Annette was born into a family of horse people and has had horses most of her life. She grew up in Robbinsville, NC.
Both of her Grandfather's were well known for their horsemanship abilities. One was very well known for his ability to handle any mule. And if you've not had a chance to work with mules before, the saying is true. They can be "stubborn as a mule!" Like Annette, he was a farrier and had a great talent in handling any horse - even after he lost 1 arm! He also bought Belle for Annette, the first pony that bucked her off. She still vividly remembers him telling her after she hit the ground that she had to get back on and not allow that horse by with that!
Her other grandfather intended to break her of her horse "nonsense" as he called it. He brought home anything rough to ride. If it was unbroken and hard to handle, he bought it for Annette. So much for that 'breaking' her of horses!
Annette does not remember ever learning to ride. Her father bought her 1st pony at 6 months old. She was also the grand child that rode the buck out of other ponies so that the other kids could have a safe, buck free ride!
Both Grandfather's were also founding members of the Western North Carolina Wagon Train which started in 1958 and still exists today. Annette grew up going on many wagon train rides with them both. She was also paid to work cattle from horseback as early as 12 years old.
Her mom & dad later bought her a black walking horse gelding named Rebel that Annette successfully trained and rode to shows in town. Yes, she would ride Rebel through town to the show before she was able to drive or own a horse trailer! They earned many ribbons together. Rebel started Annette's love and passion for working with gaited horses.
Credentials After Annette graduated High School, she became the assistant trainer at a Class A Arabian show and breeding facility. There she fine tuned her riding skills and began handling a wide variety of horses. She figured out that each horse definitely had their own personality and to successfully handle and ride that horse, she had to to decide which techniques reached them best. She also became very competent in handling stallions while there as there were at least 5 stallions standing at stud, if not more. After leaving the high end horse and show world, Annette successfully completed the Danny Ward Farrier School in Martinsville, VA. Then, returned to western North Carolina where she has been a farrier for 25 years. As she built her clientele, she quickly realized that many of the same horses she was shoeing were in need of training which she often calls manners.
Annette has become known over the years as the farrier that has the ability to handle and shoe (or trim) horses that no one else could. Many farriers believe in "throwing," medicating or twitching a horse that won't stand still. Not Annette. She teaches horses to want to stand still for her which makes it a much more pleasurable experience for everyone in the end.
Other accomplishments are: - She has obtained as short course degree in Artificial Insemination (AI) - She's been the Regional Equine Informational Networking Services Representative (REINS) for Western NC which includes course work in Barn Building Barn Management Pasture Management Nutrition Breeding Management
Board Member and active member in the Swain County NC horse club. - Organized and executed 3 annual open horse shows - served in numerous board positions over her 10 year period in the club
Local 4H Leader / Co-Leader -When Annette's children were ready to start showing horses locally, she led their area 4H group in teaching other area children how to ride, handle & successfully show horses.
Accredited open horse show judge for 6 years - To earn this accreditation she learned how to best identify each breeds appropriate gait and characteristics as well as all the specifics of tack and rider who competed in open shows.
Annette and Carroll are also active members in the 1st Tennessee Calvary who still use horses in Civil War Reenacting.
Back Country Horseman Club in Western N.C. (http://sites.google.com/site/bchofwnc/) - Annette has been an avid trail rider for years - Family vacation are in North Carolina's back country primitive horse camps - She has logged hundreds upon hundreds of miles on the trail - Annette works with the National Park Service in her area to rescue horses and people who can not be rescued by any other means - BCH helps clear those trails annually and works to keep our countries horse trails open and accessible. - Annette was a founding member of BCH in her community - She is still an active board member
Buster is the beautiful gelding to the left. Annette was instrumental in getting Buster for a client because his previous owners could not get weight on him and had been told by a local vet that it was not possible to bring him back to a healthy riding weight because "he was too old." His original owners had tried numerous things to fatten him up to no avail. Curt, one of Annette's clients, followed Annette's feed instructions to the letter & look at Buster shine! Curt's biggest complaint is the high energy that Buster has on their regular rides!