Sylvia Stössel grew up in a small village surrounded by donkeys and ponies and caught the 'horse bug' at an early age.
She started riding ponies at the age of 6, having regular 'conventional' lessons for the next 6 years. She then rode regularly in her native Switzerland until leaving school.
After working with young race horses in Switzerland and New Zealand, as well as running her own stables, she began her adventures in lightness after buying her first Lusitano and discovering a different way of riding through the books of Nuno Oliveira.
She then spent several years as a working student in Portugal, training with master horseman João Trigueiros de Aragão and other members of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art.
Despite this already impressive background, during her first ever lesson with Philippe Karl in 2000 Sylvia says she was "blown away" by the positive effects of his teaching and philosophy. In 2004, she subsequently became the organiser of - and a participant in - the first ever School of Légèreté teacher's course held in Switzerland.
In 2007, Sylvia became one of only a handful of riders to be awarded the teacher's licence of the School at level 4.
As well as teaching her own clients she has continued to organise regular clinics in Switzerland for both Philippe Karl and Bea Borelle until the present day.
In 2011, Syliva was nominated by Philippe Karl as a Master Teacher of the School and since then has been responsible for running teachers' courses in Australia.
In 2017 she also became President of APPEL, the Association for the Promotion of the School.
From 2020, Sylvia is the master teacher responsible for delivering the teachers' courses of the School in the UK.