"Notice that Black is up on the stump behind my behind."
Hi. I’m Lauren and if you ever asked yourself:
How can I get my horse to do what I’d like NICELY?
…You’re in the RIGHT place!
Exceptional Horsemanship isn’t doing what a trainer or instructor says. It’s learning how to know what to do yourself. How to analyze what actually happening and not only having the tools in your toolbox to remedy the situation, but knowing which tools to use.
Lauren is fiercely committed to guiding those women who always wanted a pony under the tree and finally got one and now are wondering what puzzle piece they’re missing to make it their dream. That vision in mind that struggles to keep the confidence when scary things are happening with a beautiful but also very strong and large animal. Those who still harbor that dream and would love to discover how to bring it to be.
If you’re looking for a proven instructor and trainer who can guide you to address the appropriate skills, mindset and techniques that so far have eluded you in your quest, you’ve come to the right place. With decades (many) of experience working with amazing clients with similar worries and concerns and guiding them to achieve remarkable success, my mission and commitment is to help you create your dream horse.
My path to become a exceptional horseman became clear to me at an early age. I was always the Indian riding my palomino Shetland pony bareback with a string tied around his lower jaw. I didn’t want to be the cowboy. I will tell you that I never did get to the point where I could hang on the side while shooting a bow and arrow under the neck of my pony while we were galloping – hmmmm…. Maybe I work on that a little more. But, to be that kind of horseman has always been my goal. Numerous and some very serious injuries have never even come close to diminishing my life’s work. When told I may never be able to use my left leg again… well, then just shoot me now, because that ain’t happening, I said.
Clients say remarkable things about the impact my work has on their horsemanship success. Example comments include:
"I have called Lauren for advice on numerous occasions. It always seems like she has a camera at my house and knows EXACTLY what is happening with me and my horses while I’m telling her about my problems. Then she tells me exactly what to do, when to do it and why. It’s so easy and I’ve been using her this way for years since we don’t live close by. I’m always pleased with the knowledge and expertise she provides in a very professional way. Talking to her on the phone gives me confidence to try new things and I enjoy knowing that if I encounter any problems, she is only a phone call away. What’s even better about the call is that if you really, truly listen, you get a counseling call at the same time. A real insight into your soul. The whole process renews my vigor and desire to work with my horse and try harder to be her partner."
--Sharla – winner of the 2015 Arizona Mustang Makeover and top 5 with 2 horses in the big Ft. Worth Mustang Makeover.
"Lauren’s bootcamp is better than butter on bread."
"You continue to amaze me with the skills and ideas you impart to me at every minute of every lesson! Just phenomenal. The thought-provoking moments that come out of a lesson with you amaze me. You are an inspiration. If I can hear and listen to the horses at least half as well as you, I’ll feel successful!!! Thanks, my horse guru…"
Similar benefits await when you decide to invite me to serve in the powerful ways that I can support your success.
What lights me up about this work is knowing that it’s so do-able. You don’t need to be someone you’re not, just be willing to learn what really works.
What sets me apart from other trainers is my commitment to the right mindset in order to properly approach the horse on her terms and the appropriate use of techniques and equipment always with the horse’s welfare in mind first. And surprisingly enough, this is what creates that dream horse that you want anyway. It’s that easy.
You can feel confident engaging me to guide you and your horse to solve these problems. Over the years my expertise has been finely honed thru rigorous study and application with a high priority being humor and fun while instructing and learning. Two books on horsemanship are continuously selling on Amazon and there are more in the pipeline.
5 things about me and my experience that might surprise you and delight you while serving our work together:
- I showed hunters on the “A” circuit in the east from N. York to Florida and west to Michigan. At the same time I groomed for some of the top Grand Prix jumper trainers and riders. And studied dressage with some top names in the day.
- My students who participate in competitive trail have won the top spots nationally as well as locally (obviously).
- I lived and worked on a cattle ranch 15 miles wide and 50 miles long with 2000 head of cattle for three years.
- I’ve trained many gaited horses (Rockies, Missouri Foxtrotters, Tennessee Walkers, Pasos and Spotted Saddle Horses) who went on to win in competitive trail.
- Galloping bareback with just a string around my horse’s neck through the mountains is one of my favorite things to do.
It would be my pleasure to guide you to achieve the results you desire and the horse you imagine in your dreams. My goal is to empower you to enjoy your horse MORE. Let’s continue the conversation in the manner that suits you best. Pop over to the Success Programs page and let’s get to creating your dream horse.
"Would you take that one with you, too?" the owner asked me.
I made a face. I was there to see about a throw away (by them) horse for my daughter (Gryffindor is on the cover of my book with her). "No." I said. "That's like a large Great Dane. I don't have any use for a tiny Arab pony." But, the little bay horse whispered, "I'll be your best horse ever." Believe me, I throw that up in her face every once in a while when she gets a hair up her butt and she's not being my best horse ever. She weighs about 200 pounds more than she did then. And with only about 225 rides in her, she's a phenomenal horse.
She's perfectly behaved galloping in the mountains bridle-less with just a string around her neck that I don't have to use. She's so smooth in her gaits. She jumps like a bird; completely quiet and composed and we've started working on piaffe. I can put someone who's never been on a horse before on her with a halter and take them for a ride in the desert or mountains. She's also the one I'm on laying backward reading a book and in the un-spooky horse blog post. As to the reading picture, she had never been in the backyard, I had never laid backward on her. She didn't even have so much as a string around her neck for that photo shoot.
Very smart, but that's an Arab for ya. Tell her what you want and be clear about it and she'll give it her best try.
I'll keep adding blog posts featuring her and stories of old as we go.
I was her last stop before the Alpo can.
This girl is the most dangerous horse I've ever been around in my life.
What did "they" do to her to make her so dangerous? And by dangerous, I mean: She allowed no one near her. Within range for her was anywhere she could reach or get to. She'd charge you, even lunging over the fence. Just hope you get through it and far enough away to live. She struck, bit and kicked, launched whatever cowboy got on her and then, like a bull, turned and attacked. Broke bones in several trainers bodies before coming to me at the ripe old age of three.
The trainers who owned her could not get within thirty feet of a fence without her trying to attack them. They purchased her as a one-year-old at the World sale in OK and when the breeder went into the stall, she sent him flying over the stall wall and broke some parts. The trainer/owner had gotten on her, but she launched him and then like a bull, turned and attacked breaking his collar bone. She had to be removed from the stable where they trained because no one could even clean the stall. They sent her to a trainer whose business card USED to read "Problem horses a specialty." She launched him and attacked again with the same result. he told them to come get her, she was hopeless. They turned her out in a 100 acre pasture for six months hoping she'd settle down, but the other people who had horses in the pasture couldn't get their horses because she'd attack them.
She was temporarily contained in a round pen of a mutual acquintance while they tried to figure out what to do with her. They had the vet out to draw blood to check for hormone problems. If anyone even placed a hand on her, she'd squeal and kick and squirt pee. While in the stock for the vet to draw the blood, she managed to kick him and break his arm. Blood tests were negative.
The mutual acquintance said if they wanted to give her one more shot before they took her to the killers, she needed to go to Lauren's. (I keep a low profile. They didn't know me.) They said drug her, throw her in the trailer and get her over there.
I was gone to lessons the morning she was to be delivered, so I left instructions to leave her in the round pen. Now I was not given any info on this horse, just that they wanted her to "go long and low at a lope." I had a message on my cell that said, "Hope your pen is still up when you get home." Hmmmmm.....
I walked out to see the new arrival. As I approached the fence, this beautiful horse ambled toward me and started to put her head forward. I noticed that she had a rear hoof that was completely broken up to the hair line at the quarter line. Lots of fresh blood. Don't know what happened getting her here. I reached up a hand to pet her face and suddenly, both hind hooves were over the 5 foot rail right at my head. "Oh sweetheart," I said, "that's not the way we do things here." She then pinned her ears and lunged over the rail at me with her teeth and eyes snapping. Yikes!
I got my stick and string so I could work with her in the pen and hopefully live. She didn't have a halter on and I was pretty sure I didn't want to be close enough to put one on her anyway. I had to do some pretty good swinging to even get in the pen and keep her off me. She didn't care. I felt bad about the broken hoof, but it was obvious that that would be a long time healing and there wasn't anything I could do about it. She didn't seem to care either. High, shut-down pain threshold.
I sent her off while she tried to attack and then bolted off squealing and squirting pee about 4-5 feet straight out behind her. I tested several options for her to come in or quiet down, the answer was a resounding "NO". I was running around with her so I could touch her with the string and also use it when she attacked to start our conversation. Getting her to go away was important as a precursor to her giving to pressure and not killing me. She had no inclination to do so and there were many times that I knew my life was seriously in danger. To make a long story short, two hours later, both of us were covered in sweat and pee. She was changing direction and sometimes coming in half way to me. Then, suddenly she just stopped, turned in to me and walked up to me with her head down at her knees. She stood there heaving and dripping with her tail hangling limp between her legs and pee just started pouring out of her. I petted her forehead and said, "Sweetheart, where in the world did you even have that after two hours of squirting it all over?"
Whatever happened to this horse before, she decided that she was going to get the human before the human could get her. I found out later that in addition to the multitud of broken bones she left in her wake, the owner had tied her legs and thrown her and left her laying in the sun under a tarp for several hours. She also had several serious wounds that they had stitched up on her lower legs without the help of a vet. Those scars will remain, the mind scars have mostly healed.
I absolutely adore this horse and she's like a barnacle. Follows me everywhere and always is a huge help teaching other horses how to do tricks and work with sidepassing over barrels or walking in the tire bundle or tarp work. She's always right there on her own (frequently in the way) to show the newbie how to do it.
Here's an updated photo of Black and Peka during a Goldilocks Syndrome workshops. Black has been training me in her version of 'pas de deux'. She came up with this idea and we're now working on refining it.
She was ten years old and had been kept in a pen for so long her legs hardly held up and sometimes didn't while she scrambled to bolt away.
A jet black Morgan, stunningly beautiful with black eyes, flowing mane and tail and crooked hind legs and strangely shaped hind hooves. Talk about spooky - I ducked between the rails of the pen she was in and she tried to jump out the back side. The guy who 'trained' her, well, he thinks standing in a round pen while she frantically runs so out of control that she's at a 45 degree angle with the footing flinging hither and thither 30 feet out. She was in a total lather and had to be blocked to stop. Her eyes were white with terror. He, meanwhile, stood there in the 'position' with his arm cocked leaning on his stick while she lost her mind. Then, he saddled her up and got on and kinda rode her. Meaning he stayed on at a very tense walk and trot with reins only a few inces long and couldn't get her any where near the rail or canter. A year later, after standing in that same pen the whole time, I brought her home amd turned her out with my herd. BTW she couldn't be caught.
What a lover puss. While she will come, she still has a thought that if you have a rope it may not go well for her. I've only been on her a handful of times and that bareback with a halter, but she's doing very well. Updates as I get around to them.