Assistant Trainer Spotlight: Lauren Louw of Hornick Quarter Horses
An equestrian’s love and passion for horses spans worldwide. Lauren Louw, an assistant trainer for Hornick Quarter Horses, was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. She moved to the United States only four years ago.
Lauren started riding dressage and show jumping when she was five years old. At twelve, she switched to the hunter under saddle. Louw showed in the all-around classes throughout her entire youth career and loved horsemanship and equitation. In 2010, Louw won an APHA Reserve World Championship when she was 18.
As a youth, she participated in many other activities such as tennis, basketball and swimming while also playing the tuba, piano and trumpet. Lauren is also well traveled and has visited over 25 different countries. GoHorseShow talked with Lauren about her career, passion and involvement in the equine industry.
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: Well, I was born and grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to the US almost four years ago. I am a big city girl through and through and love being in the city – it makes me feel at home. I did a lot of extracurricular activities growing up; tennis, basketball, swimming (so much swimming) and played the piano, tuba, trumpet and was a classically trained singer performing musicals.
I started riding when I was about five years old and started off in the dressage and show jumping world until I switched to the hunter under saddle when I was twelve. I showed the all-around my entire youth career and surprisingly, loved the horsemanship and equitation (mostly because my horse was not a good pleasure horse). I showed at the APHA World Show when I was 18 and was reserve world champion in the horsemanship.
Q: How did you become involved in the equine industry?
A: My parents both had some involvement with horses growing up and I think I just wanted what every other little girl wanted…to ride a pony. I had the meanest, oldest pony (Misty) and she was rotten. I still thought she was the best. I guess that’s where it started and I just kept going with it. I’m sure my parents were hoping that the fad would fade away, but all through school and university, I manage to keep up with it.
Q: What is your favorite part about working as an assistant trainer?
A: There are a lot of ups and downs working as a horse trainer – it’s a roller coaster in many ways. For me, the best thing is being able to work for people who have a real care for their horses and the people who own them. Karen and Ty Hornick have been so great at helping me and giving me the opportunities to learn and show some great horses. I’m thankful to have two of the industry’s greatest behind me.
Q: What is one word that you would use to describe the atmosphere at horse shows?
A: Camaraderie. I am always so touched and warmed by the sense of friendship and family at horse shows. I’ve formed relationships here that I never dreamed I’d be able to form in a relatively short amount of time. When I reminisce about my youth days, it was my friendships that made me love horse shows and I love that this has never changed.
Q: Do you have any horse show superstitions? If so, what are they?
A: I used to when I was younger and my nerves were terrible. I used to ride with a turquoise stone in my pocket and I had a pair of mismatched yellow and green socks I would wear. Once I wore those socks out, I think I outgrew that crutch.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of being an assistant trainer?
A: Two things, in particular, stand out to me. First, being able to see the results of a horse and customer that you’ve been a part of creating. Second, the connections you make with other assistant trainers. These are the people who live through shared experiences and share similar goals. The support and friendship of these talented and driven individuals inspires me to work harder for my goals.
Q: What is the most significant lesson you’ve learned thus far?
A: Follow your dreams. If it’s what you want, set goals, find a way and make it happen. There are always going to be things working against you, but if there’s a will, there’s a way. If I hadn’t persevered with this horse endeavor, I would not be here riding in the US.
Q: Which class is your favorite to show and why?
A: Western Pleasure. To me, there’s nothing more fun than a great western pleasure horse. There is so much to it and so much work and consistency to making one broke. I think something is rewarding about creating a finished product out of something untouched. It’s exciting when it all starts to come together and you get to take a horse to the show pen for the very first time.
Q: What has been your most significant accomplishment thus far?
A: I would have to say winning the NSBA Maturity last year on our mare, Lazy Holladayz. That was a pretty special moment because that mare meant so much to all of us. It was one of the most fun rides I’ve ever had.
Q: What are your future horse related goals?
A: At this point, I want to keep improving myself as a horsewoman. I would also really like to work toward becoming an AQHA/NSBA judge.
Q: If you could say thank you to one person, who would it be?
A: My parents, collectively. They are the most fabulous people in my life. They instilled this passion in me and gave me the ability and support to work toward my goals and dreams. This entire journey would never be possible without them. Thank you with all my heart!
About the Author – Cat Guenther is in a junior at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. She has ridden horses since she was eight years old. When Cat is not at the barn, she focuses on her small businesses “Behind the Bit Tack Sales” and “Tack to Dye for.” She hopes to one day attend Michigan State University and study to become an equine veterinarian. Cat is extremely excited to compete in the rookie and novice youth all around events this year at the Novice Championships with her new equine partner, Royal Invite.