Ashley Zilmer, Owner & Trainer/Instructor
Ashley's passion for horses began at very early with cantering lessons at age 6 in 1986. Hooked and begging her supportive parents, she helped out any way possible including looking after other horses and doing self-care board, to help get her own horse. Her determination and hard work paid off by competing successfully in both Breed and Open shows. At age 12 she competed in Hunter/Jumper shows falling in love with the discipline! As a teen Ashley worked tirelessly to hone her H/J skills, working to pay for lessons from numerous trainers for experience, riding every horse available, and doing odd jobs to help fund her riding growth. She eventually earned a working student position at a top Hunter/Jumper facility and has since ridden successfully in the discipline as both rider and trainer.
As both 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 Oklahoma Hunter Jumper Association (OHJA) for Zone 1/Tulsa area and board member of Hunter Jumper Exhibitors of Oklahoma (HJEO). Her traditional Hunt Seat Equitation training style is based on a soft, yet confident, ride creating a positive, effective learning environment for both horse and rider.
Over the years, Ashley boarded, lessoned, and trained at both self-care and full-care facilities. The sum of those experiences came together when Ashley created SaddleBack Equestrian in 2008. She wanted a place Safe, Clean, and Friendly for all riders--the Mission Statement of SaddleBack. She wanted to provide a positive learning environment with a riding lesson program defining goals and curriculum for those wanting to improve and grow--whether competitively or for personal goals.
Ashley has worked tirelessly to acquire and train a group of top-notch, safe 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!