May 05 | Dana, Director of Public Relations
Ashley Krauser, Patterson/Bach’s public relations account executive, competes year round in Eventing. Eventing, often referred to as the “equestrian triathlon,” is a test of horse and rider in three phases: dressage, stadium, and cross country.
Between perfecting her horse’s and her own ability to perform complicated movements in dressage and negotiating the colorful series of fences in the show jumping arena, Ashley has her work cut out for her.
The majority of Ashley’s training sessions with her horses are spent building endurance and muscle strength over the rolling hills of Rocking Horse Farm in Altoona, Florida, or obtaining the elasticity and lightness of movement the dressage tests demand.
Ashley describes dressage as “a lot of practice,” which is probably an understatement given the dozens of complex movements that must be performed perfectly. The rider’s signals must be so subtle that only the horse should be aware of them.
Ashley has trained with several internationally known riders and big names in the sport, including David and Karen O’Conner, who are Olympic medalists a few times over. Most of the time, however, Ashley trains herself. Or, as she says, the horses train her.
Eventing is not for anyone afraid of backbreaking work, extreme heights, or high speeds. Loose newspaper, fluttering trash bags, and eerie tree branch formations have all been known to send the already flighty thoroughbreds rampaging off in all directions.
Ashley, who has been showing since she was eight years old, has taken her fair share of tumbles. Luckily for her clients, she’s learned to balance her work and hobby.