Father with the Belgian Team

I am, Helene Virginia Asmis, sired by Col. Carl Heinrich Asmis x dam Jane T.D. Asmis, grew up on Never Die Farm in Maryland.  It was a working farm, i.e., we raised some of our personal food plus food for the animals (corn, barley, soybeans and hay).  The parents started with a few Arabians, Belgian draft horses (used to work the fields) and Angus cattle.  There were pigs, geese, chickens and a couple of milk cows supplying personal food and as bartering sources.  When the market fell in cattle, the focus turned towards increasing the Arabian herd and adding Welsh and Shetland ponies with both parents, especially Father, doing more judging (he was one of the first recognized judges in most of the AHSA (now USEF) divisions.  By age 14, in Germany, Father was schooling fourteen horses.

 

 

The Belgians were replaced with a tractor and farm truck as it was difficult to get employees that cared how they worked the horses and working the fields could be done more quickly.  I was home-schooled in order to help on the farm, taking care of stallions, mares and foals (all general stable work and care of sixty plus horses on a breeding farm) and helping with the crops.

Worth pointing out is that Mother (from scratch) canned, made butter, bread, preserves, tended to the office, choreographed bloodlines for the breeding program, completed all household chores including home schooling me, helped mow pastures, etc.  Father and I did all the rest, assisted generally by an elderly gentleman that lived on the farm. Safety, attention to detail,
with efficiency and team collaboration were important.

Col. Carl Heinrich Asmis with Rafmirz

Helene (Age 7) with Only Moonlight

With no siblings or playmates, my time out was playing horse while the water buckets filled by gravity fed hose.  Every other Saturday my grandparents would come for a visit.  Grandmother would slip me a small allowance and Grandfather would take me for nature walks. They were always educational about how to be quiet, observe and care for the balance in nature.  A couple of times a year Father and I would take an Arabian stallion and Only Moonlight, one of my Shetland ponies, in the stake-body farm truck to show (very successfully I might add).  Oh yes, my first year of showing was done in a tee-shirt, slacks and jodhpur boots – against all the other show ring attired exhibitors.  The principle was to earn the right to have “proper attire.”  At first I rode balance seat against hunt seat junior riders. Just before and during my early teen years, under Father’s tutelage, I trained and showed Royal Starlight’s Model, half hackney, half Welsh, 12:2 hand pony in saddle seat equitation and three gaited divisions. My last year showing her was in the first dressage classes offered at the Maryland State Fair.

 

 

Bang – High School time came and I was scooped off to school. City peers didn’t really understand me anymore than I understood them, especially when during their off-school times when I was whisked back to the country to work.  By this time, in addition to competing, Father was doing more judging and the crops were being share-farmed. I had my regular chores plus different project horses to train for show and sale. Occasionally Father and I found ourselves showing horses in the same class, which I of course thought was serious fun! It is interesting in that I did not get personal lessons per se – the well rounded knowledge came through osmosis – feeling, observing, and experiential practices. Each horse has its own personality, physical abilities, mind, and heart.

 

Col. Asmis with Helene showing Welsh Broodmare & Foal

Helene with Never Die Tosca

Col. Alois Podhajsky of the Spanish Riding School saw me ride as a youth and recommended to my parents that with my potential, I get concentrated equestrian study time in Europe. Post graduation from high school found me headed to Germany to attend two of the riding schools Col. Podhajsky had recommended.

The first school, under Major Paul Stecken, covered stable management, riding dressage and jumping, theory, driving, and observing Olympic trainers/riders. This was a six-day week, from early morning until evening. The next school, with Egon von Niendorff, focused on daily mounted lunge lessons, dressage including “Airs Above the Ground”, long and short lining, and stable duties etc..

In 1964 a busy teaching schedule prompted me to turn professional. Life was full! The horse career was hard, but rewarding… and you know what, while different, it still is!

Enjoying a “good horse” regardless of breed or color, I have trained and shown successfully in many equestrian disciplines. My focus is on developing an expression of that individual horse as freely as possible. This approach allows me to then develop students as an example that can ride large warmbloods in lightness and ease. Over the years I have developed my own creative style based on experience, (work and time), with many horse breeds and various equestrian disciplines. The common thread of my “Old Fashioned Horsemanship” is the horse and my ability to develop the rider’s perception, feeling, and understanding of what is appropriate for the moment. Every horse and every rider are individuals and have their own talents. My job is to recognize, nurture, and develop those in every horse I train and every rider I teach.

Biography

I am, Helene Virginia Asmis, sired by Col. Carl Heinrich Asmis x dam Jane T.D. Asmis, and I grew up on Never Die Farm in Maryland.  It was a working farm, i.e., we raised some of our personal food plus food for the animals (corn, barley, soybeans and hay).  My parents started with a few Arabians, Belgian draft horses (used to work the fields) and Angus cattle.

Father with the Belgian Team

 

There were pigs, geese, chickens and a couple of milk cows supplying personal food and as bartering sources. When the market fell in cattle, the focus turned towards increasing the Arabian herd and adding Welsh and Shetland ponies with both parents, especially Father, doing more judging (he was one of the first recognized judges in most of the AHSA (now USEF) divisions).  By age 14, in Germany, Father was schooling fourteen horses.

Col. Carl Heinrich Asmis with Rafmirz

 

The Belgians were replaced with a tractor and farm truck as it was difficult to get employees that cared how they worked the horses and working the fields could be done more quickly.  I was home-schooled in order to help on the farm, taking care of stallions, mares and foals (all general stable work and care of sixty plus horses on a breeding farm) and helping with the crops.

Worth pointing out is that Mother (from scratch) canned, made butter, bread, preserves, tended to the office, choreographed bloodlines for the breeding program, completed all household chores including home schooling me, helped mow pastures, etc.  Father and I did all the rest, assisted generally by an elderly gentleman that lived on the farm. Safety, attention to detail, with efficiency and team collaboration were important.

Father and I showing Welsh Broodmare and Foal

 

With no siblings or playmates, my time out was playing horse while the water buckets filled by gravity fed hose.  Every other Saturday my grandparents would come for a visit.  Grandmother would slip me a small allowance and Grandfather would take me for nature walks. They were always educational about how to be quiet, observe and care for the balance in nature.  A couple of times a year Father and I would take an Arabian stallion and Only Moonlight, one of my Shetland ponies, in the stake-body farm truck to show (very successfully I might add).  Oh yes, my first year of showing was done in a tee-shirt, slacks and jodhpur boots – against all the other show ring attired exhibitors.  The principle was to earn the right to have “proper attire.”  At first I rode balance seat against hunt seat junior riders. Just before and during my early teen years, under Father’s tutelage, I trained and showed Royal Starlight’s Model, half hackney, half Welsh, 12:2 hand pony in saddle seat equitation and three gaited divisions. My last year showing her was in the first dressage classes offered at the Maryland State Fair.

Bang – High School time came and I was scooped off to school. City peers didn’t really understand me anymore than I understood them, especially when during their off-school times when I was whisked back to the country to work.  By this time, in addition to competing, Father was doing more judging and the crops were being share-farmed. I had my regular chores plus different project horses to train for show and sale. Occasionally Father and I found ourselves showing horses in the same class, which I of course thought was serious fun! It is interesting in that I did not get personal lessons per se – the well rounded knowledge came through osmosis – feeling, observing, and experiential practices. Each horse has its own personality, physical abilities, mind, and heart.

Never Die Tosca with Helene

 

Col. Alois Podhajsky of the Spanish Riding School saw me ride as a youth and recommended to my parents that with my potential, I get concentrated equestrian study time in Europe. Post graduation from high school found me headed to Germany to attend two of the riding schools Col. Podhajsky had recommended.

The first school, under Major Paul Stecken, covered stable management, riding dressage and jumping, theory, driving, and observing Olympic trainers/riders. This was a six-day week, from early morning until evening. The next school, with Egon von Niendorff, focused on daily mounted lunge lessons, dressage including “Airs Above the Ground”, long and short lining, and stable duties etc..

In 1964 a busy teaching schedule prompted me to turn professional. Life was full! The horse career was hard, but rewarding… and you know what, while different, it still is!

Enjoying a “good horse” regardless of breed or color, I have trained and shown successfully in many equestrian disciplines. My focus is on developing an expression of that individual horse as freely as possible. This approach allows me to then develop students as an example that can ride large warmbloods in lightness and ease.

Over the years I have developed my own creative style based on experience, (work and time), with many horse breeds and various equestrian disciplines. The common thread of my “Old Fashioned Horsemanship” is the horse and my ability to develop the rider’s perception, feeling, and understanding of what is appropriate for the moment. Every horse and every rider are individuals and have their own talents. My job is to recognize, nurture, and develop those in every horse I train and every rider I teach.