Ron Chlasta, Owner
Ron Chlasta is the owner of R&M Stables in Hendersonville. The facility is dedicated to teaching horsemanship from the ground up utilizing the western method of riding.
As a rider Ron is the unit director of the County Mounties, a search and rescue/recovery team in Sumner Co. As a certified rider Ron has competed in the National Police Colloquium at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. He was the national champion in the tandem obstacle event for two consecutive years. In 2017 Ron’s horses won the event with Ron riding Trooper and Jason Parizek riding Geronimo.
In Middle Tennessee, Ron’s horses have won the WHOA (Walking Horse Owners Association) championships in both individual and tandem obstacles. In 2017 his horse was the overall WHOA champion at the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro service horse division international championships. In 2018 Ron’s horse Trooper took top honors in equitation at the Williamson Co. expo center WHOA championships. In 2019, Ron placed 2nd in equitation, 6th in individual obstacle and 10th in combined equitation and obstacle at the Colloquium in Lexington, KY.
Ron enjoys working with working with riders of all levels. He has developed a summer camp program and lesson program along with his program coordinator Casady Gammon that enables young people in the community to experience the many different entry points into the equine world.
Ron Chlasta has over 36 years of experience in all aspects of aquatic management and coaching at the elite level of USA swimming. As an administrator Ron began as the fitness and aquatics director of the Peninsula Community Center in Redwood City, CA. His ability to plan, implement, and maintain a quality facility resulted in being named the top aquatics program for clubs in Northern California in 1991. Ron and his wife Mary moved to Hendersonville, TN in 1995 and opened Sea Star Swim School. Now in their 23rd year of business they offer the most comprehensive and personalized aquatic program in the greater Nashville area.
Ron was honored as the United States Swim School Association’s Outstanding Teacher of the year for two consecutive years in 1996 and 1997. He also served a three year term on the USSSA Board of Directors.
COACHING – Ron began his career as the head coach of Calvin College Men’s team in Grand Rapids, MI. From there he developed an age group tem - Woodside Hills Aquatics on the San Francisco Peninsula. He produced numerous USA swimming top 16 athletes as well as two athletes who were named Pacific Swimmer of the Year. In addition, he had two athletes reach the #1 rankings on the NISCA High School All American list in 1995.
Ron coached the Hendersonville High School Swimming Commandos for 6 seasons, where he produced 32 All Americans. He was named the 2014 Coach of the Year by the Middle Tennessee High School Swimming Association (MTHSSA).
While he oversees his busy swim school, Ron currently coaches MTSC Masters an adult team in Hendersonville and has produced numerous masters national champions as well as an athlete who garnered a #1 world ranking in the 800 meter freestyle.
Ron stays active in masters swimming and enjoys Open Water events. He has won several titles on the circuit at 1 & 2 miles – Del Mar Days ,San Diego, Semana Nautica, Santa Barbara, Castaic Lake, Los Angeles, and most recently Big Shoulders, Chicago.
Ron has traveled internationally and conducted swim clinics with the national swim teams of Korea, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and Guatemala. This past September, Ron was invited to lead the team building for the University of Michigan’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving program in Ann Arbor Michigan.
Riding Director: Casady Gammon
Casady began riding horses at the age of 4, starting her lesson career with a focus in English riding. As a youth she was an active member of the United States Pony Club where she developed foundational riding and horse care skills. Throughout her teenage years Casady competed in both Dressage and Hunt Seat disciplines in Tennessee’s 4-H youth horse show program.
After graduating high school, Casady attended Tennessee Tech University, where she received a B.S. in Agricultural Business Management. During her time in college, she rode and competed on TTU’s Equestrian Team through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. The IHSA offers a unique opportunity for riders to learn how to adapt to unfamiliar horses in a high pressure environment. Competitors are required to draw their mount out of a pool, making it impossible for the rider to know their horse until minutes before entering the show ring. Casady was successful on the equestrian team, qualifying for the South East Regional Show two consecutive years. Some of the notable schools she competed against include Sewanee, MTSU, Vanderbilt University, Maryville College, and the University of Tennessee.
Casady’s collegiate years are also when she discovered her passion for horsemanship and Ranch riding. Natural Horsemanship was introduced to her by her Coach, Rebecca Huddleston. Under her coach’s direction she learned to start colts, and teach basic riding lessons. However, her skills were further developed while under the guidance of professional cutting, reining, and cow horse trainer, Terry Allen. She mentored with Terry full time for one year, and still maintains a working relationship with him. After college, Casady began teaching and training part time.
In 2016, Casady came on board with R&M Stables. The lesson program has grown from 8 regular students to over 40 in 2019. In the winter of 2019, Casady was invited to teach a hands-on Equine workshop for the veterinary students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Horsemanship has become a way of life for Casady. Her strongest passion is working with horses and riders to develop a solid foundation in the most basic, but most important horsemanship skills.
Teacher: Therese Laflamme "Tweety"
Theresa Laflamme, AKA Tweety, grew up in the horse industry. As a child her family owned and showed Arabian horses in Texas, although her career didn’t start until moving to Tennessee at the age of 12. In high school she competed in horse shows at both the local and national level, competing in everything from Jumpers to barrel racing. By the age of 16, she began teaching riding lessons and training horses at her family’s facility, and upon high school graduation had created a name for herself as a riding instructor and trainer. After a decade of training, Tweety decided to hang up her trainer’s hat to focus all of her energy on instruction. Her passion lies in teaching others to successfully handle and work with horses, both recreationally and competitively.
In her 25-year career as a Riding Instructor and Coach, Tweety has taught countless students and shared with them her love of horses through clinics, camps and riding lesson instruction. She has developed her own show circuits as well as coached show teams+ in several arenas over the years, including hunter jumper circuits, ARHA, AQHA, 4-H, and IEA, and has taught students of all ages, levels, and stages of riding. Her students have won numerous awards at the local, national and world levels, and many of her them have gone on to become equine professionals as instructors, trainers, and barn managers. While she enjoys teaching competitive horseback riding, she is just as happy to teach recreational riding as well.
Tweety has a B.A. in Education and enjoys creating an individualized lesson plan for each student which is custom made to match their unique learning style, as well as their individual riding goals, whether that goal is to compete at the world level or to ride in their own backyard. Her ultimate goal is to share the joy of horses to others, and help them to find their own niche in the horse world, wherever that may be.