Lauren’s trainer, Dev Branham, has launched a new website with help from rider Amy Heidbreder and asked each rider to do a little bio on themselves. Here is what Lauren put together for the website ( www.deverauxsporthorses.com ).
Hi, I am Lauren Davis and I was the first of the ‘southside’ to start riding with Dev almost seven years ago. I keep my horses at home, in Wharton, which is a scenic 175 mile round trip to Tomball. I was just dragged along into riding when my sister and mom had horses in Florida. I don’t believe I ever made a conscious decision to ride, there were always just horses in my life. I started riding competitively over 16 years ago and have been blessed with some great horses over the years. Most memorably, is Irish Midnight, aka Mickey, a small but determined bay horse who will be coming to live at Dev’s soon. I started out in walk-trot with Mickey and have won blue ribbons on him up to the 3’6” jumpers.
Although just 15.1 hh, this little horse will teach you to ride, to find your spots, to see the distance and to succeed in the jumper ring. Together we have made USEF Zone Finals three times, won many year-end schooling championships and grown up together. With the arrival of two six year-old horses on my farm, Mickey has not getting the rides he deserves so I hope his transfer to DSH will give him a chance to shine again while some of you get a chance to ride my favorite guy.
About 18-months ago, a young Irish sport horse who was still growing into herself stepped off the trailer from Florida. Sired by Flagmount’s Freedom (a top-notch eventing horse), we knew this mare should be able to jump but had to overcome some initial issues like not ever wanting to get in a trailer again, being terrified of crops, fly spray and people before we could adequately ride and show her. It has been a lot of work, some of it tough, but I am proud my mare, Flagmount’s Irish Freedom, aka Feather, has progressed from the 2’3” hunters to the 3’6” jumpers in this short time. She has also learned to load, be clipped, endure fly spray and most importantly enter every arena with a calm, business-like attitude.
I don’t know where this mare will take me. I do know we have not yet begun to see the top of her jumping limits but love the horse this mare has become!
My next horse I blame on Dev and yet applaud Dev for sending to me. Huge, 17.2 hh, six year-old Bruno came to me solidly lame last November. Many of you may have read my mom’s chronicles of his fight to return to soundness after hoof surgery at Teas A&M Vet Hospital last December. Over five months, Bruno stayed in his stall as I learned every conceivable way to bandage a hoof, deal with a giant, crazy OTTB and have a horse I had barely even ridden lodge himself solidly in my heart.
Bruno has been back under saddle now for a couple of months. It is a little like riding a runaway freight train. Bruno latches onto the bit and away we go. My mom may tell us to come down from the canter to the trot, but she doesn’t realize I have been trying to get him to slow down for the last two laps of the arena. We are just starting Bruno’s education over fences and it has been a little slow. He is nothing like the natural jumper that Feather is. But maybe we just have not set the challenge up enough for him yet. Dev says Bruno may be my Derby horse and with an unextended stride of over 15 feet he will eat up the lines in the jumper ring.
Also, hanging out at my farm are Snowboy and Mr. Kid. Snow, of course, spent some time at Dev’s and now is my niece’s show pony. Mr. Kid is 112 (okay, really almost 32) but keeps Bruno company and is my mom’s old horse.
In my spare time, when I am not managing the family farm, I am attending college, and buying/selling some ponies and horses.
Pony, Pixie, will be for sale soon.
Dev has been the perfect fit for me as a trainer. I have learned so much working with him over the years. I have not always liked what he had to tell me but I have come to realize he is usually right!
Very well written; thanks for sharing.