Ashley Gasky began trimming horses in the summer of 2010 when she asked a visiting farrier to remove her horse’s shoes. By the fall of 2010, she had been introduced to Dr. Judith Shoemaker’s work and attended a hoof care clinic hosted at her facility in Nottingham, PA. Following this clinic on hoof distortion, she volunteered at various postural rehabilitation clinics with Doctors Shoemaker and Gellman who were frequently assisted by Elizabeth Reese, Daisy Bicking and Lee Follett. Her immersion into the postural rehabilitation paradigm was life-changing. It enabled her to correct her horse’s feet and the rest of her horse’s body. By 2012, Ashley’s knowledge and reputation as a hoof care practitioner had evolved. She flew to California to attend the Epona Shoe Institute and began taking her career in hoof care very seriously. In 2013, she joined the American Association of Professional Farriers, an organization dedicated to continued education.
Barefoot trimming in a perfect barn environment with the help of a trusty Hoofjack.
A large percentage of Ashley’s practice is dedicated to barefoot horses. She is able to fit them for boots or shoe them as necessary. She considers shoeing in composite materials (non-metal shoes) to be her niche. In working with Curtis Burns, she feels she has learned a highly effective gluing technique. The technique does not require special treatment of the horse while the glue-on shoes are being applied. Ashley works with a client base of 75 – 100 horses on a regular basis and about a dozen other emergency cases per year.
Ashley is based in rural Saratoga County, New York. There are approximately 11,000 horses in Saratoga county, making it a great place to be in the horse business. She lives 15 minutes from the town where she was raised, so technically she knows somebody who knows somebody on every street corner, for miles. When asked what she values most about her home base, she credits the land, the flora and fauna, the pure dichotomy of the sophisticated Saratoga Springs in the summer with the rough and ready agriculture-based communities that surround it.
Working at an anvil.
We asked Ashley about the greatest influences on her work. She acknowledges Dr. Judith Shoemaker because without her, postural rehabilitation would not be a teachable practice. She names Esco Buff because of his insurmountable presence and patience. He has also helped Ashley develop her business skills and build an efficient, effective whole-horse approach to farriery. Esco, she says, is a walking, talking search engine of information on the equine hoof. Ashley’s final nominee is Curtis Burns, who helped remodel her gluing techniques to be highly effective under all circumstances.
When identifying the three greatest challenges in her hoof care practice today, Ashley lists time, money, and environmental stressors. Time, she says, is the greatest limiting factor for us all. Money is a necessary evil. Environmental stressors are not nearly so cut and dry for her: they can be anything from terrain that is too wet or too dry for proper hoof health. It can be a barn environment that is not conducive to hoof and horse care, or it can be a rich green pasture that leads a susceptible horse down a painful path to laminitis.
Curtis Burns (also on the Easyboot Elite team) and Ashley Gasky.
When Ashley contemplates the 2015 Tevis gluing activities, she is most excited to see the horses she’s worked on go out and compete in the toughest endurance race in the world. She will be feeling the struggle and the triumph of each horse. When you see Ashley in Auburn at the Tevis Easyboot Elite gluing event in July 2015, be sure to ask her personally about her passion for dancing. She dances swing, salsa, and even blues. Anyone up for a dance?
The Easyboot Elite team is a group of six gluing professionals from around the country who will spend the week before the 2015 edition of the Western States Endurance Ride gluing Easyboot Glue-Ons onto horses entered to compete in the ride. Together, they form the most accomplished and sophisticated team of gluing professionals in the world.
Director of Marketing
I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your equine partner.