Fan of the Month: Meet Ashley Kae Barnum

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By Julie Preble, Assistant Editor

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Ashley Kae Barnum is a 21-year-old from Park Rapids, Minnesota. She's certified as a dental assistant, but she's also attending North Dakota State College of Science to further her education.

What are the registered name and bloodlines of the horse in the photo?
She is APHA registered, and her name is 'Miss Awesome G'. She is sired by an American Paint Horse named 'G Man Two' and out of an American Quarter horse named 'Total Awesome'. Her color is quite unique, she is actually a blue roan tovero. Her sire was black and white tobiano, and her dam was sorrel. She was bred and trained to be a cutting horse.

What is her barn name and how old is she?
Her barn name is 'Lucky.' She has a freeze brand on her hindquarter in the shape of a shamrock, so the name is quite suitable. She is 12 years young; I have been blessed to have her in my life for 6 of those years now, and I plan to have her for many more.

How did you come to own/ride your horse?
I have always had a passion for horses since I was a little girl. I never had the chance to grow up with them, but I always found ways to be around them. The time finally came when I was about 15 years old, I started looking for my first horse. I checked into a mare that was listed on an equine site--but after talking with the owner, we both agreed that her mare wouldn't be suitable for what I was looking for. This woman has since become a friend of mine, as she actually got involved for the search of my 'future horse' as well. She sent me many listings of horses for sale that she thought may be good prospects, though none of them seemed to 'click' for me. She hesitated to send me the last listing that she sent, but I'm so glad that she did--because that horse became mine. I purchased her sight unseen, with an agreement with the previous owner that if 'Lucky' and I wouldn't be suitable for each other, they would take her back--that was completely unnecessary though, as she has turned out to be a huge blessing in my life who has taught me so much.

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What kind of events do you and your horse participate in?
Lucky was originally trained and bred for cutting, but my interest was in the pleasure world. We switched gears, and I started training her in Western pleasure and hunter under saddle. Whenever time and funds allow, we try to make it to some local open shows for fun. This summer we showed at our first APHA show in novice amateur, and plan to continue in the APHA circuit showing western pleasure and HUS.

What are your goals for yourself and Lucky?
Right now, my main concentration is on school. I am currently a certified dental assistant, but I am attending North Dakota State College of Science to further my education in Dental Hygiene and obtain my Liberal Arts degree as well. After graduation, I hope to have more time available to progress in the show ring, and to simply spend some time in the saddle admiring God's beauty out on the trails with this wonderful horse of mine.

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What do you and your horse do for fun?
A 'fun' day at the barn for Lucky and I is practically anything. I'll usually go out to the barn and just give her a good groom down--she seems to enjoy those relaxing days where we just bond quite a bit.

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