Q: There are so many different categories of competitive riding. You ride and train in eventing, called the “triathlon” of equestrian sports. What is it?
A: Eventing consists of three different phases: dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Dressage is like a choreographed dance for the horse and rider. It requires precision, grace, elegance and obedience. The cross-country phase is why we eventers do what we do. The adrenaline rush of galloping your horse across open fields and over giant obstacles is irreplaceable and unforgettable. The third phase, show jumping, is performed in an arena where the horse and rider have to complete a course over jumps.
Q: Dressage has received recent public interest with the inclusion of Ann Romney’s horse in the Olympics last summer. Most of the controversy centered on how expensive the sport can be. How do you respond to critics who say that competitive riding is only for the super rich?
A: Horses can be very expensive. As a kid I learned that there are many ways to help offset expenses, from catch riding [riding other people’s horses], braiding at horse shows, cleaning stalls, feeding and more. I didn’t own my own horse until I was 18. Instead, I was able to lease a horse, like you would lease a car. I also have many great corporate sponsors that help me out.
Q: Do you have any pre-show traditions to get yourself ready to compete?
A: Ever since I was little, my mom would bring me Skittles and green grapes to shows. I also write little notes on my arm, like my optimum times and good luck sayings or small reminders like “keep your leg on” or “eyes up.”
Q: Do you have any advice for former horse-crazy little kids who want to get into riding?
A: Start by taking weekly riding lessons at your local riding stable. Make sure you do some research and ask around to find what will fit your needs best.
Q: What is your biggest accomplishment? And your goal for the next few years?
A: I would say my biggest accomplishment is my business, Liz Lund Eventing. I take the most pride in teaching kids how to enjoy horses. My goal for the next few years is to continue to expand my business, move my current horse Rhine Maiden, a k a Lucy, up the levels, and hopefully purchase another horse to bring along behind Lucy.
Occupation: Horse trainer, instructor, coach and competitor.
Start date: Liz Lund Eventing LLC, in Independence, Minn., was born April 2010.
Education: B.S. from University of Wisconsin-Stout.