IT was a warm February morning in 2018 when Lauren Rowe prepared to get her horse, Joe, ready for the day.
She awoke for a 4.30am start like she always did, and had made her way to the paddock on the Capel property where she lived with her parents.
But something wasn’t right.
Joe, Rowe’s horse whom she had only been riding for 10 months, had tragically got himself trapped in a fence and was unable to move.
After efforts of the Rowe family, their neighbours and the family vet, Joe was able to be freed and raced to the veterinarian.
But there was nothing the vets could do.
Rowe said in the 10 months she had Joe, they had achieved a lot.
“The weekend before we lost him, we won a personal best in a competition – we were going from strength to strength,” Rowe said.
“He was 15 when he died and he still had so much to teach me.
“People just don’t understand that horses are part of your family – you walk out in the morning and they all call for you, and you turn your lights off at night and they all call out. They’re just family.”
At just 16 years old, Rowe has competed in both regional and national Dressage competitions throughout Australia, a form of horse riding performed in competition.
Rowe shared with the Mail the importance of the bond that a rider must have with their horse – in order to succeed like Rowe had, in Dressage.
“I remember when I rode Joe and it was like we instantly clicked,” Rowe said.
“I just got on and it was like nothing could stop us.
“And from there we just kept growing and growing together.”
Rowe put her success down to the support of her mother, Lisa, her coach, Colin Chantler and of course, the strong bond with every horse she had ridden, including Joe.