Junior equestrians learn life lessons at Pa. National Horse Show

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – About 750 equestrians under 18 years old competed at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for Junior Weekend at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, balancing competing and being a kid.

It’s another day in the saddle for McKayla Langmeier and her horse Skyfall.

“Both my mom and father are professionals in the sport,” Langmeier said.

McKayla, who’s from Connecticut, has been practicing and competing in the ring almost all her life.

“I’ve been riding since I was two,” Langmeier said.

The 16-year-old won a national championship and has a special relationship with her horse.

“They’re like friends. They’re somebody you can go and talk to. They’re special animals. They have such a great personality,” Langmeier said.

The junior competitors said working with their horses helps to teach them lessons about life.

“This is a great experience for these kids because they learn how to juggle many responsibilities. These kids all go to school. They all have other responsibilities at home, pets, some have jobs,” said Patty Wise, director of development for the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

“We’re doing this for five hours a day sitting on a horse,” Langmeier said. “It’s hard work, and it’s dedication.”

Maddy Goetzmann is also 16, balancing riding with her horse Connor, and being a teenager.

“Some of my greatest friends in the horse world, I see them going from show to show throughout the year. I’m still at home in upstate New York, I have a bunch of great friends that I am always in touch with, but it’s definitely a very demanding sport,” Goetzmann said

The girls have plans for their future even at their young age.

“My goals for the future are to become a professional and compete at the top of this sport,” Langmeier said.

“I think my dream is to always work with horses. I just am so passionate about this sport,” Goetzmann said.

The girls have a passion for their sport while helping their horses put their best hooves forward.

For more information on the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, click here.

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