Cow-riding Meagan steps up to ride a horse for the first time
WHEN Theebine cowgirl Meagan Neumann rode around the barrels last weekend, it was not bareback on a dairy cow.
This time it was on a horse.
The Gympie Times published a story on Meagan's unconventional hobby a few weeks ago - the 13-year-old trains and rides dairy cows on her parents' dairy farm.
Since the age of five, the teenager always loved horses but never owned one, the very reason why she started riding cows.
Following the story, the teenager was contacted by Horse and Rodeo Association president Darryl Smith.
At the weekend she had the opportunity to put her boot in the iron, her hands around the reins and feel what it was like to be in the saddle.
Though she was a little apprehensive at first, Meagan loved it.
The day had been organised after Mr Smith contacted Meagan's parents, Garry and Sue.
"We're a family-orientated club and we help each other out," Mr Smith said.
Mr Smith said if Meagan could ride a cow bareback, she would have no trouble in a saddle.
And he was right - the teenager was a natural aboard nine-year-old Waler mare and barrel racer Dawnie.
"I didn't expect the horse to be so big," Meagan said.
"It's better than riding a cow, it wasn't playing up."
With encouragement from her parents and sister Jess, the youngster picked up pace.
Riding in almost 40-degree temperature was sweaty work and before too long the reins were passed over to Jess.
"We kept it a secret all week," Mr Neumann said.
"It was a nice little surprise for the both of them."