2022 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. His lifetime earnings are around $27,000. 

What is unique about their personality and what are their strengths? Custer comes off as standoffish, but he is a big teddy bear. He’s not a fan of grand entries, flags, the bomb at Cheyenne Frontier Days, or tractors. He keeps me giggling everyday. 

When did you start competing in breakaway? I started breakaway roping when I was about 12 years old.

Do you raise your own horses? Or do you purchase? Are you looking for specific bloodlines?  My parents raise some nice horses that are Streakin Six mares crossed on a Royal Quick Dash stallion that came from Randy Rasmussen. They make awesome ranch and arena horses. They are tough and built for speed. My husband Clayton and I like to purchase cow horse prospects and train them ourselves. Currently, I am finishing a five year old mare named Cricket. She is by Gunnin For Chicks out of a Nu Chex To Cash mare. I plan to rodeo on her in 2023. She has done well at the local jackpots, and I am excited to see her progress. I also like Grays Starlight and Docs Oak bred horses too.
What are your conditioning and workout routines for both you and your horse(s)?
When the weather allows, I like to keep my rope horses in shape by doing light workouts in the pasture and the arena. In the summer, I try to rope 3-5 times a week. Custer gets roped on 1-2 times a week, since he is on the road a lot. I like to keep him healthy and rested. I also really focus on scoring cattle and keeping him sharp leaving the corner. However, I like to ride my young horses all week and I track a lot on them too. Weekends are usually set aside for the rodeos. Personally, I do a lot of indoor cycling and weightlifting. I am learning that movement is medicine, which is good for my mental and physical well-being. 

When you're headed to the rodeo what do you listen to: inspirational podcasts, music, audio books?
I really enjoy all kinds of music. My playlists alter from country, hip-hop, rock, and pop. I’m also a fan of the 70s and 80s country and rock music. When I need a change of pace, I listen to All Things Breakaway and In The Loop podcasts on Spotify.  

Do you have a rodeo idol and reasons why? My rodeo idol is Jackie Crawford. She is beautiful, classy, and a roping machine. She has a great outlook on life and is a wonderful role model for all aspiring ropers. 

Do you have favorite spots to stop at while on the road? We are honestly in such a hurry all the time that we only make time for gas stations. If the gas station has a fast-food restaurant, then you've hit a jackpot. After the slack in Red Lodge this year, my husband and I stopped at a little Amish store near the arena, and they had the best sandwiches and baked goods. I will stop in after the 2023 Red Lodge Rodeo. 

Who do you travel with (including pets or companion horses) and in what kind of rig? I usually travel with the four C’s-Clayton, Custer, Cricket, and CC (one husband and three horses). However, my husband started a new job last year which prohibits his time away from home. So, I went to quite a few rodeos by myself, and I don't mind it all. I enjoy the freedom of the road and being in my own thoughts. I do a lot of soul searching on the highway and take in the sights. I have always loved to travel and explore new areas. 

What are your favorite memories/highlights and obstacles you faced getting to the 2022 circuit finals? The highlight of my 2022 season was winning a round at Cheyenne Frontier Days. That may have been the best breakaway run of my life. I also struggled a lot with believing in myself this summer. Self-doubt is a terrible thing to possess, and I had to fight a lot of mental battles. But one quick call to my dad and all of my doubts would disappear. He has a way of keeping me positive and confident with just the simplest of conversations.
How do you juggle family life while on the road? I am extremely thankful for my husband. He must stay home alot and tend to business. However, he is the first one in the pickup when he can make a trip to the rodeo. Summer is a much easier time to rodeo because the weather is nice, and the cows and horses are out on grass. Therefore, I can load up my rodeo horses and hit the road without worrying about chores. 

What are your hobbies or other sports you compete in? I don’t really have any hobbies outside of rodeo. My job is riding horses and I am so blessed to live this life. Sometimes, we will hit the golf course and play a round.
The Run Down
Saddle: Tongue River Saddlery by Leroy Schwartz
Pad: 5 Star
Leg Gear: Classic Equine
Bits: Petska and a Reg Hamilton chain bit
Rope: My favorite right now is the Athena in a 10.5 by Fastback. I also use a King rope and a Rattler Striker both in a 10.25. I am open to any rope as long as they feel good in Montana’s uncertain weather. 
Feed and Supplements (in addition to what, how much you feed daily): Mugglis pellets, Dynamite mineral, Lubrisyn Joint Supplement, and DynaSpark electrolytes for the hot days and long hours in the trailer. 
Additional Care: Respond Blanket and PEMF      
Sponsors: Hero Rodeo