Ann Haller’s 9 Guidelines for A Happy Life with Horses

Ann Haller going above and beyond — or in this case, neck deep in lake water — for a new Pony Clubber. Photo courtesy of Shelby Allen.

Our sport lost an irreplaceable treasure last month with the passing of Ann Haller. Ann’s enchanting personality and contagious high spirits made her a favorite on the eventing scene, from World Championships to local pony club clinics. It’s impossible to capture just how dynamic she was, but this collection of “Ann-isms,” written by long-time student and friend Sarah Beth Hood, encompasses her spirit — because we should all try to be a little more like Ann Haller.

  1. Have fun. In everything you do, but for us, fun was especially found in horses.
  2. Have dreams. But more importantly than dreams, have goals – and a plan to achieve them
  3. Also, have a plan B for when life happens and if horses go lame and you still want to make your B rating.
  4. Confidence comes from repeated success and a positive support system.
  5. Always have a smile on your face and a good attitude.
  6. Be personable. Remember people’s names and give their pony a nickname.
  7. Ride the horse you have — make the best of every situation.
  8. Learn something from everyone. Add tools to your toolbox.
  9. Always, always keep cookies in your pocket.

And to pull from another friend, Jennifer Mata:

“Our five-foot, opinionated, red-headed force of nature is gone.

“But like the sun that remains burning behind the clouds, her light still shimmers. It is softer, but with us still.

“It is the gleam of our horses’ coats, well-fed and well-loved because of the lessons she taught, the advice she gave. We feel her warmth in our ponies’ breath as they nuzzle our hands, searching for the treats they know are in our pockets. And we will find it radiating in the laughter of friends in the coming days and weeks as we remember her together, her brilliance and vibrancy still shining through us all.”

See ya, love ya, bye, Ann. x

Many thanks to Sara Beth and her mother Jennifer for sharing their thoughtful words.