Ashley grew up on her family’s ranch in Idaho and competed successfully on the American Quarter Horse Association circuit in western and English pleasure for most of her life. “I trained under multiple trainers, cleaning stalls and doing odd jobs around the barn in exchange for lessons,” Ashley says.
Although she enjoyed competing, as the years went on she was left with an unsatisfied feeling. “I was getting a little tired of the politics, and every time I had a horse that was considered finished, it really wasn’t. You could ride the horse all day in the arena, but if you’d go on the trail it’d half kill you. It was like a ticking time bomb, and it frustrated me,” Ashley says.
At the barn where she was working, several of the boarders practiced the Method with their horses and encouraged Ashley to look into it. “Back then, I thought groundwork was a waste of time and had no interest in it. I more or less blew them off,” she says.
When she bought a 6-month-old colt, Ashley changed her mind. “I quickly realized that I was in over my head. I had no idea what I was doing,” she says. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there had to be more to the horse world than just getting a horse ready for the show ring. I thought back to what those ladies had told me about the Method and decided to look into it.”
The decision to research the Method changed Ashley’s horsemanship and set her on the road to becoming an Ambassador. “I got the Foal Training, Colt Starting and Fundamentals Kits and set to work with my colt. I loved the results I got and Clinton’s focus on safety,” Ashley says. “Once you try the Method, you’ll never go back. The more you use it, the more passionate you get about it.”
Ashley knew that if she wanted to take her knowledge of the Method to the next level, she needed to attend the Academy. “I am obsessed with sharing the Method. I want to help change the mindsets of people who, just like I used to, don’t believe in groundwork or the importance of putting a foundation on a horse,” Ashley says. “I love watching people become more confident horsemen because of the Method. The confidence it gives you as a horseman will make you chomp at the bit to learn more about it and develop a better partnership with your horse.”