Ashley Russell grew up riding in Great Falls, VA. She got her foundation in the Hunters, but found her passion for Eventing when she joined the Great Falls Pony Club as a teenager. She was also a member of the Great Falls Vaulting Team for several years. Ashley was accepted and earned an equestrian scholarship to Midway College in KY however an unfortunate riding accident ended her intercollegiate career prematurely. Ashley then experienced vision loss due to a rare genetic disorder. She took a break from the equestrian world to learn how to function with a visual impairment during which time, Ashley also met and married the love of her life and had two beautiful children. Always determined to overcome any obstacle, Ashley quickly adapted to her new vision and with the support of her family, she dove heart first back into her passion of the equine world. When her newly acquired competition horse, Goose, had a mental breakdown, Ashley ignored the advise of others to just put him down or sell him. She knew in her heart that someone along the way had done this horse wrong and she was determined to find out his story as well as a way to help him. She traveled to CA to study the art of Liberty Training under the guidance of Robin Gates. Robin and her beautiful horses showed Ashley the secrets of connecting to the heart of the horse and establishing a true connection. Ashley found that working with the wild mustangs was particularly enlightening. “ Their raw natural energy helped ground me so that I was able to have a clear connection to their spirits. It was a life changing experience. “ With the help of social media, Ashley was able to put the pieces of Goose’s past together and uncovered a horrific tale of abuse. More determined than ever, she spent the next year patiently trying to show Goose that they could indeed have an authentic relationship built upon a strong bond of trust. Her patience was rewarded and Goose now has a new life where he teaches people how they too can have an authentic relationship with their horses.
Ashley’s passion for Eventing didn’t stop when she experienced her vision loss. She co-founded BABS Eventing and has been having a successful career at the lower levels qualifying for the 2014 AEC’s in Tyler TX.
Ashley fulfilled her life long dream of owning her own horse property in the fall of 2013 when her family purchased a beautiful 28-acre farm in Lovettsville nestled at the foot of Short Hill Mt. “ I want to create a haven where people can be at one with their horses. I want to provide a space where the quality of care is premium and the atmosphere is fun and engaging. I don’t have time for people that use horses as a tool for their own competition glory. I want to show people how they can have a rewarding partnership with these amazing animals whether they are competing, pleasure, retired, or just starting out.”
Ashley has a talent for reschooling many horses that have had set backs in their careers or whose owners have given up on them. Her current competition horse had a devastating accident with a former owner, where he broke his whither, pelvis, and tail. His confidence was shattered along with his majestic body. Through patience and consistent work, Ashley helped show him how to use his body again as well as trust in her ability to guide him back to where he could rediscover his confidence and qualify for the 2014 AEC’s. “ I am so proud of how far this horse has come. He has the heart of a lion and I am so privileged to take this journey with him. “
Ashley has been riding for over 30 years and has 15 years of experience with stable management. Ashley truly found her calling working with horses and their owners to discover a TRU connection. “ The Mustangs in the CA Mountains gave me the gift of light. I am blessed to share that light with others in order to help them create meaningful partnerships with their horses. “