The last several years, the town of Pueblo, Colorado has hosted the National Little Britches Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo. Heartwarming, wholesome, family-oriented, hard-working, and inspirational are only five of countless words to describe both the participants and volunteers for Hope Counts of NLBRA. Some 2,000 kids, between the ages of 5 and 18, from 21 states compete in more than 275 “Little Britches” rodeos every year. Their most recent Finals Rodeo was held in July and members of Spalding Labs were again on hand to help with the Hope Counts Crisis Fundraising. According to Tom Spalding, President of Spalding Labs, “Of all the events we do every year, Little Britches is the most fun.”
The Hope Counts - Crisis Fund of the NLBRA was founded by Sydnee Christensen of Utah when she was a mere 12 years old. She wanted to help injured rodeo kids and their families facing catastrophic events. Sydnee started brainstorming ideas, lit a fire under her mom, and they began putting together the business side. Sponsorship Coordinator for the NLBRA, Sarah Faith Wiens, had this to say about Sydnee’s endeavor, "It's one thing for an association to start up a crisis fund, it's quite another to have a 12-year-old member start one. It makes me so proud to be a small part of an organization that has members willing to help one another in such a large way. The sport of rodeo is dangerous, there is no getting around it. Anytime you mix livestock, kids and a competitive atmosphere there are bound to be accidents and when that happens it's comforting to know that families aren't alone. NLBRA is truly an association where character is developed, western traditions live and legends begin!"
Sydnee’s base idea for fundraising was cleaning trailers for rodeo participants using Spalding’s Bye Bye Odor as they were checking in. Everyone who made a donation received the Hope Counts signature Blue Feather. The volunteers worked hard, cleaning trailers, for three days. Their youthful teamwork and dedication to serving others touched the heart of Spalding’s video director, Berry Landen who was on location shooting the Finals Rodeo. On the spot, Landen decided to produce the “Hope Counts: Kids helping kids get better” video.
Both Spalding Lab’s video and Blue Feathers went viral at that year’s NFR in Las Vegas.
Expanding on Sydnee’s trailer cleaning concept, Larry Garner with Spalding Labs, suggested they not only donate the Bye Bye Odor used to clean the trailers but then sell Bye Bye Odor at the event giving 100% of the proceeds to Hope Counts for unlimited fundraising possibilities. Garner said, “It’s a win-win-win. The kids raise money to help others. Spalding’s Bye Bye Odor cleans the trailers which means less flies, better smell and happier animals. We all know happier animals are better competitors.” The premier year’s overwhelming response was thanks to the many Little Britches alumni, now top professional cowboys and cowgirls who wore the blue feathers at NFR. The buzz in Las Vegas that year was, ‘what are all these blue feathers for?’ generating enormous baseline awareness for Hope Counts.
Again this year Spalding Labs had plenty of donated Bye Bye Odor on hand, along with some additional man power to help the kids clean the trailers, and raise over $4000. Hope Counts not only gives back to the rodeo community in need, but also teaches kids teamwork, volunteerism and selfless acts of service. Wise beyond her years, Sydnee states “Aristotle said ‘virtue is its own reward’ I think we all may get a little extra reward here.”
Angelea Walkup is a US Dressage Federation gold medalist best known in the horse world as web series host of HorseGirlTV and producer of the equibarre workout. She is a career content creator and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. You can connect with her on Twitter @AKwalkup or her Facebook Page.
Fall is upon us so Winter won't be far behind. Soon we'll need to batten down the hatches and close up everything to keep our horses as warm and cozy. All closed in for winter coupled with sweaty saddle pads, moist leather, urine and manure and you’re in for some serious “barn odors” that are far from cozy. Bad barn smells are one factor but also consider yours and your horses respiratory health. Fresh, clean air is a key component of that. Here’s 5 tips to help you keep your barn smelling like roses (well maybe not roses per se but at least not stinky winter “barn odor” smells) all winter long!
1. Fresh Air. Check your stable for proper ventilation. Without creating a massive draft, crack windows and stable doors at least for a short portion of each day to allow for fresh air flow through your barn.
2. Sufficient Bedding. Yes, proper bedding is costly but this is not a place to cut corners in the winter months when horses are standing in their stalls more often than not. Whether you bed on straw, shavings, or pellets make sure you have a sufficient amount of bedding to absorb urine in your stalls. Investing in quality stall mats can also mitigate the amount of bedding needed thus saving your expense on bedding in the long run.
3. Clean Up. Pick urine and manure from your stalls daily then spray Bye Bye Odor on the urine spots. The Bye Bye Odor will eliminate the ammonia in the urine. Believe your stall smell just fine? Get down at floor level where your horses noses spend a great deal of time and take a wiff. Ammonia not only smells bad but is detrimental to respiratory health. Bye Bye Odor eliminates the ammonia but likewise it has a light, refreshing, pleasant smell on its own.
4. Water Buckets. Don’t just refill water buckets but make a habit of dumping, rinsing and then refilling at least every other day. This is a year round tip. If you are just constantly refilling buckets with grain and hay remnants floating around it will sour. Encourage your horses to drink more water by keeping a fresh, clean supply readily available for them.
5. Blanket Maintenance. Try using a light fleece sheet under your winter blankets that you can wash easily and that will dry fast for reuse. This will keep the layer closest to your horse fresh plus wick away any sweat that might accumulate if they do get too hot, and cut down your grooming time by always having a clean layer on them. Winter blankets usually only get washed 1 or 2 times a season. Spray urine and manure spots on your outer blanket and straps with Bye Bye Odor to neutralize the smell.
We have a busy fall at Spalding Labs! We'll be all over this great country. If you're nearby, stop in and say hello!Cowboy Dressage FinalOctober 9 - October 14 at Murieta Equestrian CenterSoft Feel (or Fresh Rein) is the guiding principle of Cowboy Dressage. The Finals competition is held each fall with this years major prize giving called Riding for the Brand. Riding for the Brand was an unwritten code of the Old West but understood by everyone who agreed to live the cowboy life on the open range — that the cowboy should always “ride for the brand.” In the early days of the American West, a brand was a ranch’s trademark. It meant protecting the ranch and its livestock, whatever it took. The brand also represented pride, duty, stewardship, loyalty and dedication. Perhaps a few lines of a cowboy poem say it best: “Riding for the brand means to help neighbors and friends, search for that one last stray, even though you’re tired and it’s the end of the day. It’s just not the cowboy way to quit.” Cowboy Dressage reflects those principles of being moral, just, fair and dedicated.Discover one of the fastest growing riding disciplines, Cowboy Dressage at cowboydressageworld.comEquine AffaireNovember 7 November 10 in W. Springfield, MA at The Big ENorth America’s premiere equine exposition and equestrian gathering… a unique celebration of the horse offering unparalleled educational, entertainment, and shopping opportunities. Enjoy an unparalleled program of hundreds of training clinics, seminars, and demos presented by leading coaches, competitors, trainers, and industry experts on a wide range of disciplines and topics. Hone your basic horsemanship skills at this diverse pavilion featuring a full schedule of demonstrations, video presentations, and interactive educational displays and activities for new riders and horse owners of all ages. Meet dozens of fascinating horse breeds from around the world "up close and personal" through association-sponsored exhibits and demos. Discover training, breeding, boarding, and lesson facilities; stallions at stud; and horses for sale to help you find the right horse, trainer, teacher, and equestrian service. Browse the largest horse-related trade show in the east with acres of leading retailers and manufacturers offering an impressive selection of equine products and services. Catch all the action of (or ride in) this timed and judged ultimate test of horsemanship in which pre-selected horse and rider teams will compete for $5,500. Find your next horse at Equine Affaire's Adoption Affaire! Meet dozens of adoptable horses of various breeds, ages, and disciplines from several different rescue organizations all in one place! Don’t miss your chance for a fascinating hands-on gentle giants experience!Learn more about Equine Affaire’s celebrity line up at equineaffaire.comHorse ExpoNovember 8 - November 10 in Pomona, CA at the FairplexOne of the fastest growing expos in the United States, California’s Western States Horse Expo in Pomona is a must-attend event for any horse owner. In three short days, you can catch up on the latest training and education, shop the nation’s premier equine vendors and connect with your horse friends. Attending the expo is a low-cost, high quality way to stay engaged in the horse industry, making sure you have the tools, knowledge and products to help make the most of your investment in the horse owning lifestyle year round.Check out the Horse Expo’s schedule at horsexpo.comWe hope to see you at one OR ALL of these terrific events!
Okay! I normally watch only four TV channels, two to get opposing political positions, one for its veterinary and wildlife programs, and one for its once a week reality humor. So it has been a drag for me to watch otherwise wasteful TV in order to collect the data for this article.
Moreover, this is the second time I have reported the unexplainable phenomenon that the pharmaceutical industry, even including its academic research constituents, persist in using the letter “X” in naming new drugs. Why? This applies not only to the product’s proprietary name, but also to many of the generic names.
I am obligated to report about this puzzling, irrational, but obviously effective tendency to increase sales of the respective drugs. Why else would they do it? More importantly, why does it work?
My research project ended today, just prior to me sitting down to write this column. I have no doubt that if I continued to search the channels for drug commercials flaunting the letter “X”, the forthcoming list would be much larger. But, frankly, two weeks of watching the Boob Tube and writing down drug names, many of which are in ads warning of such side effects as internal bleeding, loss of vision or hearing, cardiac arrest, pancreatitis, anaphylaxis, angioedema and even death, are all I can take.
As I accumulated the list below, I wondered if television itself was responsible for some of the cited side effects.
So, without further comment (and why I am the only person with a degree in medicine to have reported this “X” phenomenon, to the best of my knowledge), here is the list of “X” drugs I saw in television commercials in one two week period.
Nuedexta, Apixaban, Naltrexone, Rivaroxaban, Prodaxo, Eluxadoline, Xeljanz, Naloxegol, Zoustavax, Nuedexta and Rexulti.
There were even ads for drugs with two “X”s: Axploxion and Axploxionex.
You know if I were a pharmaceutical producer, I would try three or more “X”s, like: Pexenicillinexbiotix or Axisperxinex or Hydroxinogenex Peroxide. Imagine the efficacy of such products.
Since I wrote this, new products are being advertised. Two begin with “X”. The third has a silent letter preceding the “X” (which is pronounced “Z”).
Transmissible Diseases, also known as Contagious Diseases, are those which are commonly spread from one infected individual to another, usually of the same species, but also frequently of another species. This occurs because of direct physical contact, but it also occurs from indirect physical contact. For example, if a person with a cold or flu sneezes near you, that is an example of indirect physical contact. However, if you touch the other person, and they have the virus on their hands or elsewhere on their body, that would be direct physical contact.
Transmissible diseases are also spread from one individual to another by the infected victim contaminating food or water, which is then consumed by the next unfortunate victim.
However, there is a third kind of individual, known as a “vector”, who can transmit diseases caused by micoörganisms (viruses and bacteria).
A common disease-carrying vector are insects. For example, mosquitoes transmit Malaria. A more common example are the diseases carried by flies.
Flies, attracted to the nasal discharge or tears or even saliva of an infected individual can inadvertently transmit disease-causing micoörganisms to other perfectly healthy individuals.
For horse owners this is often true during outbreaks of such common diseases as equine influenza and strangles.
Obviously, the disease in question may be prevented by vaccination. However, there are other preventative measures that are important.
For example, flies, including the common Stable Fly, are inevitably attracted to the nasal discharge of equines suffering from such communicable diseases. So further disease prevention can require the elimination, or, at least, sever reduction in such insects.
Controlling flies and other insect pests in the stable can involve many techniques. Examples include pesticides, keeping the premises free of manure and other wastes that attract flies, insect repellant sprays, fly traps and screens, the use of Fly Predators to destroy the fly larvae before they hatch, and even the use of Fly Traps to trap the insects that land on such adhesive products.
Reducing the population of such insect pests can help prevent horses from acquiring serious diseases, reduce discomfort, and making the stable a more desirable environment for both the animals, and the people who associate with them.
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