Ashley Schafer

Multiple Barrel Racing Futurity Champion
Won 1st & 2nd at Diamonds & Dirt Futurity
2015 earning of over $200,000

  • How did you get into rodeo?

My mom, Kathy Leonard, sparked my interest in running barrels.  She trained a great horse we called Leo and let me run him at some high school and amateur rodeos in Iowa. This horse made running barrels so much fun which left me craving more!

  • Who are your idols?

I would have to say Kay Young is one of my idols. I respect her as a trainer, competitor and as a person. She has trained so many great horses and achieved so much but remains humble and still works hard to continue her legacy. She is a great role-model!

  • What has been your best memory so far?

My best career memory so far is winning 1st and 2nd and The Diamonds and Dirt Futurity. The mares that helped me achieve this have exceeded my expectations! I am honored to get to ride and train such incredible animals.

  • What do you like most about feeding SLH?

Feeding Silver Lining Herbs has enhanced my training program in several ways. As competitive as the barrel racing industry is I need my horses to feel 100% all the time.  Silver Lining Herbs have a variety of products to help my horses remain in top competitive form at all times!

  • What products do you use?

I use several Silver Lining Herbs products including: Immune Support, Keep Cool, Feet and Bone Support, INF-X, Power Dust and Joint Support.

  • What do you like to do for fun outside of the arena?

When I’m not at a Futurity or on a colt, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, jogging or hiking, going to the lake or anything that involves being outside!

  • What is your favorite food?

I love Mexican Food! Anything from authentic to Taco Johns!

  • What super power would you like to have?

If I could have a super power it would be flying! (If I could still pull a trailer)

  • Can you give a training tip?

The training tip that I generally stress the most is “forward motion”. Teaching your horse to lope a small circle keeping fluent, forward motion and drive with their hind end helps them to have fluent and efficient turns.

  • What is your routine for warm-up/preparing for your run?

I start my warm-up routine by walking once then trotting several times around the arena to get the muscles lose and warm. Then I lope circles each direction working on keeping my horse soft in the face and light through the rib cage. This helps them stay collected and responsive. I also lope a few tighter circles around a barrel or in a corner out of the way, focusing on fluent forward motion and driving with their hind end. I ask them to pivot on a hind leg and cross over in the front each way. Then I walk or stand to keep them quiet until it is our turn to run.

  • If you didn’t train barrel horses full time, what career path would you have chosen?

Prior to being a full-time Futurity Trainer I was a Licensed Massage Therapist. It was a profitable and rewarding career and I would choose that path again if I didn’t train horses.

  • What was the first job you had?

My High School job was washing and detailing combines at the local John Deere Dealership in Lenox, Iowa. (And I loved it)

  • Tell us a funny story from the road.

This wasn’t very funny at the time but in 2013 my mom and I had an interesting trip to the BFA in Oklahoma City. We often look back on it and giggle. My husband Seth and I had just bought the older Kenworth that I drive. This was the first big trip we took it on. First, it gelled up when we pulled out of the driveway putting us three hours behind schedule… It was 2 degrees when we finally left Wyoming and we had no heat. We were bundled up like Eskimos with hand and foot warmers in our gloves and boots but still couldn’t feel most of our extremities! Only to discover when we got to Amarillo, TX that there is a valve under the hood that controls the heat supply!


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