Annie’s Advice

One of Annie's flying changes with Ellie Rawle

photo by Bob Branam

By Susan Rifkin Ajamian


Annie is a very dignified and graceful Grand Prix dressage horse with quite a sense of humor. Animal communicator Donna Lozito, of New York City, interviewed Annie who lives with the Rawle family and 20 other horses, along with assorted dogs and cats at Watermark Farm in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Donna spends weekends visiting her horse Sweet Dreams who lives in the same county as Annie. So Donna suggested she visit Annie in person, instead of doing the consultation over the telephone like she usually does.

Annie and Anne

Eleanor (Ellie) is Annie’s rider. But Ellie was unable to join us for the interview. So Anne, her mother, asked Ellie’s questions and her own. They thought Annie would be interesting to interview because of the contrasts in her life. Horse show programs list her as a German Hanoverian, "Duell Anastasia", and she is even in the German High Studbook based on her very famous ancestors. There’s no hint that Annie was born and lived wild in Australia until she was bought out of the field at age seven by the family who kept her until the Rawles bought her three years ago.

From Brumby to Grand Prix Horse

Anne tells how Annie’s previous owner bought her to become an event horse. "They spent two years with Annie going ‘buckity, buckity, buck’ up and down the hills," she said. Then her rider’s mother needed a new dressage horse and tried Annie, who proved to be a natural. Annie found dressage very easy to learn and quickly developed into a Grand Prix horse. Annie said, "I was born to be a dressage horse. I made that choice. I also wanted to be wild, so I started out there. But dressage was my goal. Being born wild gave me the best of both worlds. I’m very graceful, like a ballet dancer. I just needed to learn the steps (to do dressage). It’s the rider who needs training, not me. I’m a natural. Just point me in the direction you want and I go." Anne, a dressage judge, fully agreed with Annie’s description of herself.

Training the Rider

Donna Lozito (L) and Anne Rawle (R) interview Annie

photo by Susan R. Ajamian

Even though Annie has had only three homes, she has helped teach many students how to ride a flying change. When Anne mentioned this, Annie requested that her students be focused, and preferably be women. She felt strongly that she was "way too delicate and graceful and poised for male energy". Anne said, "Yes, she is so sensitive that you just think it and she does it."

Ellie finds it easy to do one-tempi canter lead changes on Annie, but wanted to know how to convince Annie to do two-tempi changes, i.e. every other stride, in their dressage tests. Annie replied, "Just tell Ellie to get it together, I can do it. I’m not the problem. I can do 10-tempi changes. She just needs to get it together. I have a lot of patience." Anne laughed and said, "Please be kind to Ellie this weekend at the Regional Finals. Don’t embarrass the kid". And Annie replied, "That’s not my problem. She has to do her part. She better get to bed early the night before, because I'm READY!" Donna was laughing hard as she relayed this message, because Annie clearly thought she was being very funny.

Annie and Ellie had already been in 15 Grand Prix competitions this year. Donna relayed, "Annie says, ‘The more the better’. She feels like she can go on forever. When what you do is your passion, there is no time involved. Physically and spiritually she is ready to keep going." Anne agreed and said, "Annie seems to get younger every year". In fact, a few days later at the Regional Championships Annie and Ellie were 10th out of 16. One judge wrote on their score sheet that Annie "shows potential", a comment usually made about a young horse, not one past the age at which most horses have worn out and retired.

Humble is Better

A message Ellie left for Annie was, " We take you to horse shows because we think you’re lovely and deserve to be there". Ellie requested that Donna convey this message to Annie because at dressage competitions Annie seemed to act as if she was not there to show off or to be displayed. Therefore

Anne and Ellie both wanted to know if Annie’s behavior was due to low self-esteem or if she had "another spin on it". Donna explained that Annie thinks that it is better to be very humble, and that this adds to her grace and who she is. She feels whole from the inside out, so she doesn’t feel a need to say, "Look at me, see how terrific I am." She said, "I don’t have to flaunt it. Everybody knows it." Annie knows she is special, but does not feel a need to display this. She thinks being low-key is better. Anne agreed, and said that Annie was very special to them.

Later on Annie added, "It takes too much energy to be proud. I need my energy to push myself forward! My greatest asset is that I don’t flaunt myself; this speaks loudly. These other horses should realize that just because they finish the test and hear clapping doesn’t mean they’re good! But that’s what they think!"


Ellie wanted to reassure Annie that she would always stay with the Rawles and never be sold. They would always take care of her, and protect her from harm. Donna burst out laughing when she heard Annie’s response, "OK, if you want to put it that way. But who is protecting whom? If it makes you feel better, say it that way, that’s OK. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I’m staying, but you’re staying, too. It’s a 2-way street. I take care of you and you take care of me." Donna explained that Annie was confident she would stay with Ellie, because Annie said, "This is where I was headed when I first came onto the planet. I’m going to reach a lot of people with my example."

This comment about Annie’s destiny being with Ellie was surprising, because Annie was purchased to help Ellie’s older sister, Emily, who died unexpectedly 18 months ago during a routine medical procedure. Their father, Bill, had called Annie "Emily’s college education", referring to both her cost and her value as a schoolmaster. Annie revealed that Emily’s spirit often came to help her. Donna, who is also skilled at communicating with spirits, sensed that Emily’s spirit was presently with them.

Anne recalled that when they talked about buying Annie, her owner kept saying Annie would be a wonderful horse for Ellie. Anne had to remind her that Annie was being bought for Emily.

Management Questions

Anne explained that in the three years they had had Annie, they were very pleased with how she had improved. She now has more time outdoors, a new saddle, different shoeing, etc. Anne asked what Annie thought of her Nikken magnetic blanket. She said, "It’s OK. It balances my energy."

Anne asked what else she could do to improve Annie’s lifestyle, and if she had any special requests. Annie’s first request was for a massage, before or after a competition. She would prefer if it were done on a regular schedule. She said, "I’m getting up in years. It wouldn’t hurt if you gave me a rubdown every so often." And she thought her people might also benefit from this. She said, " If you take better care of me you will also take better care of yourself."

When asked about her feet and shoes Annie disagreed with her farrier about the schedule of her shoeing. She thought he should have come the previous week. Annie thought that younger horses could handle a week or two off their regular schedule, but that at her age the extra toe length tugged on her muscles and legs.

Anne had wanted him to come earlier, but he had convinced her to wait. When he came the next day after the interview, he was told Annie’s complaint and he agreed to change her future scheduling to what she requested.

Annie’s Advice

When asked if she had any messages for the magazine’s readers, Annie said, "Don’t underestimate horses in general. We are very attuned to what we need. More people should inquire about their horse’s opinions about their health and not assume people know it all. If more people would ask like you are now then their horses would live a lot longer."


Donna Lozito and her best friend, Sweet Dreams

photo by Susan R. Ajamian

Donna Lozito of New York has been involved with animals for more than 25 years. Working in holistic medicine for many years has provided her with physical, emotional and spiritual awareness of herself. Her horse, Sweet Dreams, is her best friend and has recovered from serious health problems with the help of animal communication and good holistic veterinary care. Donna studied animal communication with Penelope Smith. Donna has been interviewed on TV and radio shows about animal communication. She also does Reiki healing and soul retrieval for people and animals, either in person or from a distance. Donna can be reached at 212-333-3775; her website address is, email

Anne Rawle is an FEI "S" dressage judge and competitor. She and her husband Bill stand three stallions and have their own broodmares, also several young horses in training at their Watermark Farm in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Their 24-year-old daughter Ellie is competing with Annie at Grand Prix, and is also competing at that level with two of their homebred horses. Ellie has been on the Region One team twice for the North American Young Riders Dressage Championships. One year she won the consolation class with a leased horse, the other year she competed with their homebred mare Able Spirit. There are two Watermark Farm trophies in memory of Emily, one at Dressage at Devon and the other at the USDF Region One Grand Prix Championships.

About the author:

Susan Rifkin Ajamian learned about animal communication from her veterinarian, Dr. Judith M. Shoemaker, nearly ten years ago, and finds that what her animal companions have to say is fun, fascinating, and enlightening. Her first animal communication consultation was with Dawn Hayman. Susan has also attended several workshops. She is apprenticed to her 21-year-old horse Richie and 20-year-old cat Cassandra. Susan and her husband Greg live in Cassandra’s house in Delaware.