Horse crazy, like so many young girls, Ashley started volunteering at a therapeutic riding stable at the age of twelve and immediately fell in love. From there, she spent all her spare time at any barn she could find.
On her sixteenth birthday her dream came true when a horse was gifted to her, and she spent the remainder of her high school years continuing to learn and ride as often as she could.
Continuing to follow her heart, Ashley attended William Woods University, where she spent four years in the Equestrian Science Program obtaining a BS in Equestrian Science. At William Woods her schedule was entirely devoted to the horse farrier, nutrition, first aid, teaching, and riding. She rode with equestrian professor Linda Parkhurst (McClaren) full time and cliniced with amazing athletes of the hunter/jumper discipline such as Linda Allen, George Schneider and Kris Killiam. Internships and working student positions between academic years paid off in additional experience and preparation for a barn manager position at a show barn in Kentucky following college.
Ashley moved to Asheville in 2013, where she joined a local barn as a lessons instructor. This is where she really discovered her niche for teaching and grew as a trainer, rider, and horsewoman. At this time Ashley spent two years working towards certifications in the sport to further her knowledge and experience as an hunter/jumper trainer. In the fall of 2015, Ashley and her wife made the decision to start their own equestrian business (Poplar Ridge Equestrian) so they could share their love for horses in a more meaningful way.
PRE has continued to grow and evolve. With natural horsemanship becoming a big component of our program, our horses and riders are improving daily. Within the past year, Ashley has acquired her Bronze medal with USDF and is close to her Silver. Longterm goals include pursing her Gold medal and developing a well rounded training program for horses and riders.
A big believer of continuing education, Ashley is in training with Jodi Lees, an ‘S judge’ and Gold medalist on a weekly basis. She continues to clinic with professionals such as Robert Zandvort, Buck Brannaman, Melanie Smith Taylor and other phenomenal influences in our sport.