Hi! I am Ashley Knuth-Formato and I am the owner/instructor of Posie’s Equestrian Academy & Posie’s Performance Horses. First and most important, I am a mother of a beautiful little girl! She’s the love of my life and Posie is her nickname (hence the barn and academy name). I graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in Elementary Education and Sociology with honors and top of my class.
My Mom had horses all of my life, and I took many of my naps as a baby on the back of a horse. Almost every childhood memory has a horse or pony involved. Later in life my family moved to our very own farm!!! After school I would help my mom retrain the rescued horses and find them new homes. A lot of my experience with horses comes through having all different types, personalities, breeds, riding levels, etc at our farm to figure out.
As an instructor, my philosophy is very simple. Every horse reacts to every rider differently, and every rider progresses in a different fashion as well. I try to match up the rider with the horse that suits their level and confidence. I strongly believe that riding horses is not just about your time in the saddle but also learning about the horse’s environment, their belongings, health, diet, etc.
While in the saddle I will keep the student there within reason until the objective is at least understood. I am not a clock watcher, often lessons go over time. I believe that kids of almost any age can start riding lessons. Why not start off with quick pony rides under 4-5 years old so they aren’t afraid when they get older? Even my pony rides are usually instructed not just walked around. When they do move up to being able to hold the reins and steer is the perfect time to move up to half hour lessons, and so on. Feel safe, and get a loving lesson from someone who is not only experienced with horses, but has experience as a teacher as well!!

I am also an NBHA, & WPRA member, and compete professionally in barrel racing with a successful career.