This local barrel racer gives a glimpse of what it’s like to raise, train, and ride horses that can compete in rodeos.
BY HAILEY MINTON
Meka Farr is northern Utah native barrel racer. She and her family recently moved to accommodate their growing family of horses. They currently have ten! She explained that, back in the day, people would ride the same horse for 4H, queening, barrels, or any competitive event on horseback. “It’s just not the same today,” she said. Each of her horses are raised and trained for specific purposes. They have a kid’s horse for their daughter to gain confidence in riding and two ropes horses for her husband. Her four barrel-racing horses range in age from four years old to twenty. They recently bought a mare to breed barrel racing horses. The mare has a three-month-old colt at her side, and this is the first time Meka has raised a horse this young. “He is the littlest thing on our property,” she said. “I usually buy my horses between one and two years old.” She has to halter break him and get him leading. “Now he goes in and out of the trailer, it has been way fun!” Meka’s mare is currently in foal, and she is looking forward to going through the process again.
Growing up, her dad used horses for hunting. When they were old enough, Meka and her sisters wanted to get involved with 4H, and they rode the family horse for it. “We all started on a pony. We had two ponies, and we would ride them around every day. If it involved a horse, we were in! We loved it, did the posse, and grew up through the ranks. The things I learned and the friendships I made during that time were priceless.” She still sees those friends at barrel races today.
There are a lot of associations that put on barrel races and Meka loves to race with her horse Woody. He holds the arena record at Sister’s Oregon. “My little horse is amazing; he is an athlete! We’ve qualified for the Wilderness Circuit Finals five times. We also qualified for the Ramp National Circuit. “
Woody was a yearling when she bought him. He is a gelding quarter horse with a very calm demeanor. She sticks to a training regimen to keep him in shape, and Meka tries to change it up to keep him from getting bored. She explained it’s a team effort, and the horse needs to like his job if they want to compete well. “Every night we’re walking and training horses. Our routine revolves around them. Without them, we’re not barrel racing.”
Meka’s friends and family have been a major support for her, and she turns to them and their vet for advice when she needs it. Meka also makes sure to attend clinics once a year to keep herself sharp. “Ed Wright, Martha Wright, Terry Wood Gates, Norma Wood… There are so many amazing barrel racers, and there’s always something I can take away.”
Meka grew up participating in the Ogden Pioneer Days rodeo. She rode in the All Horse Parade and participated in the pre-rodeo. Today, she participates in the WPRA Rodeo in barrel racing, so watch for her this year at the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo if you plan to attend. “It’s a big, beautiful arena, and Ogden Pioneer Days is a legacy.”