Rancho Santa Fe resident publishes self-help memoir ‘Keep Your Ass in the Saddle’

Annie M. Fonte has been a Rancho Santa Fe resident since 2002.

Rancho Santa Fe resident Annie M. Fonte released a self-help memoir, “Keep Your Ass in the Saddle,” recounting the “grit, gratitude, badassery and determination” that helped her through some of the most trying moments of her life.

“Not only did I want to, but I needed to redesign my life,” said Fonte, recalling her thoughts in 2007, following the death of her father, her house burning down and the end of a 15-year relationship.

In the book, she wrote that the “trek was scary -- gut-wrenching at time -- ambiguous, lonely, and rife with unexpected landmines,” but it also led to “a life of absolute freedom and the courage to be myself.” And she said she hopes others can learn from her experiences and put them to use during the most difficult and challenging moments of their lives.

Her life experiences have manifested in businesses she’s started. Over the years, she’s used her entrepreneurial skills to start a consulting company designed to help small business owners and medical professionals, launch a line of food storage containers, and her latest endeavor: Meet Me at the Barn, which offers personal development online and in-person classes. Courses include a 10-part “Lines in the Sand” program meant to help people become their “true authentic self,” as well as small group classes offered in-person, once a month for six hours.

After deciding two years ago that she wanted to release a book, she spent eight to 10 hours every Thursday writing.

“I took what I had and I gave it to some trusted friends of mine,” said Fonte, who took their feedback, made some revisions and enlisted an editor earlier this year.

The 182-page book was published Oct. 19 by Outskirts Press, a self-publishing company. Fonte said the book has lessons for anybody, and it has attracted readers from ages 14 to their late 80s.

“I really looked at what some of my experiences during those time frames were and how we can develop a good tool set to deal with them,” she said.

After growing up on a farm in Colorado, Fonte’s work with a startup company brought her to San Diego in 1992, after she earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“Life is only as complicated as you decide to make it,” she wrote in the book’s introduction. “The process of writing this book has taken me completely out of my comfort zone, but I believe that’s where the magic lies.”

Fonte’s book is available on Amazon. For more information about her and her services, visit