Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Western Novelist: An Interview with Anna Elizabeth Judd

The Western Novelist: An Interview with Anna Elizabeth Judd
by Gina McKnight
Archived from the June 2021 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.
 
It’s always fun to connect with a fellow horse-lover and writer! Anna Elizabeth Judd (Lizzy) writes about the thrill and adventure of living in the old West. She has a knack for engaging readers into wild and wooly scenarios that entertain. A horse owner, Lizzy writes about horses from her own experience and imagination. As a horse trainer, she knows the value of horsemanship and good barn ethics. A best-selling author, Lizzy writes modern western novels and children’s literature. The author of many books, her website states: “Anna provides it all as if you are in the saddle along for the journey. Her rare books bring the readers joy from nearly every genre they can appreciate.”
 
Welcome, Lizzy!
 
GM: Every Western writer must love horses! When was your first encounter with a horse?
LM: I was nine years old when I got my first horse. His name was Kennedy, he was about 25 years old. If I remember right, he lived for about six months after we got him. My mom wanted to get me a horse, she grew up with them. So, he was delivered on my ninth birthday and we put him in the backyard until we could find somewhere to board him.
 
GM: Describe a day in your life with horses...
LM: The best part of my life is spending every day with a horse. I am truly blessed. Many people might think I am crazy, but one of my favorite things is cleaning stalls. It’s very relaxing. But for the most part, when you train horses, it gives you the chance to have a lot of horses and get paid at the same time. One of the most rewarding aspects of training is when you get a horse, especially a wild one to come in the middle of the round pen on their own and let you touch them for the first time. It gives me chills every time. They are definitely magical creatures.
 
GM: As a writer, do you weave your own horse history into your books?
LM: Yes, all my books are based on personal horse-related stories. My children’s book “The
Boy Who Couldn’t Talk” is based on a young boy with Autism. Adam was a young boy when I was just a kid who would enter the horse shows in a group we called Unique. My mom started it for children with disabilities.
 
GM: Do you have any funny horse-related anecdotes?
LM: I don’t know about anecdotes, but several of my children’s books are learning how to read. I love to write poems and rhymes, so one of my favorites, is “Taffy tussled the thistles tangled in her tail trying to taste the timothy.” I don’t know, it's fun sitting with the dictionary coming up with the words to rhyme.
 
GM: You have written about horses, training, and horsemanship. What training methods do you use?
LM: I train using the horse’s natural instincts. A great book to read is Xenophon. He was a Greek general in 355 BC. My first book “The Handbook of Horsemanship” has several references that talk about his training style.
 
GM: Of all the horses in the world today, which breed, and riders/trainers inspire you?
LM: Many years ago, I was given a rodeo bronc to train. She had quit bucking and was of no use to the contractor, so he gave her to me. Her name was Libby, to this day thinking about her brings tears to my eyes. She had a heart; unlike any horse I have ever been around. I used to work with girls that had been abused and Libby had a way of bringing them out of their shells. I miss you very much… Below is the poem she inspired me to write.

The Brilliance of Your Stature

Creates an Image of Perfection

Floating Throughout the Land

Free to Roam

In the Face of Adversity

Your Strength Shines Through

From Every Fiber of Your Being

With a Heart of Fire

Passion to Survive the Existence of Time

Your Chi Flows In a Glow

Infecting Life’s Energy

To the Beings in Your Presence

Through Evolution You Became Extinct

Your Image Silenced from Sight

Although the Essence of Your Soul

Placed In the Ground to Flourish

Once Again. Recognized as

“The Grass Remembers Them.”

The Horse

 

GM: What advice do you have for novice riders and those looking to purchase their first horse?

LM: Buying your first horse, can be exciting but you must also beware. The best advice is to trust your instincts. When you go to the place and see the horse; look at how the person keeps their barn, tack, and feed room. Are they clean will organized, or messing and cluttered? A good horseman will always have good clean tack and know where things are. Then, how does the horse react to you and the owner? Are they calm and well-behaved? Do they run all over the owner, get pushy or bite? That is the sign of a spoiled horse. Or….. are they nervous and fidgety? That can be a sign of abuse. Trust your instincts, no matter how much you want to buy a horse, take your time. The horse will pick you when it's right. So, if you are not a trainer with experience, be careful.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?

LM: Great question… a horseman is someone with a passion in their heart for animals. The only way to train or handle a horse is with love, respect, and natural instinct training. You never break a horse, you train them.

Connect with Lizzy…

FB https://www.facebook.com/thewesternnovelist/

IG https://www.instagram.com/westernsbyjudd/

Or https://annaelizabethjudd.com

Lizzy and Kennedy




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