Header image alt text

Ann Clemons

the blog of author Ann Clemons

About Ann Clemons

My life has been about horses…Always.  Mother said the first word I learned was “Horse” and the second word I learned was “NO”.  Birthdays and Christmas were always difficult until my 9th year when i was given riding lessons for my birthday. Then a pony . Then a horse for my 12th.  I have not been without since.

Throughout school, I took every art and music class that the curiculum offered. My art instructors often got frustrated with the consistancy of my subjects of interest….horses, of course, and they tried to steer me in new directions, but I stayed with what I knew and loved.

As a teenager I had the opportunity to ride in Foxhunts on the occasional Saturday, and barrel race on Sundays. My Mom drove me an hour away to the Battle Creek Hunt for jumping lessons once a week, shaking her head as I went through a box of kleenex on the trip home….allergies…it never fazed me.

By the time I was in High School I was teaching riding  and exercising race horses on the weekends. On Saturdays i apprenticed with a local saddlemaker. The year I graduated i went to work for an AQHA judge and Cutting Horse trainer.

When I reached 20, I was living in Wyoming and working on a cattle ranch. The contacts I made there brought me to New Mexico where I worked starting colts for a roper who also bought claimers and took in lay-ups from the race track. One thing lead to another and I did a short stint at the Santa Fe track working for a popular trainer that had 30+ head in training.

Soon I left the Track and began training for a private barn, working mostly with 3-day Event and reining horses. When my boss cut back on horses and business, I went to work for myself: Teaching, training and managing shows. During this time I began Dressage lessons and putting on schooling shows locally. I was in my mid 20’s.

Now I am 56 yrs old, and have remained self employed in the equine world for over 30 yrs. At 27, i married and we built a log cabin in the mountains…and of course a barn and arena 🙂 I had many students, and we trailered to Albuquerque for shows; mostly dressage and H/J. And the Albuquerque riders trailered up the mountain to our schooling shows. At times we had so many riders that we ran three arenas and three judges. It was a busy , happy time in the horse world.

From there we moved to Southern Colorado, and I continued what i was doing and drove the two hours weekly to work with the students I had in NM. Then, at the ripe old age of 34, my focus was forced to change. i got sick and had to give up most of what i had.My husband and I split up and Sold the farm, some of the horses, and I moved around the country trying to find a medical facility/ Dr that could help me move forward. During that time I taught at a college that  two year Equine Business program, I boarded broodmares in Kentucky, and i trained for an event farm in Oklahoma. The doctors tested and tested, but could not come up with a workable theory, and no course of treatment. i was told I had Lupus. I was told I had MS. I was told I would have to give up working and go on disability. None of that was correct, and I continued to work with the horses and wound up back in Colorado after four years of wandering the country, horses, dog and cats in tow.

Still trying to find answers to my health issues, I joined a gym. When I started working out, i could only lift two lbs, and walk for ten minutes on the treadmill. In a year’s time, i had three national certifications and was working as a Personal Fitness Trainer with a focus on special populations. Then I wound up living near Albuquerque, working in a local gym, still trying to find answers to my health issues, and still riding my horses and teaching lessons.

I was a Fitness Trainer and riding instructor during the day, and taking Tai Chi classes and Kajukenbo classes at night. In my tai Chi class i met a Homeopath/Kinesiologist/Chiropractor.

He wanted to learn to ride, and he had many ideas about my health issues. So we traded professional services. This alliance turned out to be one of the most important of my life.

We won the battle!  I am still fighting the war, but I am also still working and living a relatively normal, active life. Normal for me , anyway “-) At the gym, I was training many police officers and academy hopefuls.  On a dare, i entered into the fitness testing for three seperate police departments…..passing all three tests over a period of nine months. For the record, I also passed the written testing in the top ten percent and almost found myself in a new profession that i had never bargained on!  Oh….found out I was a pretty good shot too !

I went to Portugal and rode Lusitanos. This was one of the most awesome experiences of my life 🙂 That will be a chapter in my next book

In the past 15 years I have judged many shows, and taught riding clinics around the country.

Painting had always been one of my favorite art forms, but then I discovered clay, and began making clay tile murals, which is much fun since I get to play in the mud, sculpt AND paint (glaze), You can find pics of my murals on my web page,www.4WindsEquestrianArts.com along with samples of my writing.

Three belts in, the Kajukenbo proved to be too much physical strain for me…but I did love it!

For fun and funds, i worked as a park attendant for Open Space and got paid for hiking in the foothills of the mountain.

This mountain that I live on now is incredible. Full of bear, elk, deer, turkey and numerous other four legged cousins.

And of course…..I still have my best friends…..my HORSES!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *