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Get to Know Jr. High Student Maitland Luksan

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A few days ago I had the pleasure to sit down with Maitland Luksan, a seventh grader who competes in horse jumping throughout the warm months, and to ask her some questions about her sport and some tips for becoming what she is.

Question  #1: What type of horse(s) do you ride?

While there are thousands of different breeds of horses, there are only a few in eventing, also known as jumping.  I ride two horses: my Quarter Horse/Morgan, an American breed that usually is used for short sprints,  and a Paint Horse, a breed of horse that contains many characteristics from other breeds of horses.

Question #2: What are the main parts to competing?

Well, I first compete in the dressage round, which is a French term for practice, that contains many memorization skills that both the horse and rider perform. This is the first of three events. Once the dressage is over, I head on to the show jumping event, which is quite self-explanatory. There are many difficult and easy obstacles that must be completed in a certain time. Lastly, I compete in the cross-country event. It involves a timer, which contains an optimum time that I have to come just under to achieve success. This event involves stamina and composure.

Question #3: What is your favorite part about riding?

My favorite part of riding is the cross-country event. I like it because of the optimum time. It gives me such a thrill. It feels great when I complete the cross-country race easily and swiftly.

Question #4: When and what was your finest moment in eventing?

My favorite and best experience in eventing was when I won the first place prize at the Roebkes’s Summer Horse Trials. It was completely amazing.

Question #5: What is your worst moment?

Once when I was bareback, a type of riding using no saddle, I fell off and broke my arm. It was excruciating, and I wish I never did it.

Question #6: What is the hardest part of riding?

The hardest part of riding is quite annoying and frustrating. Making the horse listen to you is extremely difficult; even a very accomplished horse and a great rider sometimes cannot work well with each other.

Question #7: Where do you compete?

Because horse racing is not the most popular sport in Minnesota, it is sometimes hard to find a good competition to go to.  I regularly compete in the Roebke’s fall, spring, and summer competitions as well as the Otter’s Creek fall, spring, and summer competitions.

Question #8: What is the best finish that you have achieved in racing?

As I mentioned earlier, I got the 1st place award at the Roebke’s Summer Horse Trials. This is the first 1st  place award I had been bestowed.

Question 9: What advice would you give to anyone aspiring to become a horse rider?

My two tips are simple but important: take lessons before getting a horse of your own and know many people close to you that are connected to horses and horse racing.

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