It's All About Balance
Born in Jamaica of English/Scottish descent, I am bound to be a misfit of sorts, and I’m okay with that, as my looks and my voice and outlook on life do not match most people’s expectations of me. Being different is something I have grown accustomed to, and maybe the greatest difference is that I am not afraid to be different!
I was raised a farm girl. Being around animals as playmates – since my only brother was 12 years my senior – allowed me to tune into my intuition and powers of observation very early in life. No iPhones or computers back then. My father was always amazed that I knew which cows were not feeling well, and sure enough he would end up treating them for mastitis. That came naturally to me, and in the quiet country setting of rural Jamaica, I grew close to the earth, and learned to love and respect all life. Our animals were kept humanely, living in fields and some ended up in the freezer, but they had a good life regardless. I understood the cycle of life, and my greatest joy was playing with my rabbits, the chickens, dogs and cats on the farm. They all were my friends, we understood each other. My family enjoyed the simple things in life like picnics together, watching the moon and the stars on those clear incredible tropical nights, and listening to the waves crashing on the beach on a full moon night. Life was simple then.
Throughout life I have moved countries 3 times, and I had to learn to adapt to a very different culture. I always loved horses, they became my passion. Life’s journey has taught me many things, far too numerous to mention here – but suffice it to say – I am hoping that some of what I learned will help others in their journey, whether it is the relationship with your horse you wish to work on, or the relationship with yourself. I am a deeply Spiritual person, in the sense that I respect all life, and I believe we are all connected. Like the Native peoples, I believe that every rock, tree, animal, mineral and plant has a wisdom to it, a lesson for us if we will only stop and listen.
For those of you who think I may have something of value to add to your life, I promise you the following:
I am present, committed, and bold
I am authentic – everything I teach has been learned from my own life experience
I will maintain confidentiality and integrity on all levels
I will give you validation for your emotions by being a good listener
I will be the hand you can grasp if you decide to reach for it
I will respect your journey and you as an individual
2011 – present – CHA Level 2 riding instructor – owner/Operator at Ann’s Horsemanship based in Agassiz, and serving the lower mainland. Currently teaching at Miellie Meadows.
2001 – 2011 - Wit’s End Equine Rehab Centre. In May of 2001 my husband and I purchased a 6 acre farm in Abbotsford, B.C. where we designed and built the barn, paddocks, ring etc., to accommodate our therapeutic rehabilitation centre. Together we operate doing Structural Alignment, Massage Therapy, herbs, homeopathy and a variety of treatments in our holistic practice.
1997 - 2001 – worked for myself full time as an Equine Sports Massage Therapist, servicing clients with high end hunter and dressage horses from Hope to Squamish.
1992 - 1997 - Canada
In 1992 we returned to Victoria, B.C. where I worked for 3 years at Bear Hill Riding School in Saanich. I taught 4 lessons a week, including some mentally challenged teenagers. I also ran summer camps for all ages and abilities of riders for 3 summers. In 1994 I took the Equissage Equine Sports Massage Therapy course in Virginia USA and became certified. My years of rehabilitating racing and polo injuries in Jamaica alongside vets was very useful. I began building a clientele and moved to Langley in 1997.
1982-1992 - Jamaica
I rode and retrained Thoroughbred racehorses off the track, I took one to Intermediare II Dressage and was short-listed to ride in the Pan Am games as an individual for my country in 1990. I found a corporate sponsor to buy me a dressage horse to compete in the Pan Am Games with, which Robin Hahn tried out for me. Due to foreign exchange restrictions in Jamaica at the time, the deal fell through. I did one year of private lessons with Jan Royce Conant - FEI Judge and USET Dressage coach, and following that, a year of private tuition in Classical Dressage with Livia Mann, a member of the Belgian Dressage team in the 1960’s who was retired and living on the island. During this time I worked closely with the equine vets on the island and rehabilitated many racing and polo injuries, including bowed tendons, suspensory strains, hock strains and rear end pulls.
1987 - 1992 - Jamaica
Owned, operated Dalkeith Riding School. Trained horses, taught all levels of riders, adults and children (two of which competed for Jamaica in competitions in Puerto Rico and Columbia). I had a string of 30 horses, boarders and school horses. I ran summer camps for 6 years, took out tourist trail rides, and worked as a consultant for trail rides in two resort hotels, Sandals and Hedonism in Negril. I was also hired by a business man to fly to the States and purchase a string of trail horses along with all the equipment to start up his own tourist trail riding business in Negril. Ibecame a certified Special Olympics coach and attended the first ever Caribbean Special Olympics coaching seminar in 1989, and two of my athletes represented Jamaica in the Special Olympics in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 1990. Together with Alpart Alumina Partners I built a community riding arena with sand donated from a local sand and gravel company.
EDUCATION & ASSOCIATIONS
Bishop Gibson High School, Jamaica - Completed Grade 13
Alpha Commercial College - Basic Secretarial and Business course (one year)
Blue Ribbon One and Two - Sales and Marketing - Braemar Ladies Fashions
Basic Computer course - Camosun college, Victoria, B.C.
Basic First Aid - Camosun college, Victoria, B.C.
Medical Terminology - Camosun college, Victoria, B.C.
Equissage Equine Sports Massage Course - Virginia USA
First Aid and First Responder for Horses - Kwantlen college – Langley
Co-contributor author of Alternative Animal Health in B.C. published in 2004.
Member of the International Association of Equine Practitioners.
Business member of Horse Council B.C.
Certified CHA Level 2 English Coach
Published Author of Riding from the seat of your Soul in Ride Magazine
Monthly columnist in Agassiz Observer, 2017