By Sarah Welk Baynum
Portraits by Kristie Scholten
Hunter-jumper riders Lindsey and Will Roberts love each other and love horses, and together they have turned that love into a family business. Long before the equestrian power couple met and started Pine Hollow Farm near Houston, Texas, horses were an integral part of their respective lives.
Lindsey, who was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and grew up in Denver, Colorado, said she has always had a love and admiration for horses. “My mom had horses when she was a kid,” Lindsey said. “My parents put me and my brothers in pony camp one summer, and there was no looking back after that. I’m sure my parents are still kicking themselves!”
Lindsey continued to ride hunters in her early college years and competed through her last Junior year with the help of trainer Kris Nixon, picking the sport back up after graduating from college.
Across the country in central New Jersey, Will started working with horses at a very young age. “My dad introduced me to horses,” Will said. “I became a working student around 14 years old and have been working in the barn ever since.”
Will said he has always ridden and worked with horses in the hunter-jumper discipline. He then went on to work with Don and Linda Coulter, where he learned a lot about cowboy-mentality horsemanship producing top show horses. “As a young professional, I also worked for Jessamy Rouson, Robin Hughes, Carleton Brooks, Matt Cyphert, later ending with Joan Waterman,” Will said. Will became a professional at just 18 years old.
The couple met through a mutual friend at a horse show years later in Texas.
“I had just moved to Houston for work,” Lindsey said, “Will was already in Texas working for Joan Waterman at the time.”
“I went back to the barn and told Morgan, who worked for me at the time, that I met the girl I was going to marry,” Will said about meeting Lindsey for the first time.
“Morgan is one of our best friends to this day,” Lindsey said, “She was even a bridesmaid in our wedding!”
After working for Joan Waterman, Will and Lindsey took over ownership of Pine Hollow Farm.
Equestrian Power Couple
Today, Lindsey and Will have a family business at their 25-acre farm with their two children, Hudson, who is 11 years old, and Mason, who is 6. Will said they currently have about 30 horses there.
“Will trains and develops talented young sale horses,” Lindsey said. In addition to bringing along young sale prospects, Will also works with students and client horses. He has trained several horses to Horse of the Year awards, taken several of his students to national championships and been champion himself at major horse shows from coast to coast. “One of the things I like best about show hunters is the classic style and tradition,” Will said.
“The barn is Will’s gig,” Lindsey added. “I really try to stand back and let him do his thing. He is so good at it, and I always joke and say the farm is his and the house is mine.”
While Will handles most of the riding and training, Lindsey still rides and competes as well.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate over the years to have some incredibly nice horses,” Lindsey said. “They have opened up new opportunities for my riding. I’ve been lucky enough to compete at all the major indoor shows like Capital Challenge, Harrisburg, Washington and the National Horse Show, to name a few.”
“One of my biggest accomplishments,” Will said, “was training my wife on Snippet, a horse that we developed together, and taking Champion Amateur Owner at Capital Challenge Horse Show a few years ago.”
Lindsey has had multiple horses that were named Horse of the Year in the younger 3’6” Amateur Owners. In addition to her champion title at Capital Challenge, Lindsey and Snippet also took reserve champion at Harrisburg that same year.
“I feel like I’m at a good level now,” Lindsey said about her riding career. “However, my riding is second to being a mom now. My children are my biggest accomplishment!”
Traveling Together & Future Goals
“It’s extremely important to stick to a routine with our kids during the school year,” Lindsey said. “Over the years, Will and I have been so fortunate that my mom would leave Colorado and keep the routine going.”
While Lindsey and Will’s kids don’t have any interest in riding yet, they still love being with the horses and attending horse shows. “On the weekends, the boys are in the barn with us,” Lindsey said. “Once school is out, we all hit the road together as a family to go to the horse shows. The boys love it! I think they get a great balance—normal school life and plenty of horse show life. We have been so fortunate to travel all over the country together as a family.”
“My best experiences as a trainer,” Will said, “have been watching the horses I’ve trained go on to new partnerships and have success, as well as watching my wife’s continued success on the horse we brought along together.”
So what’s next for the Roberts family?
“I’m thrilled with my accomplishments, but I would love to qualify for Devon and Indoors again,” Lindsey said. Lindsey mentioned that other than her riding goals, she loves watching her boys grow and enjoys the blessings they have been given.
As for Will’s future life goal, he has big aspirations for what he would like to do next. “Running some really top-notch horse shows is actually a goal of mine,” Will said. “When would I have the time? Now that’s a good question!”
For more information, visit www.pinehollowfarmtx.com
Photos by Kristie Scholten, www.moonfyrephotography.com