She rides. She jumps. She fox hunts. She plays polo. Wait…What? Yup, polo, the kind on a horse!
LuLu Moore is the first in her home town of Ridgefield, CT to play collegiate polo. She will be playing this fall at SMU, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas!
LuLu has built her confidence through riding horses. The old saying, “every time you fall off the horse, get back on”, literally applies to LuLu. She has fallen off a horse so many times she can’t count. However, every fall even the very serious ones have resulted in LuLu “getting back on”. In talking with LuLu, you realize with every remount, little by little she filled up her courage tank.
LuLu’s story starts off like any other little girl loving all things ponies. At the age of 3, her aunt, a former jockey, one of the few female jockeys in her time, put her on her first pony. Cute. However, by 3 ½ her story quickly takes a not so cute turn in the little girl loving pony fable. On her first official ride, her horse was stung by a bee and she was thrown. She was not hurt, however, ironically she was now hooked, she was captured by it all. LuLu’s courage, fierceness and her sense of adventure were all born!
LuLu grew up in Ridgefield, CT, but her second home is Windswept Farm in North Salem, NY. At the age of 6, Lulu still with baby teeth started fox hunting at the farm. That’s right she was on a horse “hunting” fox at 6 years old! Fox hunting was to LuLu what swimming, dancing and playing soccer was to other 6 year old girls. She describes her early days as a young child asking her parents on the daily, “please can I ride today?”. Her parents, Spencer and Rhys finally obliged, and her dad taught LuLu at 6 how to fox hunt leading her on a lead line. She loved it! LuLu continued riding on her dad’s lead line until one day she fell off and under her dad’s very large horse. Lulu was ok and was promptly rewarded with independence off the lead line. Strange for most of us to think you’re rewarded after a fall, however, though the fall was dangerous it was determined she was safer riding solo. Now hunting on her own, she is officially a fox hunter. LuLu’s theme song is really starting to emerge. The falls just add more to her courage tank.
Next up, polo makes an appearance by 11, and by high school she was playing pick up polo with the men at the club in North Salem. Along with fox hunting and polo, she continued to ride, and went onto to add more traditional training called, Eventing. She competed in 3 disciplines; Dressage, Show Jumping, and Cross Country. LuLu, at this point in her young life starts to think about making the Junior Olympic Team. This is the world where to be highly competitive, you really need to own your own horse and a pretty darn good one at that! “The horse defines your future”, even for a lay person this unspoken truth is understood. LuLu never owned her own horse, but she worked hard on the farm to help offset her training costs so she could still train amongst the best. She didn’t have an award winning horse to ride, she didn’t get to the Junior Olympics. She carries on working hard and training.
LuLu continues fox hunting, playing polo and riding. I have a moment, and I showed my naivety, I ask, “is there a kill in the hunt?” LuLu quickly responded, “No, no, it’s all about the chase. The thrill of it is chasing the fox to its den. She assured me no animals are injured. At this point I’m pretty sure I’m in a fairy tale with LuLu being the young female lead in very fancy clothes in a beautiful field surrounded by singing birds and happy horses.
Even with singing birds, and happy horses, just like all fairy tales, there are risks. The world of riding in any form can be very dangerous. LuLu has fallen so many times with just a couple being serious. However, it was the most recent fall at the end of last year that made her pause. She was riding a very talented polo pony that jumped 3’ over the fence with a 6’ drop so they both had a 9’ drop. The horse landed in knee deep mud and flipped with LuLu now under the horse. LuLu felt the large horse land on top of her, and she had a moment of “uh oh is this it?” This was not good, really not good. Miraculously both horse and LuLu were ok. LuLu rode her home with just a broken finger but also a broken spirit. She struggled to go back, even though she has fallen so many times, something about this fall led LuLu to pause and just think. She says, the fall has led her to more thoughtful, “logical riding.” Not surprisingly, with absoluteness and readiness she got back on the horse literally. Her courage tank is just about full now.
Today, she embraces her journey from the little girl dreaming of making the Junior Olympic Team to the young woman committed to play polo in college. The path has not been easy or safe, yet she continues on her journey. With every fall and disappointment, she developed characteristics that parents would buy if they could, an old school work ethic, courage, selflessness, and the most valuable tool, confidence.
The beautiful and inspiring life she has created for herself is not lost on LuLu. Humble when we talk about being a first from her hometown, she says she is simply following her path. I remind her it is inspirational to young girls because her path is one she created by staying true to herself, her interests, and her dreams. Thank you LuLu for showing us there will be falls, and the journey is not always easy, but if you pick yourself and get back on, the horses will be there for you, birds will still be singing, and new dreams and new paths are made.
LuLu plans to study psychology at SMU while playing polo.
She is brave. She is courageous. She is a first!
We are excited to follow your trailblazing path on horseback.