Meghan Johnson is another up-and-coming star in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA). She is currently sitting 14th in the world standings. This two-time College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) qualifier set the arena record this year at the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Colorado, and won the second round at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver. She is having good success because of a great family support system, and her horses.
Horses are part of daily life
Being a barrel racer started as a young girl for Meghan Johnson. She grew up on a cattle ranch that in included a feedlot near Demming, NM. Horses were part of the daily life, and Meghan’s mom, Jody had a strong foundation in training horses. Because of Meghan’s love for the sport, the family decided to get further coaching from Trudy Freeman who has a long list of barrel racing accomplishments herself. Eventually, Meghan and her mom took it from there, integrating Trudy’s training techniques with their own. Meghan says, “I love how rewarding it is to do well on a horse that I have trained with my Mom. Our favorite part is working together to season new horses, and getting them the experience they need to be on the road.”
Giving a horse a second chance
Several years back, a trailer carrying race horses heading for retirement passed through Demming, New Mexico. Meghan’s mom stopped by to take a look, and discovered Nellie Laveaux, a seasoned mare with racing wins in Texas and Louisiana under her belt. Bound for a broodmare pasture in Montana, Meghan and her mom pulled her out, and started training her for barrels.
“Nellie knew how to run, to jump out of the gate and race, but that’s all she knew. We taught her how to bend, turn, and listen. Over the years she’s developed a funny little diva attitude. She knows she’s good,” chuckles Johnson.
Meghan’s second string horse is a 6 year old mare named Sister. She comments that, “We had a rougher start with Sister. She was bought as a trained barrel horse, but we ended up having to go back to square one and start her over. That turned out to be harder than training a new horse.”
Choosing the right feed
About a year ago, Meghan and her mom decided that they needed to make some changes in their horses feeding program. “The horse feed that we were feeding was getting them really hot on the muscle, hyped up on sugar, and they wouldn’t want to pay attention,” says Meghan.
They wanted a feed that was low in starch, higher in fat, and fortified with vitamins and minerals. After doing some research, and looking at the Hi-Pro Feeds website, they decided to give the Race textured feed a shot.
“At first I was worried that it would get the horses hot because it’s a sweet feed, but it didn’t make them hot at all. I’ve actually noticed that my horses are a little calmer, and they are definitely getting all the nutrition they need,” states Meghan. “I usually feed it about 3 – 4 hours before we run, and it really gives them energy, especially during intense competition and practice. They keep their weight really easily, and their appearance and attitude overall has visibly improved. Overall, the quality and consistency has been great. The feed lasts a long time on the road without going bad, and that’s so important for staying competitive.”
Meghan Johnson is currently working hard, travelling and competing on the Turquoise Circuit. We’re very proud of Meghan and wish her the best of luck!