Col. carl Heinrich Asmis "Father"


Col. Carl Heinrich Asmis with Rafmirz

Me & Father Showing
Father & I showing Welsh Broodmare & Foal

 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.


Father with the Belgian Team
Father with the Belgian Team

When he arrived in the states he continued to train and teach many

breeds and disciplines.

 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 fieldscould 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, efficiency and team collaboration were important.

Helene (Age 7) with Only Moonlight

With no siblings or playmates my time out was playing horse while the water buckets filled by a 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 a "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 Father was doing more judging, the crops were being share-farmed, I had different project horses to train for show, sale plus my regular chores and Father was competing (it was serious fun when we were in the same class!).  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. 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 high school found me headed to Germany to attend two of the schools Col. Podhajsky had recommended.

Valdai & Helene

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 sessions, dressage including "Airs Above the Ground," long and short lining, stable duties, etc.  Having earned my bronze and silver 
accreditation, I and Aladin, a beautiful chestnut Hanoverian gelding purchased in Germany, returned to Maryland via ship.

                         Never Die Tosca with Helene

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 who can ride large warm bloods 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 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.



whatever                                  Lateral Work  


1961 - I married F. Cort Clifford
1964 - I embarked on my professional                 career
1965 - Designed and started
             "Hide-a-Way Farm."                                  (Teaching, Training & Showing)

1970 - Moved "Hide-Away," new design as a complete facility, all under one roof, to part of the home farm.  My dream was to offer my father the opportunity to stable and train a couple of horses in European-style facility with an indoor arena.

1971, January - Helene Lynn Clifford                                was  foaled.

1972, April - Father departed this earth.

1974, September - A devastating arson fire.  Rebuilt, restarted and became "Dedication Farm."

                Portuguese Import

1982 - The Spanish Riding School of Vienna quarantined their entire troop at Dedication Farm.  During their tour, they presented President Reagan with "Amadeus," a Lipizzan stallion.  Amadeus remained in my care  for a few months.  

1997, April
- Mother left this earth after                       months of illness.

1999, June - I moved with horses and equipment to some beautiful land in North Carolina, south of Asheville.  A new start was in order!  Another new design and getting me established.

2001 - Named "Horsewoman of the Year," by the International Andalusian & Lusitano Association.

"Sometimes the best laid plans go awry , so in 2004 the search for a place in New Mexico began. . ."

2006, January - A big move to New Mexico between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.  Sunshine, minimal humidity and another re-evaluation of my excursion along my life's path.

Casa de Brio © 2010