Kat DeMas Mulkey
Four Season's Farm
I have known Anne Kenan for over 20 years. I had the good fortune to work with her sporadically as a junior, and I began to learn a different way of riding that was more based in the horse’s point of view. Once I turned professional after college, I continued to turn to Anne as I learned how to train horses and riders. Anne’s teachings have provided the base for my belief system of how to work with horses.
She taught me how to always look to create quality in every horse, and she believes in trying to get every horse to be the best they can be. I have learned how to reschool horses, and start young ones. She helped me realize how rewarding it is to bring along young horses- it is my very favorite thing to do thanks to her influence. She taught me how to do proper ground work, and the importance of getting a horse to come through themselves and work through their body parts freely. I could go on and on about what I have learned from Anne, and the single most important thing is to always strive to keep your horses happy.
I am now able to directly expose my students to her teaching a few times a year when she comes for clinics. I love watching her work with my students and to see them benefit so much from what she has to offer. I am always amazed by how quickly she picks up on the strengths and weaknesses of each horse and rider. And she communicates so effectively to the riders. She is truly a gifted teacher.
Anne has been a wonderful advisor to me for all of my professional years. I can go to her for advice about a horse, a client, or any situation that arises. I always trust her opinion and advice. When I was building my farm, Four Seasons Farm, I sent her a copy of the barn plans and the layout of the farm to get her opinion. She pointed out some details and changes to our plans that made a huge difference in the day to day efficiency of the farm. She is an excellent consultant for someone redoing a farm or putting together a new one.
I consider myself so fortunate to have met Anne and to have learned from her for all these years. I think about how much she has influenced my teaching and my riding, and I feel truly blessed. The best word I can think of to describe our relationship is that she has been my mentor. Everyone should be so lucky to have a mentor in their lives like Anne Kenan.
Holly Hays Orlando
I started riding with Anne when I was about 8 years old on a small pony named “Blaze”. My Mom had taught me the “basics” but I soon learned how little I knew about riding at all. I spent most of my time riding bareback with friends and eating lunch down by the creek while our ponies waited patiently tied to the trees. As soon as my mom drove in the driveway at Hunter Hill Farm I had a feeling things were done a little differently than I was used to. Anne taught me a lot about how horses want to be ridden and a lot about horsemanship in general. The horses, the tack and the barn were always immaculate and perfectly in place so I learned to take better care of my pony and the rest of my stuff as well. We had a lot of very hard lessons that didn’t mean very much to me at the time but now that I am older I realize just how important all of those things really are. Anne taught me to be a very soft rider and to ride forward and light at the same time. I have been lucky enough to ride some very nice horses and not all of them were easy. Learning to ride in this style at such an early age was a major benefit to me and my horses. Unfortunately, this style of riding isn’t always what is taught these days which makes people like Anne that much more unique and useful to young and old horse people and horses. I would highly recommend that anyone who has a chance to work with Anne or just get her opinion on a nice young horse coming along should take advantage of having someone with her knowledge and expertise to work with. I am grateful to have worked with Anne and her program and try to pass along her teachings with my horses and students every day.
I started to work with Anne in 2009, but her teachings have long influenced my riding career. She taught and influenced my previous coaches and instructors and mentors, who taught me, before we actually met. I am enjoying life and my profession so much more having Anne’s direct influence, and my horses are equally thrilled. When you meet this woman, you can see that she is truly gifted with the ability to see through the horse’s eyes and the wisdom that the learning never stops. She is gifted enough that in her lifetime she has learned so much that I’m sure even the most accomplished riders in this world will take away plenty of insight from working with her.
When I first rode with Anne, it was at a clinic that I organized with my students and I was exhausted with nerves having invited her to come and see the fruits of my labors. Those emotions were quickly replaced with joy and thankfulness seeing her work with my clients and their horses--I heard things that I saw and thought but couldn’t quite verbalize come through her voice with such clarity. I would encourage any group of riders from any discipline to invite her out for some guidance. We’ve all seen “clinics” where the horses work work work or jump jump jump, and the riders walk away rubber-legged, but a clinic or lesson (and even a video review) with Anne has an entirely different theme that you really must see to appreciate.
As a young professional, Anne’s friendship, teaching, and mentoring is invaluable. She helps me and encourages me as I bring along a growing clientele. She is there for us for advice and coaching as well as connections. She does things for the right reasons and is there to remind me that I do as well. She has a super eye for quality and a lifetime of experiences that she can share with those who care to learn. For the horseman, it is all about the horse, and with Anne that is where is starts, what it is about, and where it ends, and my proof of that is that the riding programs with Anne’s influence have the happiest, soundest horses I’ve ever seen.
Alexandra Baigas riding Phil an off the track thoroughbred
Dr. Katherine Lingner ,DVM.
Straight, forward, rhythm, and balance. Those are the first four words I remember from the first meeting ever with Anne. That was my first year as an amateur and I was riding my junior horse, “Pebbles.” I picked Pebbles because I felt sorry for him; he despised people and I felt like he needed a friend. Looking back, it was a fortuitous pick that led me to meeting and working with and learning from Anne. You see Pebbles is a very smart horse and he gets very worried by the wrong program and the wrong ride. And I was on the verge of quitting with him. The plan was for me to spend a long weekend with Anne and try some horses she had and find a replacement for Pebbles. I still have Pebbles . . .19 years later. That long weekend turned into a whole new program for riding, training, and teaching. I was so inspired by what I learned, I decided I wanted to try to use what she had taught me, rather than just find an easier horse.I grew up on the back of some sale horse or another. Horses were always my best friends. And I got away with that as my strongest riding tool for a long time. Horses are so sensitive, I think they recognized that empathy and it helped me. It helped with Pebbles,but not enough. He was much more diffficult than any horse I had ridden. Now, looking back, the journey from that weekend to now has been a process-- a starting point for a life time of learning from my horses with the constant support and guidance from a true friend and teacher. Anne made the difference because she made me a much better rider. With her gifts for teaching and mentoring, she inspires confidence and a positive outlook. She believes in giving the horse the best ride possible and allowing the horse to become the best horse possible. She has the remarkable ability to explain what she wants you to achieve, how it looks, and what it feels like. People talk about talented riders who have “feel.” Riders who can get on any horse and make them look spectacular. Anne believes that a “feel” can be taught. And she is one of the few teachers with the patience and ability to explain and demonstrate the “picture” that is the ultimate goal. She is a true horsewoman; one of the few true horsepeople left in the horse industry.