Featured Athlete: Ashton Padon
Written by: Ruth Nicolaus< Back to Articles
Ashton Padon is in love with her 5 Star Equine Products.
The Conroe, Texas cowgirl, a recent graduate of Grace Christian Academy, uses the saddle pads, sport boots, bell boots and shin guards.
“I want the best for my babies,” she said of her horses. The pads work well, especially for her pole horse, Rack It, who is a sway back with high withers. “I like the support the saddle pad gives her and the cushion it has. It has a flex-fit cut for her withers and I like how it sets on there. My saddle doesn’t roll on her.”
She also loves the support the boots give her horses. “I really like how they are lightweight and have the extra strap to make sure they don’t come loose.” She appreciates the extra material at the bottom, where the bell boot fits, “so there is no opening or space between the bell boot and the sport boot, for your horse to hit their ankle.
The eighteen-year-old cowgirl competes in the barrels, poles and breakaway, in the Better Barrel Races, the Cowboys Pro Rodeo Association, and the Texas High School Rodeo Association, where she just wrapped up her senior year at state finals.
For the barrels, she rides Skippin Lanes, “Churro,” a seven-year-old gelding who “is the biggest baby on the face of the planet,” she said. “He’s in my lap. He wants all your love and affection. He’s probably one of the calmest barrel horses I’ve ever had.” He’s the most recent addition to the Padon place.
Her pole horse, Rack It, has a beautiful story. The mare was owned by Sherri Herndon who trained her on the barrels and poles. When Miss Sherri got bucked off a young horse and became paralyzed, Ashton and her mom took Rack It in hopes of selling the horse for her. But “we ended up falling in love with her and we bought her.” They include Miss Sherri in the horse’s successes, including the AQHYA World Show, where Rack It won the reserve world title in the pole bending. Rack It “was her baby, and she didn’t want to give her up, but I told her, I’ll take care of her, I promise.”
Ashton’s barrel horse is a 28-year-old gelding named Houston, who, the family was told by the seller, was a fourteen-year-old grade horse. It turned out, Houston was stolen. When the rightful owners were found, Ashton discovered the horse was 22, not 14, and was registered. She and her mom became friends with the former owners, who gave the horse’s papers to Ashton when she graduated from high school. Last year, Houston won the Horse with the Most Heart award at the Martha Josey Junior World.
Her favorite horse of all is a thirteen-hand paint pony named Jasper. Jasper is an all-around horse, capable of the barrels and poles. “He’ll do anything,” she said. “He has won probably more buckles and money than any of the horses I have.”
The 5 Star Equine shin guards come in handy when she rides Rack It. “For the longest time I would hit the second barrel every single time,” Ashton said. “That’s why I started running her on poles. I love the shin guards. They don’t slip down, they have support and extra cushion to when I hit a barrel, I don’t feel it.” They also fit under a pair of jeans instead of on top. “My pride won’t let me wear the big ones outside of my pants. I like that these go underneath and you can’t see them.”
Ashton has plenty of favorite foods, including her mom’s barbecue cashew chicken with rice, strawberry cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, and plain cucumbers, cut into circles. She likes strawberries, but especially when they’re stuffed with cheesecake filling or used in smoothies. And washing it all down with Dr. Pepper is the best! But she’s trying to ration her Dr. Pepper intake and replace it with more water.
Ashton’s favorite place to be is the horse barn. “I like seeing my horses out there, seeing what I’ve been blessed with, and what my parents have done for me.”
This fall, she will attend Sam Houston State University, where she will compete in the barrels. Ashton would like to get a business degree and run her own business, possibly as a provider of RV parks for families of military members.
She has a younger sister, Brenlynn, who is six years old. Ashton is proud to be the daughter the late Roland Padon, who passed away in 2008. Her mom is J.J. Hill Wallace, and her stepdad is Robert Wallace.