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Meet Lauren Turner of River Birch Farm GA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Turner.

Lauren, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I think you’re just born with it – that craving for a horse. Who knows where it comes from but I don’t think it’s inherited as none of my immediate family have any kind of horsey background. If they did, they might have avoided buying me my first horse for just a little longer!

I’ve been riding most of my life. From horse camp to spending summers falling off my cousin’s quarter horse, I begged for riding lessons and a horse for every single birthday and Christmas until the wish finally came true. I even have one of those “what do you want to be when you grow up” kids books that I filled out as a 6-year-old and what does it say? Yep, you guessed it – horseback rider.

I landed a job working for a quarter horse breeding farm as an early teen and that was it, the train had officially left the station. While there, my parents bought me my first horse – a somewhat inappropriate 16.3hh 4 yo Appendix, Gus. He taught me how to fall, which is an essential skill in any rider’s repertoire! Gus and I did everything from open shows to AQHA to working cows, riding in parades, and eventing. He’s what really landed me in the sport of eventing.

My love and passion carried on through college at Clemson University where I joined the Eventing Team. While on the team, I forged relationships that will last a lifetime and gained experiences within the sport that I would have never had access to otherwise. I earned my BS in Graphic Communications and moved to Georgia after graduation to be with my boyfriend Chase and work at a local digital marketing company.

Becoming a professional in the equestrian industry was always a dream, I hadn’t ever thought it would actually become a reality. But, after my good friend Cindy, a saddle fitter, recommended me to one of her clients as an option for teaching their daughter, the referrals just kept coming! While growing my business I continued to pursue my own education and experience, developing my own string of horses and seeking out unique opportunities to showcase their talents. So far, I’ve evented to the 1* level and in 2016 won America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred at the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover. I had to retire my 1* horse at the end of 2016 but fortunately, have several very talented young prospects in the barn that will hopefully be at the level and more very soon.

For a business that is still in its infancy, I am extremely fortunate to be very, very busy! I’ve gotten connected with the local Pony Club which has been a true blessing to work with such an amazing group of young girls and their families. I freelance throughout Georgia, currently as far south as Alpharetta and east to the Athens area. I also accept horses in training from starting youngsters, restarting thoroughbreds, and finishing out developing sport horses. None of this would be possible without the continuous support of my boyfriend Chase. He is a farrier in the area and has helped me tremendously through connections with other professionals and his endless hard work to build our home farm.

Having a business this diverse keeps it interesting and engaging. Every morning I wake up with a passion to pursue excellence as a horsewoman, as a coach, as a trainer, and as a competitor. If there’s ever a moment where I question “is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” I look back upon that book and my 6-year-old self is there to remind me, “YES!”

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Horses are always a “struggle!” Ha! One step forward, two steps backwards. You qualify for a big events, and your horse gets injured just a few weeks before. You search and search for the perfect horse for a client, and it turns out not to be what you expected. As a coach, stretch yourself too thin and someone gets the short end of the stick. But, are any of these things truly struggles? I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing, supportive people. I work hard to deliver excellence to my students and be the best trainer possible for my horses. It’s not that I haven’t had times here and there where I’m overwhelmed, frustrated, or have made real mistakes that I wish I could take back. It’s just that when I look at the overall picture of River Birch Farm and the people and horses involved, the good by far outweighs the bad!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with River Birch Farm GA LLC – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Located in north Georgia, River Birch Farm is a premier horse boarding facility convenient to the metro Atlanta area. Located on 14 rolling acres, we offer full-service care for performance horses including onsite trainer, owner, and caretaker. Horseback riding lessons, training, and sale consignment services available.

At River Birch Farm we specialize in the disciplines of eventing, dressage, and show jumping. Our experience ranges from horsemanship to top-level competition creating a well-rounded training philosophy that puts the horse’s physical and mental well being first to produce relaxed, happy, and engaged athletes in both horse and rider – resulting in top placings for the competitive team.

Head trainer – Lauren Turner – is the winner of America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred 2016. She specializes in restarting thoroughbreds and helping riders develop challenging horses into their horse of a lifetime. She teaches all levels of riders, from beginners to advanced. Available for onsite lessons, traveling to your facility, coaching at shows, and clinics. She keeps an active competition and training schedule including both schoolings and recognized shows to appeal to all levels of riders. Lauren can help you meet your goals whether that is to progress through the levels of your chosen discipline or to simply become the best rider you can be for your horse.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
This year, I should have another Prelim/1* horse on the team as Fairway King – the horse that won the Thoroughbred Makeover – continues to develop. I have two other very promising 6-year-old that will hopefully begin to shine through and tell me how far they really want to go in their careers. The goal is to produce horses to the 4* level – the top level of the sport. How long does it take to get there? Great question – as long as it takes to find the right mixture of perseverance, skill, and luck. Keep watching, and I’ll find it soon. And as I continue on that journey for myself and my personal horses, I’ll devote the majority of my time to helping my students find it as well, to whatever level they desire to achieve it.

Chase has a dream of opening a lameness clinic based out of our farm. He loves helping the horse that everyone else says can’t be fixed. So keep an eye out for that new business to be developing shortly as well!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Eric Nalbone

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Lori Goodwin

    February 1, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    I can say only great things about Lauren, my daughter at the time 13 years old struggling with a somewhat green pony, fighting to do what was asked of him, running out of the arena, throwing his head up and well… just being a lazy pony. We started lessoning with Lauren 10 months ago. Abby and her pony, Friday completed their first Horse Trial in BN, they scored a 29.2 for their BN Test A score. Very impressive. I would’ve never placed Abby there this soon. Lauren isn’t magical, she really knows her stuff. She’s an amazing coach and trainer. I recommend Lauren to any one needing guidance for themselves or their horse.

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