2021 Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finalist Megan Small

Which horse(s) are you taking to the finals? What are their lifetime earnings? I will be taking Custer. This was his first year on the rodeo circuit and he did exceptionally well. Between jackpots, Indian rodeos, and pro rodeos his LTE is $10k +

What is unique about their personality and what are their strengths? Custer is full of quirks. He came to me very timid and scared of humans. It took me about three years to gain his confidence and trust. Today, this horse gives me his entire heart and truly trusts me.

When did you start competing in breakaway? I grew up on ranch where I learned how to rope and ride at a very young age. I started entering breakaway roping at the age of 12 at local junior and Indian rodeos. My cousin Tal inspired me to be brave and start entering the roping events. We always had a rivalry, but we were each other’s biggest fans.

Do you raise your own horses? Or do you purchase? Are you looking for specific bloodlines? I grew up riding my parents’ ranch raised horses, which were the offspring of foundation bred mares crossed with their Streakin Six stallion. These horses were tough and gritty, and they taught me how to be a better rider. Currently, my husband and I enjoy purchasing prospects and turning them into performance horses. Our favorite bloodlines are anything Doc Bar, Shining Spark, High Brow Cat, and Mr. Jess Perry.

What are your conditioning and workout routines for both you and your horse(s)? My good horse Custer gets roped on a couple times a week. I make sure he gets exercised five days a week so he’s in shape. I ride my younger horses as much as I can, whether it be on the ranch or in the arena. I recently started indoor cycling 5 days a week to get myself in shape and build my core. I have noticed my riding has improved and I’m able to get out of the saddle easier when I leave the box. Movement is medicine.

When you're headed to the rodeo what do you listen to: inspirational podcasts, music, audio books?  I listen to all genres of music when I travel. My parents instilled in me a love for all kinds of music. I really enjoy the “In the Loop” podcast on Spotify. Jordan Jo Fabrizo’s interviews are so fun to listen to and I love to hear different perspectives of roping from the NFR breakaway ropers. Also, when all else fails I turn on a True Crime Documentary to help pass the time.

Do you have a rodeo idol and reasons why? My rodeo idol is my dad, Dutch Lunak. He was an amazing saddle bronc rider before a career-ending injury. Between his life as a saddle bronc rider and a Hollywood stuntman, he acquired a champion’s mentality. He is also a very inspirational and uplifting role model. I can be in a slump a thousand miles from home and one call to my dad will change my entire day. He is so humble, yet extremely confident in who he is and what he can do. I aspire to be just like him.

Do you have favorite spots to stop at while on the road? We usually pack a cooler of food and drinks to help with the cost of traveling. You simply can’t go wrong with a bologna sandwich on the road. If we get to sit down, I enjoy any steakhouse.

Who do you travel with (including pets or companion horses) and in what kind of rig? I travel with my husband Clayton, our dog Teddy, and my horses Custer and CC. We have a 350 Ford Dually and a Platinum 3 horse stock combo.

What are your favorite memories/highlights and obstacles you faced getting to the 2021 circuit finals? My highlight was knowing I was in contention to qualify for the circuit finals, but I had to do good at the very last rodeo of the season. I went to Big Timber, MT a few hundred dollars out of the top 12 and made a run on a good calf. My time was fast enough for third place, which qualified me for my first circuit finals. The obstacles I faced outnumbered the highlights. Broken barriers and missed opportunities were common this past summer. But I took each defeat as a learning experience. I never entered a pro rodeo until June of 2021 and I was nervous about my abilities. I taught myself how to exhale fear and inhale courage. The obstacles were very beneficial for my mental toughness.

How do you juggle family life while on the road? Our family life is a bit different from some of my peers. I don’t have children, but we do have animals and other responsibilities. We can’t just get in our rig and be gone for days at a time. Careers, cattle, horses, and pets come first. So, I planned accordingly and entered rodeos that weren’t too far away. We have good friends that do our chores while on the road and we are very thankful for them.

What are your hobbies or other sports you compete in?
I really enjoy golf thanks to my husband. Clayton used to be a golfer on the PGA Long Drive Tour and it is surreal to watch him on the golf course. He has taught me so much about golf and I have learned to love the sport. He is also the most patient coach. We are slowly getting my swing figured out and my aim more centered.

The Run Down
Saddle: Tres Rios Saddlery
Pad: Five Star Pads
Leg Gear: Iconoclast
Bits: Petska and Mike Beers
Rope: King Ropes four-strand
Feed and Supplements (in addition to what, how much you feed daily):  Dynamite minerals, Silver Lining Herbs, Zesterra, and Lubrisyn
Additional Care: PEMF, Respond Blanket, Chiro
Sponsors: Hero Hondas have been apart of my life for five years. I can’t thank them enough for their continued support of breakaway roping and the evolution of our sport.