Horse Power - Mikayla Moyer Top Ten Junior Youth in Texas 2012
Mikayla Moyer can’t remember not spending time in the barn and being around horses. Her grandfather was a passionate animal lover and her mother says he was determined to pass that love on to his grandchild. He appears to have succeeded.
Mikayla was just three-years-old when she first rode at All Star Equestrian. Her parents allowed it because the operation maintains very gentle horses. Today, at age 12, she rides cutting horses and competes throughout Texas and Oklahoma. She was one of the youngest riders her trainer had ever allowed to compete.
Her parents say they have always been amazed and often admittedly a little scared by the sport, but haveindulged Mikayla so long as she is careful and always wears a helmet. “She thinks that is a good compromise to be able to do something she loves so very much,” says her mother, Heather Moyer. “She has gained so much confidence from the sport itself, as well as the other young adults and mentors who surround her at practice and competitions.”
Mikayla’s love and desire for riding show no signs of ebbing. We asked her to share a little about herself and her love of horses.
My granddad would put me in a wagon and pull me around the barn before I could even walk. One horse took interest in me so he became the first horse I rode when I was 3. Sadly he died a few years ago.
When did you get interested in cutting horses?
When I was 9, my granddad and I were looking for something I could compete in with horses. We tried walk and trot lessons but I thought it was boring. He learned about cutting and asked me if I’d want to try it. I said I wanted to see exactly what it was so he took me to a show and I loved it.
How long have you been riding cutting horses?
My first competition was in October of 2009 and I practiced about 6 months before it.
Tell us just exactly what a cutting horse is?
Cutting horses move back and forth very fast to keep a cow they have singled out from getting back to the herd.
At my very first show in 2009 I got a 6th place ribbon and was so excited! I’ve earned a ribbon at every show I’ve competed at in Oklahoma. For 2011, I was the First Place Junior Youth for the OKFQHR and earned my first buckle. It felt like it was as big as my stomach! Last year I also earned a buckle in Texas for being in the Top Ten Junior Youth. I am currently in the Top Ten Junior Youth in Texas for 2012 and hoping to maintain it so I can get another buckle! One of my goals is to eventually win a saddle.
Describe how your family has supported your interest?
They all encourage me and give me advice. My granddad travels all over Texas and Oklahoma with me and my horses.
What kind of student are you? Favorite subject?
I would say I’m probably a nerd, because I love school. My favorite subjects are math and botany.
I love playing the clarinet, tennis and cheerleading. I cheer for the Arlington Optimist Warriors.
What do you do in your spare time?
Break out the sketch pad or write an original story.
How would you describe your personality?
Shy, crazy and always laughing.
What are your career plans?
In my spare time I plan to be a professional cutting horse rider and have all the pets I can! For a career I will either be an author, botanist or scientist.
What do you like the most about school?
I go to The Montessori Academy of Arlington and my whole class supports my love of cutting and I would like to thank them for that. My friends are the best thing about school.
Who has inspired you and why?
My granddad and my cutting teachers, mostly. My granddad got me riding in the first place and my teacher, Keith Johnson, showed me to always believe I can do it.
Ice cream or apple pie?
Ice cream, definitely ice cream.
Weirdest food indulgence?
I love sushi!
What are you most proud of?
Showing that I’m not just a shy girl who sits in the corner doing nothing. I do the things I love.