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Welcome


9501 Austin Ave. 

Morton Grove, IL 60053

(847)967-9800

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Welcome


9501 Austin Ave. 

Morton Grove, IL 60053

(847)967-9800

Our Mission

At Freedom Woods we have hand picked, talented, motivated, and educated professionals who work together as a team to offer clientele the complete package. We pride ourselves on developing complete riders both on and off the horse. We understand that there is a unique bond between horse and rider and do not take a one-size fits all approach. We operate as a team where our different strengths complement each other. Together we continue to grow and offer you a team that can do it all!

 

Lessons

We offer a wide selection of qualified trainers who teach from the earliest of beginners to the most advanced show riders. 

Boarding

We offer everything from basic boarding to full service packages to care for your everyday needs.

Competitions

Our show team competes all over the country with clients who compete once a season to almost every other weekend. 

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Facility


- Newly renovated stalls 

- Heated barn

- 3 Indoor arenas

- Large outdoor arena

- 8 All weather turnouts

- 3 Wash racks

- Commercial grade washers and dryers 

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Facility


- Newly renovated stalls 

- Heated barn

- 3 Indoor arenas

- Large outdoor arena

- 8 All weather turnouts

- 3 Wash racks

- Commercial grade washers and dryers 

Freedom Woods has been family owned for the last twenty one years and we pride ourselves on continually updating the facility to offer our clientele and horses the best quality care. 

We are conveniently located just minutes from downtown Chicago and the North Shore. We are located next to the Cook County Forest Preserve, allowing us to offer a country feel in the suburbs. 

The original structure of the stable was built in the 1930s and in the early 2000s a second barn was built on the property to accommodate the growing therapeutic riding program and the beginner riding program. 

Lauren Robishaw and Bon Vivant competing in their first USHJA National Derby at the Lake Saint Louis Festival, February 2016

Lauren Robishaw and Bon Vivant competing in their first USHJA National Derby at the Lake Saint Louis Festival, February 2016

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

The environment is a growing concern all around the world. In recent years we have made many changes to help reduce our carbon footprint. All of the lighting has been changed from fluorescent light bulbs to more efficient ecosmart lights. We have developed a new water storage system to reuse rain water to water the arenas. The majority of our horses are bedded on straw instead of shavings to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from the disposal of manure. 

Recent Improvements: 

In January 2016, we purchased a Horse Gym Treadmill to help exercise our horses and get them fit! 

 Upcoming Improvements: 

- By mid summer 2016, we will have revamped our outdoor arena and surrounding area. We have already equipped the arena with new jumps. And are in the process of building a patio and garden area that overlooks the arena. We will be taking out the far side of the fence line to the arena and building a concrete brick wall to allow spectators to watch lessons from above. This area will be esthetically pleasing with beautiful greenery. We will also be reviving the area between the green barn and the outdoor arena, creating a nice grazing area for clients to use. 

- By 2020 we will open Freedom Woods North! Freedom Woods North will be located in Pleasant Prairie, WI. At the end of 2015 we finished building two free standing barns on the property. One of the plus's of Freedom Woods is our location, the only downside to that is we lack lush pastures. Freedom Woods North will function both as a retirement facility and a place for some time off as well as our investment program! We have big ideas for this piece of property. Currently, the property consists of 55 acres with a 5,000sq. ft. loft home and two barns. This year we are working on putting up stalls, heat, and water sources in the barns. We have aspirations to build a derby field and pastures. The long term goal is to have a second facility to retire horses, offer our clients weekends in the country, and operate an exclusive investment program. 

Speak Kindly owned by David Waimon, shown by Ashleen Lee at the Washington International Horse Show in the 2nd Year Green Working Hunter in 2013

Speak Kindly owned by David Waimon, shown by Ashleen Lee at the Washington International Horse Show in the 2nd Year Green Working Hunter in 2013

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Staff


Proudly sponsored by CWD, Samshield, and Tucci

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Staff


Proudly sponsored by CWD, Samshield, and Tucci

Ashleen    Lee

Head Trainer/ Barn manager

 

Ashleen is a graduate from DePaul University with a bachelors degree in Business Management. She has ridden with many top trainers including but not limited to, Bucky Reynolds, Nancy Whitehead, Tim Goguen, and Larry Glefke as well as many clinics with many top professionals including George Morris and Candice King. 

In 2011 she became certified by the United States Hunter Jumper Association. She started riding at the age of 5 and has been fully involved in the family business for most of her life.

She began competing in Grand Prixs and International Hunter Derbies in 2010. Ashleen has led herself and many riders to both IHJA and Zone Championships. In 2014 she was Zone 5 Horse of the Year in the 3'6" Performance Hunters with Speak Kindly and Grand Hunter Champion in 2013 and 2014 for the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association. In 2015, she was won the award for Developing Professional Owner award by the World Championship Hunter Rider program.

Currently, Ashleen takes her team of riders, investment horses, and young professionals to horse shows all over the country. Ashleen believes in developing riders and helping them reach their goals. She has a true passion for helping other young professionals go through the ranks and is working on building a great team filled with talented,passionate, and hard working young professionals. She strives everyday to further her clients abilities as well as her own. She believes it is of the upmost importance to constantly improve her riding and knowledge, and her team to further assist the students of Freedom Woods. 

Alexandra Veleris

Assistant trainer

 

Alexandra Veleris started her riding career at age seven and began competing in the short stirrup division in 2001 and fulfilled her career as a junior rider by competing in just about every division possible. Alex has competed and qualified for Nationals in both Harrisburg and Washington D.C. She also has earned numerous awards competing in Illinois Medal Finals.

Alex has experience working with all types of horses from barely “broke” babies to multi-champion-winning Grand Prix horses. Alex expanded her experience further by participating in clinics with Nancy Whitehead, Julie Winkle, Michael Page, and Kevin Babington as she believes that continuing one’s education is a necessity in the sport of show jumping.  She also has two years of dressage training under her belt, studying under DeDe Boeninger.

Alex recently turned professional, following her graduation from Lake Forest College where she earned B.A. degrees in both Business and Studio Art.  Alex has spent the last year studying under the tutelage of Thomas & Chari Cerra.  During this time, Alex moved down to Wellington, FL to ride and compete at WEF in the Amateur Owner Jumpers for the 2015 circuit under the Cerras.  Alex brings to us her impressively athletic mount, Peter Pan. In the near future, Alex will begin to compete at the Grand Prix level and plans to represent Greece in Nations Cups in her coming years.

Haley Buchmiller

assistant trainer

 

Haley Buchmiller began riding at the age of four and her passion for horses has grown ever since.  She has show experience in Short Stirrup, Childrens’ Hunters, Jumpers, and Junior Equitation.  Haley qualified and competed in Illinois Medal Finals, with numerous wins, and National equitation finals including USEF Pessoa Medal Final, ASPCA Maclay Final and the USEF Talent Search East Coast Final.  She was the 89th person in the country to achieve the USEF Talent Search Gold Medal since 1967.

Haley graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Sports Conditioning and minors in Coaching and Psychology.  She was a four year contributing member of their Equestrian Team and Team Captain her senior year.  A solid competitor, Haley received Rookie of the Year honors and was named to the NCAA First Team All-American, honoring her as one of the top four college riders in the country.  Along with multiple competition MVP honors, Haley achieved the team’s year-end MVP award for Equitation on the Flat each of her four competitive years.  She also served as a volunteer coach for the team, where she discovered her true passion for teaching and advancing younger riders.    

Haley’s plans include sharing her knowledge and experience with her clients at Freedom Woods.  She is excited to combine her passions for teaching and horsemanship in order to help each rider set and reach their individual goals.  

In addition, we have many different instructors to teach various levels of riding. The majority of our trainers teach hunt seat, however we also offer trainers who specialize in dressage.   We offer a wide range of knowledgable staff so you can find one who suits your individual needs. Whether you would like a patient instructor for your young novice child or an advanced trainer to take you up to the Grand Prix level at shows, you can find it here. 


Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30-9:00, Saturday-Sunday: 8:30-6:00

9501 Austin Ave., Morton Grove, IL 60053     Phone: (847) 967-9800     Fax: (847)965-1655