunder. She would spend every free moment galloping bareback through the local town.
After completing high school, Lehua received a scholarship to attend college at Pepperdine University in Malibu where she received her BA in Psychology. As a graduation gift her mother paid for riding lessons with the two-time Olympian and founder of Dressage on the West Coast, Hilda Gurney. After Lehua’s very first lesson, Hilda offered her a job at Keenridge Farms as her Assistant Trainer…..and Lehua was hooked! She spent the following 9 1⁄2 years working, training and learning from Hilda.
Lehua has started countless young horses under saddle that went on to become outstanding dressage mounts and had the rewarding pleasure of training some of those young horses from training level all the way to Grand Prix. Lehua has also presented horses at the Oldenburg and Dutch Warmblood keurings each season.
In 2010, after developing expert skill, as well as the ever elusive “feel”, equipped with comprehensive training and experience from working with Hilda, Lehua completed and graduated from the USDF “L” Program with distinction, while earning her USDF Gold Medal. Lehua was ready to venture out on her own and hence Lehua Custer Dressage (LCD) was created!
Over the past 5 years Lehua has built a solid, loyal client base, as well as a stellar reputation in Southern California, based at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. She is proud to have a string of wonderful horses and enthusiastic riders participating and winning regional and national championships at all levels.
Some of her more recent accomplishments include:
- Earning USDF gold, silver and bronze medals
- Completing the USDF “L” judges program with distinction
- Serving as a Board member for DASC
- Serving as a Board member for the CDS LA Chapter
- Winning USDF High point champion with FJ Ramses / First Level
- Being selected as a dressage judge at the Special Olympic World Games in LA, 2015
- Participating in the FEI Young Horse Program with several horses
- Becoming a USDF certified instructor through 2nd level
- Being selected as a demo rider for the young horse observation clinic with Scott Hassler 2014
- Being selected as a demo rider for the 2015 CDS annual meeting and Symposium
- Coaching young rider, Bryce Quinto, to a 7th place finish at the USEF National Equitation finals 2013