We interrupt our usual content (aka cool interviews with amazing equestrians and beauty how-tos) for an especially fascinating edition of Ringside Chats. Emily Smith grew up riding on both sides of her family and was an avid Hunter, but eventually hung up her competition belt with her sight set on something new—training. She and her husband, Ken, own Ashland Farms, the wildly picturesque farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Horses are her entire life—here’s how she does it all. (in her Signature Pointe Riding Pant) Seriously, she loves them!
How did you start Ashland Farms?
My husband, Ken, and I got married in 1992 and moved from to Florida from Ohio. Ashland was the middle point between us during our long distance relationship (we lived in Columbus and Cleveland), so it felt like the perfect name for our farm. When we founded Ashland Farms I changed from riding to training and coaching full time.
What’s life like at the farm?
Horses and my family are my life twenty-four-seven. My husband is my business partner, but it’s nice because we work on seperate parts of the business. And my father is still our vet. My daughter, Alexandra Smith, and son, Spencer Smith, are both equestrians—we’re really all horses all the time over here.
So obviously, being an equestrian your entire life has really affected your style?
Yes—I like things that are classic and easy. That’s why I love the Free x Rein black Signature Ponte breeches. They are so slimming and I can wear them from training in the morning to dinner at night, and I have all the girls at the stable wear them, too. I also can’t resist the bodysuits… we always have so many shirts coming untucked during lessons, and this makes sure it never happens!
So how do you find balance?
I love to play tennis and entertain—I really enjoy having friends over to the house. I also have a small interior design firm, also named Ashwood, that I really enjoy. I would describe my style as eclectic with antique pops, and of course a lot of black and white.
What's your favorite piece of advice to give riders on how to get their head into the competition?
This sport is about you, and you are doing this for yourself!