Meet McKenna Gooden!

Who do you train with?
Megghan Watts from Heritage Acres in Dillsburg, Pa.

Where do you live?
I live in Mechanicsburg, Pa. I have moved many different times in my life and
out of all the places I’ve lived, Mechanicsburg is my favorite. The community is
very kind and welcoming, the school is fantastic, and the landscapes are
always a sight to behold.

How old were you when you started riding?
I was 9 when I first started riding, but before that my mom would take me to her
friend’s barn and show me all of the horses. It was an amazing experience,
and I loved seeing all the different horses. My mom used to ride, and so she
introduced me to the sport. I am so glad she did, because riding has taught
me so much.
Outside of riding what are you passionate about?
I am very passionate about art. When I graduate high school, I want to go to
college to be an art teacher. I love teaching people new things, and I love seeing
people’s art develop and grow. I mostly draw horses and mythical creatures,
although, I have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone and learning to draw
different animals and people. I always bring my sketchbook with me to the barn or
to shows, and any down time I have is used to practice drawing. Like many things,
What's your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject is art, although I do really enjoy
science. I love my art class, because I get to use creativity
for the different projects we have. My favorite science is
Biology, because I love learning about different animals.

What's your favorite food?
I love any type of pasta, but my absolute favorite is
Fettuccine Alfredo.
What are your short term riding goals?  Long My
main goal as of now, is to start the show season in the
children’s horse and then move up to the junior
hunters on Pete.

If you could ride any horse in the world, who
would it be?
I would love to ride American Pharaoh, because I have
always been interested in feeling what it feels like to
ride a racehorse.
What's in your tack trunk?
My tack trunk is very messy right now, because
the barn is under construction, and I had to put
all of my gear in it. I have several girths, a
plethora of saddle pads, some earplugs, a few
treats, etc.

Do you have any superstitions when it
comes to riding?
have. I won it one year as an end of the show
season prize. Every time I use it, I feel like I just
ride better.
Who is your mount?
I use to ride a pony named Joey, his show name is The
Lone Roan. He was an amazing pony who taught me a lot
about riding. He also taught me the value of being grateful
for what I have. Most of the people at my barn thought that
Joey was grumpy, but to me Joey was the sweetest pony in
the barn. I sadly outgrew him, and the search for a horse
began. After trying many horses, we found one named
Pete. Pete is an amazing horse, and I feel as if we
connected as soon as we met. I look forward to the show
season with him, and hope that one day we can share the
experience of Junior Hunter Finals together.
What makes him/her special?
Joey was special to me, because he
helped me through a tough time in my
life. On the bad days, he was always
there for me to help pull me through
it. I also was able to take him to Pony
Finals twice, which was an amazing
experience for me and Joey. Pete is
special because of his personality. He
always wants to be near you and see
your pocket sort of horse. He is
spoiled already even though he has
only been with us for a short while.
Pete is so much fun to ride, because
he has a huge stride, and his canter
is as comfortable as a couch.
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