“I have loved horses my whole life. I believe that we collectively as humans owe these majestic creatures a huge debt of gratitude. Our entire society, wars, agriculture and so much was built on the backs of these loving, intuitive and loyal beings. I didn’t start really riding until I was an adult and my daughter started, but I immediately felt as though I had found something I really connected with. That said, there was always something missing until I met Ashley Russell. I had worked with good trainers, but I intuitively knew that there was something missing with the way they dealt with the horses and what they were teaching the humans.
I first met Ashley and Goose at another barn where I was riding a beautiful Friesian that I was madly in love with. You could have lit a bomb under him, and he would have thought only of protecting his rider. He was the perfect horse for me at that time. When I first met Goose, he was so full of spirit and life, but was frankly a bit frightening for me. As a horse that started his life racing and being trained by people who were abusive, he was understandably distrustful. Goose still has spirit and life, but after doing Liberty Training with Ashley, he is a completely different being. He went through a period where he clearly communicated to Ashley that he was not OK with the work he was doing. If he wasn’t lucky enough to be owned by Ashley, he would have been sent on to another person who didn’t understand and would have continued the cycle of abuse. I know that there were people who told Ashley to get rid of him.
Ashley did not get rid of this being that she loved. She sent him to the field and started researching what she could do to help him. She then found Robin Gates and Liberty Horse Training. She spent a week with Robin at her ranch in California and learned and grew and brought that knowledge back to Goose. She was patient and loving and spent time with Goose just simply being and connecting. Something that no other human had ever done. After time and effort, Goose made the decision to trust, and bond with Ashley. He was not forced, he accepted Ashley as his leader and he said “Yes, I trust you and will follow you.” I watched Robin’s videos and was in awe, and then I watched Ashley working with Goose and was even more in awe. I then said to Ashley “He trusts you, he will never do that with me.” and she said, “No, he has made the decision to be in the bond.” Well, I will say that there is nothing that has ever touched me more in my life that having this beautiful creature walk beside me at my pace, with no tack, following my lead, simply because he chose too. He has learned so much from Ashley and Liberty Training, and I have learned so much from them.
Ashley is a truly gifted horse trainer and rider with patience, kindness and understanding for both horse and human that you will find no where else. I am proud to call her my friend, and I look forward to spending much more time with Goose, learning, growing, evolving, and learning to be a confident leader with horses and in life.”
Kimberly KB White
“I’ve been in the horse industry for almost 30 years, and having worked in many a barn and having horses who are the light of my life, I’m picky and somewhat jaded. But it’s a fine balance between overly-picky and letting horses be horses and recognizing each one for who they are. At a time when I was barely able to make a weekly visit to my beloved retired Thoroughbred due to work and professional commitments, I was panicked about finding an ideal place for him…and then we met Ashley. She cared for him like her own, shares her ideas and takes mine into account as well, and also understood my boy for the very “unique” gent that he is. 😉 I normally would have been a basket case, but I didn’t worry a bit with Ashley at the helm of his care.
We took it one step further when I purchased a second horse…again, I couldn’t have done it without Ashley! Her opinions on the match, and the support, teaching and understanding after purchase have been unbelievable. Her patience and positive attitude continue to inspire me to work on my confidence problems so my partner and I can enjoy our time together. When Ashley moved to TRU Liberty, she was continually devoted to making sure we all three are happy even from afar. I haven’t looked forward to a show season this much in as long as I can remember, and there is *no one* I trust more to care for and ride my horses! Thank you, Ashley!”