Susan Leyland was born in 1952 and grew up in England near Cambridge. Her grandfather, a veterinarian and horse breeder, gave her her first pony at the age of four, establishing what would become a life-long passion for horses. Her school years were spent away from home at boarding school where she enjoyed sports, riding and studying, especially art and art history; she began to draw and paint in her free time. After finishing her studies she worked for a year as a secretary at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, and then in 1973 she moved to Italy making Florence her home. Here Susan worked as a fashion model from 1973 – 1980 with a number of fashion houses including Ferragamo. Susan married in 1978 and moved to Impruneta, where her family was completed with the arrival of her two sons in 1981 and 1986. From 1982 - 2000 she worked as an English language teacher and then as a riding instructor. Since her early school days Susan had drawn and painted avidly in her free time and this love of art and creativity continued through her adult life. She became fascinated by the work of the Impruneta terracotta artisans and encouraged by the Mariani family Susan began to make her first sculptures. In 1998 Susan held her first exhibition, the success of which led to a second exhibition at the Galleria Tornabuoni the following year. In 2000 Susan made the decision to dedicate her time to her equestrian sculpture, so uniting her love of horses and art.