Ashley Zilmer, Owner & Trainer/Instructor
Ashley's passion for horses began at a young age. Her lesson cantering in 1986 got her hooked and quickly turned into owning her first horse. She experienced Breed shows and Open shows in her early years, but after competing in a Hunter/Jumper show at 12, she fell in love with the discipline. As a teen, Ashley earned a position at a top Hunter/Jumper facility as a working student and has ridden successfully in the discipline since.
As both a rider and trainer, Ashley and her students have won numerous Hunter/Jumper and Equitation Championships including multiple year-end Championships and awards. She is currently Vice-President of the Oklahoma Hunter Jumper Association for Zone 1/Tulsa area and a board member of the Hunter Jumper Exhibitors of Oklahoma. Her traditional Hunt Seat Equitation training style is based on a soft, yet firm when needed, ride creating a positive, effective learning environment for both horse and rider.
She has boarded, lessoned, and trained at both self-care and full-care facilities over the years. The sum of those experiences came together when Ashley created SaddleBack in 2008. She wanted a place that was safe, clean and friendly to all riders. A positive learning environment with a riding curriculum for those who want to improve and grow.
Ashley has worked tirelessly to acquire and train a group of top notch lesson horses that provide the backbone of SaddleBack's lesson program. Adored by the students and very well taken care of, these horses love what they do and take care of their riders. Her students and school horses have won numerous Year-End Awards in both Hunter/Jumpers & Equitation including many Year-End Championships and Reserves.
Hear what some of the students are saying about working with Ashley.
Our daughter has ridden with Ashley for several years. Her progression as a rider and horsemanship skills have been impressive to say the least. Not to mention, we always feel right at home at SaddleBack with a welcoming and knowledgeable staff that truly care for their riders.
I absolutely love SaddleBack Equestrian...After having been taught incorrectly with an old trainer and not having the most wonderful experience, I didn't really know what to expect my first time I went out. Ashley made me feel so comfortable - so welcoming, inviting, and she knew exactly what she was doing. As I continue to lesson, she pushes me farther than I ever think I can go - pushing me to my full potential, and I ALWAYS learn something new! Everything at SaddleBack is done with excellence, and it provides the most wonderful atmosphere for learning and having a great time. The horses are amazing, and the facilities are beautiful. It's the most wonderful riding experience I've ever had, and I highly recommend it to anyone!