About Us

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Incredible planning and thought went into the development of Aspen Ridge Ranch. Hay to feed our horses is grown on our property. Ponds were built to create natural water sources in our pastures. Trails are maintained chipped and mowed. Manure is recycled to fertilize pastures and hay. And, a Conservation Easement with the Montana Land Reliance on nearly 200 acres insures this property will remain in its original and natural state.

You might have to travel a long way from civilization to find such an amazing facility in most places. But here you are just 5 minutes from the grocery store, great shopping, and fine dining in the amazingly charming town of Red Lodge!



Our Team

Bill Crabtree
Trainer – Ranch Manager

Aspen Ridge Ranch is privileged to partner with Bill Crabtree Quarter Horses and Training. Bill and Kristin, a husband and wife team that has spent their entire lives devoted to horses and their human counterparts and are in charge of the boarding and training operations at the Ranch. Bill has spent most of his life developing his own brand of natural horsemanship. Fortunate to work with many great horsemen over the years he has developed an integrated program for every level of rider and every kind of horse.  His philosophy is based upon creating a quiet but equal equestrian partner. He engages horse and rider mentally to search for the result he is looking for …”set it up and let them figure it out”. So much can be accomplished on the ground. Vital to success are… Respect …Communication…he encourages all riders to become adept at a systematic set of ground games.

Bill has worked with many students with different goals. Some want blue ribbons and buckles in the show world, some want to follow a childhood dream, many just want to be safe on the trail. Whatever your equestrian needs he can help you accomplish them.

Riding instruction, with your horse or one of his solid lesson horses, from beginning to advanced, from young to old, is available. From starting that young colt, to finishing your advanced show horse or working with problem behaviors, he offers training for most Western disciplines.


Nykole Holmes
Independent Trainer | HEM&T

Nykole was born an raised in a rural part of Norther Minnesota. She was born to a family of horse lovers and started riding at a young age. She participated in 4H, horse knowledge bowl, drill team and competed in many open shows. Throughout her teen years she spent many hours working at local barns in trade for lessons. In March 2014 she took a leap and moved to Montana where she connected with Storey and Andy Hart of Aspen Ridge Ranch. She joined the ARR/BCQH team that same month. Nykole also worked as a vet tech for a few years and has a good knowledge on equine wound care, lameness and feed regiments. Nykole spent 5 years working under Bill Crabtree where she joined many of her training and riding skills. Bill provided her with a good foundation and understanding of the Natural Horsemanship methods. In 2019 Nykole started her own small business “Holmes Equine Massage and Training” where she continued to apply her knowledge to her own clientele. Nykole loves working with all levels of horse and ride. Providing colt starting services, strength and conditioning regiments for horse/rider, working on confidence building and striving to make a fun and happy atmosphere for everyone. In addition to riding and training horses, Nykole took Equine Massage courses through Equissage and can provide your equine partner with some much needed relaxation.
Nykole continues to learn and expand her techniques through continuing education with other trainers. She is excited to see what the next few years bring for her and her family.

 


Hannah Raudebaugh
Assistant Trainer | Assistant Events Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 


Andy & Storey Hart
Owners/Operators | Events Coordinator

Andy and Storey Hart came to Red Lodge for vacation in 1995 and fell in love with this little western community nestled in the Beartooth Mountains. Passionet about the outdoors including  hiking, fly fishing, skiing and pack trips into the mountains made Red Lodge a perfect second home. Storey’s love for horses started at en early age riding in the Green Mountains of Vermont. After multiple pack trips with her cowgirl friends in the mountains in Wyoming and Montana we settled purchased a house on the East Bench in 2005 to enjoy the year round outdoor activities. Storey found the horse of her dreams at age 50 and began training with Bill Crabtree which formed a relationship that led to the idea of buying a horse ranch. When Aspen Ridge came available it was a dream come true. Andy enjoys farming and helps manage the hay operation while Bill Crabtree manages the daily ranch operations including training and boarding. Storey managed the clinics and events and lived her dream until November of 2019 when she lost her battle to cancer.

We continue to live our dream and carry Storey’s legacy on to share with our borders and friends.