Visit us at AnnClemons.com
4 WINDS EQUESTRIAN ARTS
An equine journey of self-discovery.
EQUINE FACILITATED LEARNING
Release pre-conditioned notions and the expectations of others to realize your dreams.
Horsemanship is not about control, frustration or ribbons. It is about the joy and freedom of living your own story with your horse.
Good for the body, soul and spirit.
Let the magic of horses and the beauty of New Mexico encourage and support your creativity.
Come to the Hacienda to follow your dreams and rediscover your roots.
We offer creative equine clinics and workshops. Prior experience with horses is not required.
Dressage lessons are available for the Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Albuquerque area ....including Dressage applied to other Equine disciplines.
Contact Ann for more information.
The principles of classical riding have been around for thousands of years.
These principles are the foundation for any horse-rider relationship.
They can and should be applied in any equine discipline.
Advancement through these principles creates the ultimate partnership.
Both horse and rider should experience joy in their activities together.
Teaching the application of these principles creates freedom for the horse and rider.
Please contact us for more details about lessons and workshops.
Reflection of the Dance
Strengthening and Nourishing Body, Soul and Spirit
Grazing with the Herd: From Devastation to Tranquility
SPIRIT AND THE HORSE expressed in clay tile murals.
Custom murals by request. Prices vary depending on size.
NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE:
REVIEWS of Ann's Novel Wild Spirits: Running with the Herd
WILD SPIRITS: Running With the Herd
a novel by Ann Clemons
Ann on Tour (book signings)
Two Wild Spirits — Hawk, a wild stallion, and Elena — forge an unlikely friendship in this story of self discovery, drought, lost souls and family.
They stood there like that, eyes fixed on each other. He with grain dribbling out the corners of his mouth as he chewed; she, shivering a little in spite of the warmth building in her chest. His ears were up and alert, pointed toward her, and she was concentrating on that warm feeling inside of her. The air felt like cool silk slipping around her and wrapping her in luxury, the evening light of dusk took on a gentle glow of gray and gold that reminded her of something that she couldn't quite put her finger on.
"I know you." The words whispered through her mind. She looked around but there was no one there but herself and the horse. Watching him carefully, she listened for more, but nothing. There were no more words. However, she felt like she could almost see the world in the horse's eyes. As she watched him, she felt as though she were being pulled into another place and time. She seemed to be falling into the dark liquid depths of his eye.
excerpt from Wild Spirits: Riding with the Herd
The two horses stood, looking down into the watery mirror. The sun created sparkling reflections in the water and Elena felt like their reflections were speaking to them in a silent, forgotten language. She found herself trying to understand, but the images began to shimmer and then fade. The harder she tried to understand the message that she felt was there, the dimmer the reflections became, until they were swallowed up in the darkness of night.
excerpt from Wild Spirits: Riding with the Herd, a novel by Ann Clemons
WHERE HAVE THEY GONE?
The Stallion stood looking through the close-knit wire that had been his prison for what seemed like an eternity. During his days of incarceration in this dusty dirt pen the desert sun had been beating down on the hard packed earth and everything that stood upon it without protection, including him. The insects were unbearable, biting everywhere they could find vulnerable skin. There was no shade in this tiny enclosure where he might find some temporary relief.
Where are the mares? he wondered again as he stood motionless in the heat, gazing out into the hills that had been the herd's winter home before the capture. These hills, the foothills at the base of the mountain, had been their winter range for generations. In the summer they would move higher up the mountain, sipping from the cool bubbling river water supplied by the snow melt from the mountain summit.
Now he licked his lips and turned to look at the small metal “pond” in his enclosure. Hopelessly he moved slowly to the rim of the tank and sniffed. His heart began to flutter and his knees trembled. The water had been fouled and was stagnated by death. The bloated body of a small animal floated in the sun heated water, and had been there for days. The Stallion's flanks were drawn up and gaunt from dehydration, and a stab of pain flew through his gut as another wave of colic tore through him.
As his knees buckled beneath him and he sank to the ground, his anguish peaked as he wondered again, WHERE ARE MY MARES?
The anguish and pain slowly drained away as his mind clouded and went dark.
. . . . .
Out of the fog the Stallion trotted toward the light, sniffing the air and gazing across the thick grassy fields around him. They were there! He could smell them! His band of mares and this season's crop of foals!
He let out a trumpeting call and the lead mare whinnied back. All was well. He galloped in her direction, a surge of freedom coursing through his blood. He was running now for the simple joy of feeling the earth rebound beneath his feet and the wind in his mane.
It was time to go. Time to move up to the summer range.
I recently brought my two old retired horses to live with me here on the mountain.
The move was not an easy adjustment for them. Chapon, my Appaloosa is blind in one eye, has cancer, and also got into the loco weed down South a few years ago (my little addict) and would be a perfect advertisement for “your brain on drugs”. But he continues to eat well and be happy.
Dodger is a retired Thoroughbred off the track with old stifle injuries and he is also blind in one eye...a recent occurrence.
These two have been together for over ten years and have become each other's support and courage. This is the first time they have been anywhere new in 6 years. At the ranch down South there are no neighbors and there is little moisture. So they have gotten used to a lot of peace and quiet where it is warm and dry....too dry.
Here on the mountain it is, of course, damper and colder which is hard on their old joints. There are neighbors not too far away so noise comes from that direction.
And while it is not an excessive amount of noise, there are enough trees between us that the noise makers cannot be seen. Evidently this is a real problem for a “brain on drugs”.
Something from across the fence spooked my Chapon and his locoed mind was unable to let go of whatever it was. He would stand frozen for hours on end, staring with his one eye toward the tree line, waiting for whatever danger lurked there. Dodger always stayed with him. When I fed their meals, I would have to take the halter and lead Chapon to the food, where “nurse Dodger” would remind him how to eat. I would also have to lead him to water. But he would not drink until Dodger would come and remind him how to do that too. His buddy was there for him every minute, staying close where touch was available when ever it was needed. After a couple of days, we resorted to a sedative to help release Chapon's mind from his terror, and he is now back to his normal, “brain on drugs” self.
Today I decided to try urging them to cross the stream because the grazing is better on the other side (no, really, the grass IS greener over there ”-) ). So I haltered Chapon and led him across the stream. He was more than happy to go with me and started right on up the trail. Usually, they follow each other no matter the destination. When I turned to check on Dodger, he had stopped a good 10 feet before the stream and was standing sideways to it, not looking at it, as if to say “no, please, I just can't”. Crossing that water was just something he could not handle.
Chapon and I went a little farther and waited, but it became obvious Dodger just couldn't do it even given the separation from his friend. The farther Chapon and I got from the stream the more agitated and panicky Dodger became. He whinnied and cried, but still could not bring himself to cross that water. So Chapon and I went back across the stream. I took the halter off Chapon, and he walked straight over to his friend and gently touched his nose, then gave him what I call a “nose hug” where there was an obvious communication between them and a visible relaxing.
I could see Dodger's tension release as he breathed out a sigh of relief that his friend was there to offer support and comfort.
Those two are a very real lesson in acceptance and compassion. Acceptance of their own weaknesses, and of each others.
Of late, I have been made so aware of disposable relationships. I am not just talking about human relationships. I am talking about human's relationships with each other and just as importantly with other species. It is as if many have forgotten that all living things come from the same place and there is no one species more important than another. Instead of gentleness, understanding and support, people just seem to prefer throwing lives away. Evidenced by abandonment, bodies thrown on the side of the road in garbage bags, animals turned out of homes they have lived in for years, people without families or support systems.
What I DON'T see thrown on the side of the road are, computers, iPods, flat screen TVs...I guess those things aren't too much trouble, and do not require love or compassion.
I would hope every one would learn to take a lesson from the rest of Earth's creatures. They do not have a human EGO, so they live their daily lives peacefully in pursuit of.......LIFE.