With over 25 years of experience riding, training, grooming, managing and showing horses, Ashley Fant has worked with horses most of her life.
Training horses and riders go hand in hand and an important part of what she does is to develop a personalized program to help people meet their goals as both riders and horse owners.
A professional trainer since 2003, Ashley recalls her first time on horseback as a youngster on a field trip. She took to the saddle with such ease that a chaperon encouraged her parents to give her lessons. She soon began competing, and as her passion for riding and showing horses deepened, she took every opportunity — working in stables, and at horse shows and camps — to advance her equestrian goals.
“I always knew I was going to train horses” she says.
While in college, she took a job as a working student for a busy show barn which enabled her to pursue her passion while pursing her studies.
After graduating from Rhodes College Ashley began teaching lessons to students of all ages and levels of experience. Her communication skills combined with her understanding of movement and her feel of the horse help her convey not only the principles of riding to her students, but also allow her to isolate individual difficulties and overcome them.
Ashley regularly travels the “A” circuit with clients, their horses and sale horses, but also makes a point to take beginner students to local schooling shows so they can gain experience .
Ashley’s experience as a competitive hunter/jumper rider combined with her stable management skills and her love of teaching give Ashley a unique perspective and approach when it comes to training both horses and riders.
“I give a lot of attention to the full program,” she regards the training of a horse as one would the grooming of any top-notch athlete. “Making a horse a competitive animal involves a program of wellness as well as training,” Ashley says. “I take an approach that is all-encompassing. It is much more rewarding to me.”
Matching riders with the appropriate horses to improve their skills and build confidence, teaching and practicing good horsemanship and achieving success in the show ring are all aspects of Ashley’s philosophy and are evident every day in her lessons, training and horse management.