Faith, family, horses – the trinity of Ashley Quarter Horses. Forty years of quality horses, starting with Louise Horn in the spring of 1976 when the first Ashley Quarter Horse was born.
It’s a family affair but it wouldn’t be possible without the guidance of Lanell Ashley.
“You have to have vision and discipline.” Ashley shared, adding, “…start with the mares. You have this mare who not only has half the genetics, but more than half the genetics. They also have learned behavior from this colt. If this mare is rotten towards other horses and towards other people who are somehow aggressive in her culture, so will they. So you have to start with a good base of good sweet, calm and calm mares.
This is where it all begins.
Horses are only a small part of the family business. It is guided by their faith.
“If we all return it to our lord and saviour, may he entrust us with the responsibility of caring for these animals. I think that’s the most important thing I’d like to teach my daughter and my grandson is that they belong to him and we are just custodians of them. It is our responsibility to be kind to them. Raising his animals.
He taught his daughter Shaylin O’Neil well. She is the next to take over the operation, followed by her son, Yukon. She learns her father’s knowledge for different pedigrees and genetics that can create the quiet disposition in an Ashley Quarter Horse. She remembered following in Grandma Lou’s footsteps.
“It’s so gratifying to know that she’s the basis of it all. And really, it was just a natural instinct that instilled in me that, you know, horses were our passion and that was how my family was going to make a living.
There are a total of five people living on the ranch between Shaylin and her father. His mother, Kelly, her husband Jonathan and their son Yukon. All of which play a vital role on the property.
Yukon is a helper at best when he’s by Grandpa’s side.
Jonathan was not born into the Ashley family, and he learned valuable lessons while working on this ranch.
“You don’t consider your own needs. You must first integrate theirs. So, it’s a great education, but it’s also very enjoyable because it instills better things in this young man that most kids won’t get the chance to do. Sharing about his son Yukon.
“…it’s not always easy. There are tears shed and stuff like that, but that’s part of it and we love it. And at the end of the day, it’s all good and it’s just fun to d ‘Family.’ Shaylin shared.
The family is the basis of the success of this business. Kelly watched her husband for many years pursue his passion for horse breeding.
“That’s all he ever wanted to do was breed horses… the end of genetics. He is fascinated by genetics and how it all comes together. said about her husband Lanell.
Yukon is a man of few words, like any good cowboy. He shared his love for his favorite cowboy John Wayne, quoting The Duke, “If you’re looking for trouble, I’ll take you in.”
There’s no doubt that this boy is growing up, he might cause a bit of trouble. Right now he’s only worried about the horse, Booners. “Boone” as they call him, is the type of horse Dale Brisby rides, something the Yukon had to point out.
For the moment, Yukon is still guided by his dad Jonathan on a longe, his mastery of the horse is not yet there. When you look in his eyes, there is a love that only someone who rides a horse can understand.
“I can do it with my mom and my dad…I love my mom and my dad.” Shared the young cowboy.
Grandpa Lanell shared, “I’m glad my grandson is showing such interest…”
The calm layout of Ashley Ranch in Belt is something spiritual. A cool breeze blowing through the prairie grass, a crisp view of Tiger Butte and surrounded by a band of broodmares leaves a man, woman or cowboy in peace.
“It’s a wonderful life.” Shared Kelly.