Barrel Horse News caught up with futurity champion Ashley Schafer to find out what she considers to be her keys to success throughout her career.

There’s two things that are, to me, the most important and that’s butt-in-the-saddle time and getting help from the right people.

There are a lot of people out there who are willing to help. Sometimes you have to pay for it, but I think it’s really important. But, like I said, the ‘right’ help. I always tell people to pick someone you look up to, or maybe someone who is built similar to you, or someone you aspire to ride like or maybe you have a similar style to, because there are a lot of ways to do it and a lot of ways to win.

For me personally, I always ride the hindquarters of a horse and I look back at videos from high school on my good horses and that’s how I rode even then. That’s what’s natural for me. Just like a horse goes back to what’s natural to them, we go back to what’s natural for us. So, if I can pick someone who has a similar style to me and who I look up to and who has good horsemanship or maybe that wins a lot or that I appreciate something about what they do, that’s the kind of people I like to go to. Watch videos, get on YouTube, do whatever, but just get help from the right people.

Then, spend a lot of time in the saddle. Getting help is good, but there’s also trial-and-error and figuring out your own way a little bit and getting a feel for a horse, which requires a lot of butt-in-the-saddle time.”

Ashley Schafer

Ashley Schafer of Brock, Texas, has garnered more than $800,000 in Equi-Stat reported lifetime earnings. The futurity champion and pro rodeo winner has taken home big wins such as The Better Barrel Races World Finals aboard JL Dash Ta Heaven in 2011, the reserve championship at the Old Fort Days Derby, the Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic Futurity in 2015 aboard KR Last Fling, the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Finals Futurity, RFD-TV’s The American Semifinals qualifier, and more.

To view Ashley Schafer’s full catalog of videos click here.


Kailey Sullins is editor of Barrel Horse News, and an avid barrel racer and breakaway roper. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. How do you stop a horse from anticipating the turn at speed? My slow work is great. But as soon as I add speed the shoulder and rib cage drop

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