Not every junior walking into the ring this final season can say that they competed in their first junior equitation final eight years ago. Most of them also can’t say they are the cover girl on the box of the newest equitation boot.
We caught up with the successful and extremely hard working rider that everyone has their eye on this final season, McKayla Langmeier.
- Tell us a little bit about your first final!
The very first final I did was New England Finals when I was 9 years old so my show age was 8. I was on a horse named Margot that we had. One memory from the final was that I almost made the second round on her. I was 0.25 away from making the second round. That pushed my career into the equitation and I really wanted to do it.
- What is your favorite part of the final season?
My favorite part of the final season is probably the courses and the facilities where they are held.
- What is your favorite final? Why?
I would have to say my favorite final is Maclay, since I won it. My other favorite is USET Finals because it gears riders towards something more than the equitation.
- Tell us a little bit about your preparation for the finals.
A lot of early morning lessons before school. A lot of work! There is not as much jumping as there is flatwork. Then getting there and being ready and trusting your horse.
- Who will you be riding this year? Tell us a little bit about them.
I will be riding with my mom, Linda Langmeier and North Run. I will be riding Calberon B and Skyfall. Calberon B is a little bit newer to the equitation, he is learning the ropes pretty fast. I am not sure which finals I will use him or Skyfall at. I have both of them to choose from so we will see who we end up choosing. Skyfall is a veteran to all of the finals. He is something special and we’ve had him for a really long time now. He gets the whole winter and summer off then comes out for the bigger stuff. He is a horse my mom and I really cherish.
- What are three things you couldn’t live without during finals?
- Gloves – I’m a stickler about gloves, they have to fit well.
- What are three things your horses couldn’t live without during finals?
- T-Sport Wraps
- You have been successful in so many of the finals! Which accomplishment stands out the most to you? Why?
Probably winning the Maclay Finals since that is the final my mom won. That year going into it I really wasn’t expecting anything. I was just hoping to get into the second round so to come out on top was something I couldn’t even comprehend.
- Do you or did you ever get nervous walking into the ring for the final round or test? If so, what are a few things you do to stay focused?
For sure, nerves! Everyone has them but I mostly try to talk myself out of it. I mostly say to myself: discipline, confidence and to keep my eyes up. That is a constant thing, I like to look down.
- Any advice for riders heading to their first final?
Go into the ring confident and have a good experience.
- What are your goals for finals?
My goals for finals are to make the top four at USET and to place at the other finals.
McKayla winning the $10,000 Vermont Summer Festival Hunter Derby against professionals at age 11.
McKayla’s Go-To EquiFit Products!