TTUISD Alumna Excels with Texas Tech’s Ranch Horse Team

by KATIE MCKEE

May 28, 2014

As the other children moved along to the next birthday party activity, she stayed behind.

Five-year-old Ashley Adams couldn’t bring herself to leave the horses.

That’s when her parents knew Ashley found her first love.

“Instead of going up to the birthday party and eating cake with all the other kids, I stayed back and started messing with the horses,” Ashley said, “and ever since then they’ve always joked that I was addicted from that point. I fell in love from day one.”

The Lubbock native’s newfound passion led her to graduate high school early with the aspirations of joining the Texas Tech University Ranch Horse Team.

Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD) made those dreams a reality for Ashley, who enrolled full time to complete her last four high school courses and graduate a semester early.

She was ready to get a head start on her life after interning at a ranch in Oklahoma and learning what the career had to offer, she said.

Ashley and her parents researched options to accelerate her life and found TTUISD. Having taken online dual credit classes at her previous high school, Ashley said she knew what to expect and prepared to buckle down.

“I really had to work and motivate myself to get it done,” she said. “I fell in love with the online option. I’ve always liked that freedom and independence.”

Taking her laptop to horse shows and sitting in horse trailers with her textbooks, Ashley completed five courses in three months.

The work ethic she learned during high school transferred over to her college career, Ashley said, which has already begun to benefit her.

“It’s helped me a lot with my freshman studies at Tech, making myself sit down and study for those tests, not waiting until midnight to complete something that’s due at one o’clock, to really have good time management,” she said. “I feel like it prepared me extremely well for not waiting until the last minute.”

Attending Texas Tech was a long time coming, Ashley said, as she grew up in a family of Red Raiders. Her uncles and mother graduated from the university and she knew she wanted to carry on the tradition.

“It’s such a cool opportunity to continue on that legacy knowing that you’re representing Tech and everything that your family’s accomplished by wearing the Double T on your back,” she said.

Ashley began her studies with Texas Tech in January 2014 at 17 years old, and has since not only made the Ranch Horse Team, but also won Reserve Champion at the national show in Colorado.

In addition to her admittance to Texas Tech, Ashley received TTUISD’s competitive academic scholarship, which is available for former full-time TTUISD students attending Texas Tech.

Although academic studies are her primary focus, Ashley spends much of her time as a Red Raider in the Texas Tech Equestrian Center working with her horse, Maverick.

In the future, Ashley would like to own a ranch, training and breeding horses, and she has a plan to get there.

“We had a clinician come before Christmas and he said if you improve 1 percent a day, in 100 days you’ll be 100 percent better,” she said. “So, I’m just going to keep striving to improve 1 percent each day and see where that takes me.”

Graduating early, attending Texas Tech ahead of schedule, making the Ranch Horse Team, and following her dreams wouldn’t have been possible without jumpstarting her life through TTUISD’s full time, diploma-seeking program, Ashley said.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the great TTUISD that let me get done extremely fast and keep up with the pace that I wanted to do,” she said.

Check out her video.stuff

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