Employee Spotlight: Lauren Richards, Stable Manager of Inanda Stables at Shoal Creek


Employee Spotlight

Manager of Inanda Stables at Shoal Creek, Lauren Richards


Many people who drive along Highway 41 and see the horses in pasture may not be aware that it is part of Shoal Creek. We think it’s the best-kept secret of Birmingham’s equine community.

A lifelong owner and lover of horses, Lauren Richards first discovered Inanda Stables and boarded her horse in 2011, then began working here in 2012. She later moved with her husband into the cabin on the property and began hands-on management of all aspects of the Stables and its employees. Lauren’s Shire, Bonny, pictured below with Lauren, also calls Inanda Stables home, in addition to Grant, her retired Thoroughbred.

Inanda Stables is a unique boarding and training facility located within the community of Shoal Creek, just minutes from downtown Birmingham, Alabama. This beautiful property features twenty-nine 12′ x 12′ stalls, a lighted indoor arena, an Olympic-sized dressage arena, a jumping arena, lush pastures, and miles of trails. We welcome all disciplines of riding and cater to both the casual rider and those who love to compete. There are trainers available and we welcome boarders to bring their own approved/insured trainers into our facility. Whether you are looking to learn to communicate better with your horse or working towards competing in your next show, we have a trainer to suit your needs.

We offer full board, pasture board, and short term boarding for horses in need of rehabilitation or recovering from injury. Lauren has extensive experience with equine health care, lives on-site, and has the ability to offer very customized, personal care as needed. She has some amazing success stories!

To visit and experience the beauty, serenity, and tranquility of Inanda Stables at Shoal Creek in person, call Inanda Stables at 205.991.9720.

Q and A with Lauren Richards:

Where were you born? Birmingham, AL

Tell us about your family.  I have two older sisters, one is a 4th grade teacher and the other is a small animal veterinarian.  My Dad is an electrical engineer who has run his own business for over 30 years. My husband, Mark and I have been married 9 years. 

How long have you worked at Shoal Creek? 5 years

What first drew you to your position here? I came to look at the barn as a boarder and fell in love with the place.  I moved my horse here in 2011, and when I heard that the manager at the time was leaving, I applied for the position.  This has always been a dream of mine to run a boarding facility. 

What are three words that best describe you? honest, determined, fair

What are three words that describe Shoal Creek? peaceful, safe, beautiful

If you could do any other job for a day, what would you do? Photographer

What do you like to do on your time off? Ride my horse or work on a DIY project building stuff

What is a typical day like for you? Start the day by figuring out who is coming out to the barn (farriers, vets….), then make a list of projects or things need to be done around the farm, answer emails/texts, then start on the day’s to do list–that could be bush hogging, fence mending, barn chores, introducing horses to pastures, medicating horses if any and whatever else the day throws at us. 🙂

What do you find most challenging about your job as Inanda Stables Manager? The most challenging thing for me as a barn manager is time management and making “me time.”  I have to be sure to stop and say, “OK Lauren, time to stop for the day,” and making sure I spend enough time with my own horse.  

What do you like most about your job or the company? I love that I get to wake up to this place everyday and work for such awesome supportive people.

How has Shoal Creek changed since you have been here? It has always been a beautiful place. I feel like it has progressed well with keeping up with modern changes, but still held on to that unique quality that no other community has around here. I also feel like it gets better and better out here each year.

Do you have a favorite work-related memory or proudest moment on the job here? Everyday that I see one of my boarders here succeed to the next riding level with their horse, or come out and sit and enjoy the day with a smile, or post a picture of how wonderful they think this place is, or a horse that came to me once severely malnourished now blossoming with his owner….that makes any bad day or negative thing not matter.

What advice would you an aspiring Stable Manager who wanted to work here?  Be prepared to work in any weather, stay up late with a sick horse and work the next day, acquire all sorts of new skills like plumbing and so on, and become very strong!

If you wrote about book about your time here, what would the title be? Memoirs of a Barn Manager

What’s your favorite food (or meal)?  MEXICAN!!!!!!!

If you could only have one drink for the rest of your life (besides water, of course), what would it be? Sweet Tea

Do you have a personal mantra or quote? “To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work” ~ Sister Mary Lauretta or “Take what you can from your dreams and make them as real as anything” ~ Dave Matthews

Any random fact you can share with us that we would be surprised to know? When howling together, no two wolves will howl on the same note, instead, they harmonize to create the illusion that there are more of them than there actually are.

Do you have a bucket list and what’s on it? Not necessarily, but I do want to ride my horse on the beach one day and swim with dolphins.

Favorite TV show – past or present? Past ~ Roseanne, Present ~ The Walking Dead

Best childhood memory: The day I got my first horse, Buddy.

What is your biggest pet peeve? Dishonesty

What is the greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your lift thus far? Losing my mom. 

Do you have a hidden talent and what is it? I can write poetry/short stories, I am also a decent photographer.

What music is on your phone/what music do you like to listen to? all kinds Eric Clapton, BB King, Dave Matthews, Alabama, Billy Holiday….see it’s all over the place

Car or truck? Truck

Text or call? Text

Favorite ice cream? Ben and Jerry’s coffee heath bar crunch 

Coke or Pepsi? Coke

Bacon or sausage? Bacon