We Got HER.!!!!!

Where to begin….?


I am super sorry I didn’t post Saturday like I planned.! I got so busy, not realizing it was Christmas Eve and I was finishing up last minute shopping then off I went for Family Dinner. Over the last week and a half now… I have been working with Epona, that is her name, Congratulations to Rowen for winning the free riding lesson.!


After days of trying to inch my way closer and closer to her…. I still was unsuccessful on having contact with her. She is a stubborn girl that for sure, and does NOT go down without a fight that is for sure.!


I feel so bad for this poor girl, she has clearly not had a very nice start to life. I strongly believe that some of her behavioural issues have been human caused. This is where it makes my job extremely hard, because she is a young filly that I believe is in foal but will NOT confirm until she is handled and vetted.!!


I decided to hop on Red with his halter and a set of clip on reins, bareback to try to get up to this pony.. Well after today, I am damn glad that I did not catch her that day. Red was awesome, really trying to cut Epona, but was very responsive when asked to back off.


As you can tell in all of her pictures her halter is WAY too small for her… Was I ever right.! Thankfully she does not have any cuts from it digging into her skin. She does now have a new halter on that properly fits her.


Oh yes, THAT IS RIGHT.!!!!! Today I got a hold of Epona, she was definitely not impressed at all, but she did calm herself down and allowed me to give her a little bit of love.


So today I finally decided that I was going to buy myself a rope, that way I no longer need to borrow one. I could NOT stand Epona’s halter being on her so tight, I figured my only other option was to rope her and change it. So I did just that.


I will say I am VERY rusty with a rope, but I did the trick just right today. As stubborn as I am, and she is, that was when our battle together began.!!!! She is a strong little girl with one heck of an attitude.! After she has pulled me across the round pen and pulling the rope out of my hands, I finally got her tied to a post.


After I got her tied to the post, I then worked my way slowly towards her offering her treats.. She pulled and tried to run.. I do not use this method very often, but I am thankful I was taught it. Once I was able to get up to Epona, I then being to love her and show her the I am not trying to hurt her. I took her tight halter off her and then it was show time. With the rope still attached to her and I was standing on the wrong side of the rope, I got close lined.


Again, I worked my way back up to her. Putting a lead rope around her neck and then putting on her new halter, she was EXTREMELY nervous  and terrified but allowed me to do so. Once we had that new halter on and a lead rope attached, I tried to walk her forward, but she has no idea how to respond to being led. I took the rope off of her and we hung out.


We just stood there, moved a few feet but nothing major. She allowed me to pet her neck and chest, but she sure told me I was NOT allowed near her rear end. Still not accepting treats from me, I gave her some pets and loving, then I took the lead rope off her halter and let her go off on her own.


I am hoping that when I go back out she will be a little more responsive towards me and we can begin our process of building a relationship together.


Day 2: Working with CWH Mascot

She has made improvements today and I hope she will continue to make improvements.!!!

Day 2: CWH Mascot

I have still not had success when it comes to making contact with this little girl yet, but she has been making improvements.!! Which is all I can ask for as a trainer.!!

When I first arrived at the barn and went to the paddock, Red and Gladis were right there waiting for me…. Like ALWAYS.!!! They always have to get there to get their cuddles, kisses, and loves.!! Of course they do fight over who gets my attention first.!! They did also watch have to watch me work with the new pony.


After they get their lovin’s, I headed down to the round pen to see little girl… Of course, she took off away from me, running. Scared, terrified, and unsure.! I then stood in the middle of the round pen and let her settle herself down, before I proceed with anything. Once she settled down and relaxed I began our session.

Today we did the same stuff as yesterday… Just asking her to walk, jog, lope a little bit, and halt. She has proven that she can pick up and respond to voice commands. While asking her to proceed walk and/or jogging around the round pen, I would ask for her to whoa and halt (Slow down and Stop) and she has shown that she understands what she is being asked to do. When I ask for her to change direction, I just open my arm closest to her and point my hand 4-6 feet behind her bum, using my other arm to guide her forward, using the voice command “change direction.” When we started out she was ALWAYS turning towards the outside of the ring and then proceeding forward, or she would halt facing the outside of the ring. BUT by the end of our 40 minute session today, she was turning in towards me to change her direction and felt comfortable enough to halt facing me. This is a HUGE improvement from what she was like yesterday when she first arrived.


Today I was able to get about 3 feet away from her before she WALKED away from me.!!!! YES, I did say walk.!! When we first started, I could not get anywhere near here, she was take off running as soon as I stepped a single foot in her direction. After asking her to go around the round pen, change direction, halt and proceed, she allowed me to creep, SLOWLY, step by step, inching closer, I was able to get about 3 feet from her before she walked away from me. That is when I back up, slowly releasing the pressure off of her. She was licking and chewing, even more than yesterday and she was showing more signs of relaxation.


My future hopes are to be able to make contact with her and take off the current halter that is on her as it is WAY to small. I hope that even if it is a fight to get it off, the relieved pain and pressure of her face may give her the sense of safety and relief in me. Then I hope to start to build a small relationship from there, reapplying a proper fitting halter on her and begin to teach her own to respond to a halter and lead rope, as well as how to be lead and all basic halter/in hand commands. Form here we will expand and see where we are and reevaluate. This will be posted on the bottom of each blog until the next evaluation I do on her.

Her next evaluation will be Saturday, December 24th, 2016. We will then continue to weekly evaluations until I feel we are ready to begin extending her evaluation periods.!!

~~ Ashley
Dec. 17th 2016

Happy 1yr Anniversary.!!

Happy 1yr Anniversary to Abbit of Pepto and Ashley.
A year ago today, Ashley met Red and this is their last year together.!

One year ago today, Ashley met the cutest little red horse that stole my heart from the moment she saw him. It was love at first sight, with the question of him possibly being too small, Ashley could no resist.. She HAD to have him.!! Nothing in her life has ever been so clear as it is when they are together in a ring, the paddock, training pen or out on the trails.

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Within a years time, that little red horse has now turned into this incredible little red horse with a BIG heart. Not only being one of the easiest horses Ashley have ever backed and started, but the intelligence level he has, the wanting to learn brain he has, and is bravery to try new things as well be adventurous. Red was lightly started while still living at the breeders Young Paints in Havelock, Ont. When he came home, he started bareback for the first couple rides, just getting him used to someone being on his back. He handled everything within stride and did not step one foot out of place.

Once Red started going under tack, he just kept improving and asking for more. Red went to his first show at Gateway Horse Riders Association in Tweed, Ont. On June 26th, 2016. His sister Gladis did join him placing 4th in the halter mares class and behaving with class in the ring and around the trailer. Red placed 2nd in junior horse and expanded his mind to a lot of different Gymkhana events and behaving like he knew what he was doing. Together Ashley and Red grew together, doing a lot of trail riding, hacking and going up to the local arenas to train. Ashley and Red went back to GHRA on July 17th, were Red brought home a 2nd and 3 3rds. Fighting the weather on August 28th at GHRA Red placed 3rd in the Barrels and 4th in the Keyhole. Ashley and Red took a little break from turning barrels, weaving poles and Gymkhana speed events at the end of September and traveled to Double H Ranch, in Omemee, Ont to work with Jeff Hill.

Jeff helped Ashley properly introduce Red to cattle and learn how to sort. For Reds first time being in an arena with cattle, he took everything in stride and really proved himself to be cowy. With the season changing, Ashley is looking forward to the spring when she and Red will go back up and work with Jeff some more and eventually work on their roping with Jeff as well. Ashley highly recommends Jeff Hill as a coach and trainer. He works with you and your horses to build you as a team together.

On Thanksgiving weekend, Ashley and Red traveled up to Norwood, On to compete in the Gymkhana speed events on the Sunday. Red proved himself and improved more than Ashley could have imagined. He showed everyone that he has learned his base and is ready to start training a little harder in the new year. Without knowing, Red placed 5th in the Flag event receiving his first ever cheque. Red has now been on some down time, relaxing and going for trail rides to finish off the year. He has become a completely different horse than he was a year ago.

Ashley and Red have an exciting and bright future ahead of them. Definitely looking forward to a wonderful season in 2017. Gladis will also be joining Red on the trailer, starting her first show season in the Halter, in hand and western pleasure walk/jog classes.

Welcome to RFF.

Welcome to Running Free Farms.

First off I would like to welcome you to Running Free Farms website and blog.

On this site you will find information about Ashley and the Farm, services we offer, all of our contact information and links, as well you will see our blog, where Ashley will post in regards to different event occurring in the Equine Industry.   
Running Free Farms (RFF) is about Equine Advocacy, Therapy and Horse Training Facility. With focuses on Gentling horses, Equine Therapy and Welfare, Raising Equine awareness and individualized training methods both on the ground and under saddle. All of the methods Ashley performs are individualized for each horse she is working with. Ashley strongly believes that horses have a way of communicating with us that can sooth our souls and fill our hearts.

Ashley is an active board member with the Canadian Wild Horses (CWH) participating in various events across Canada. You can find out more information about CWH under the CWH tab. To find out more about Ashley herself check out our About tab.

Our blog is where Ashley will express her opinions on different concerns, providing proper education and awareness. Ashley will also keep you up to date on what is happening around with her personal horses as well as training mounts.!

Thank you.!