About Ainslie Sheridan

Ainslie was born on Long Island, New York, the only girl of six children. Her father said she was horse crazy from the time she was in utero. Her first mount—Daisy, was a black rubber horse head affixed to her tricycle. Pony rides, a few lessons, and a couple of borrowed horses made up the remainder of her childhood equestrian education. During high school she free-leased a chestnut horse named “Red” owned by the family of the manager of Bethpage State Park’s grounds and facilities. Unfortunately, that relationship terminated the day Ainslie and Red ventured off the bridle path and inadvertently galloped across the park’s famed Black golf course.

She attended Hamilton College where she majored in English, and also began to take photos with a borrowed camera. Upon graduation—and certain she had at least one marketable skill—she caught a plane to Japan to take up a post as an English teacher at the Berlitz School in Tokyo. She brought along her new Yashica camera that a brother, then serving in Vietnam, bought her while on a three-day pass to Hong Kong.

After three years in Japan, Ainslie returned to the U.S. via a Yugoslav freighter. (One of her Berlitz students was married to a Yugoslav shipping agent.) Certain she had at least one marketable skill the military could use—she was now fluent in Japanese—she arrived at Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. A few months later she returned to Japan commissioned an ensign and assigned as an aide to a two-star admiral at a U.S. naval base. Subsequent tours of duty took her to Hawaii—an aide again but this time to a four-star admiral--then to Boston, where she worked as a public affairs officer, graduate school at Tufts University, West Point, where she taught international relations and comparative government, then finally the Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island, where she drafted political scenarios for war games. During this time she adopted a six-year old girl from Colombia, bought her first horse, married a professor, and had a baby boy. Ainslie decided it was time to stop her travels.

Now living in Groton, MA, Ainslie began raising and training Andalusian horses. Her mare was judged national champion at the breed’s annual show. After attending a John Lyons Symposium, she became interested in Natural Horsemanship. During this time she wrote the novel Trophies published by Signet/NAL. It is the story of a young woman who, despite all kinds of trials and tribulations, rises to the top of the world of show jumping on her Andalusian stallion. Ainslie incorporated his methods into her training and teaching.

She continued to take photos, now concentrating on children and animals.

Seven years later Ainslie and her family moved to Acton and began Windflower Farm. There she taught herself hand-coloring—the art of applying special colored oils to black and white photographs. She wrote a children’s book , the story of lonely girl who cares for a starving pony she finds in the field behind her house. All the illustrations are hand-colored and the star of the book, “Kip” is a favorite lesson pony. Now a professional photographer—a number of her photos have appeared on the covers of prominent horse magazines and catalogs, as well as one-person shows locally—she specializes in horses, pets, children, and families. She continued to train in Natural Horsemanship, attending numerous clinics and symposiums with Pat and Linda Parelli, Clinton Anderson, as well as John Lyons. She has trained under Gold Medal dressage rider Jane Karol, World Cup team Gold Medalist Jane Karol dressage rider Jane Hannigan, and S judge Lois Yukins. She currently trains with Silver Medalist Linda Parmenter and S judge Kathy Connelly. Ainslie obtained her state instructor’s certificate and teaches riding and training methods, not only to children, beginners, and more advanced riders, but also to owners who have serious—even dangerous—issues with their horses.