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he U. S. Department of Agriculture’s updating of the Horse Protection Act banning soring got caught up with the new administration’s memo forcing all currently unpublished rules to be By: Vicki Long put on hold and sent back to their agencies for review. Soring is the practice of putting a chain around a horse’s ankles during training, adding weights on the animal’s front hooves, filing down a horse’s hoof to the sole coming in contact with the shoes and injecting or rubbing irritating chemicals into a horse’s foreleg. As a previous owner of a Tennessee Walker I can’t imagine any reason for allowing this cruel practice. The Humane Society of the United States has said “The USDA rule would strengthen regulations to end the cruel practice of soring – the intentional infliction of pain on the hooves and limbs of Tennessee walking horses and racking horses to induce the pain-based show gait known as the Big Lick. The rule would eliminate the failed system of industry self-policing that the USDA’s own Office of Inspector General deemed corrupt and ineffective in a 2010 audit, and prohibit the use of large stacked shoes, ankle chains, and other harmful devices that the American Horse Council, the American Veterinary Medical Association and many others have said are integral to the soring process,” Please let Washington know that this cruelty must be stopped. Hope you are having a wonderful new year. As the largest part of our distribution is in the state of Texas, and we started our rodeo season - this is our annual rodeo issue. If you have problems with rodeo and the treatment of the animals, please read our story on an animal communicator who “talked” with the famous bucking bull Little Yellow Jacket. If you are a sceptic on animal communication, please note that I was too. That is until, I used a communicator to “talk” with my horses a few years ago-the communicator shared things they said with me, that only the horses and I would know. Thank you all for your support, and I hope 2017 is a great year for us all!

On the Cover:

Get ready for Rodeo!


2017 Rodeo Issue

Cover Stories: 10 Communication with a Rodeo Bull - Danielle Tremblay 18 Clowns Who Fight Bulls - Ronnie Nordquist 30 Spurring The Next Generation - Kelsey Hellmann

Lifestyle: 15 USO - Home Away From Home - Margaret Pirtle 38 Custom Confections - Margaret Pirtle

Columns: 40 Tack Talk - Lew Pewterbaugh 45 Trail Riding - Tom Seay 46 Cowboy Corner - Jim Hubbard


• HEADQUARTER OFFICE (281) 447-0772 Phone & (281) 893-1029 Fax

Staff PUBLISHER Vicki Long

EDITOR Steven Long


• BRAZOS VALLEY BUREAU Diane Holt (936) 878-2678 Ranch & (713) 408-8114 Cell

LIFESTYLE EDITOR Margaret Pirtle 832-349-1427 EVENTS EDITOR Leslie Greco


Jim Hubbard, Steven Long, Vicki Long, Roni Norquist, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cathy Strobel, Margaret Pirtle Volume 24, No. 1 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted January/February 2017 by Horseback Magazine. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Horseback Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other material unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. Horseback Magazine is not responsible for any claims made by advertisers. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or management. Subscription rate is $25.00 for one year. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Horseback Magazine | P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397 | Fax: (281) 893-1029


Phone: (281)




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David Russell Photo, Courtesy of Teague Bucking Bulls

Communication with a Rodeo Bull:

Little Yellow Jacket


couple of years ago, I decided to offer my past and recent animal communication students the opportunity to practice their skills in a practice session in talking with a deceased, award-winning, famous rodeo bull named Little Yellow Jacket. Many people question the ethics around the bull riding sport. There was a time when I did as well, prior to asking animals questions around it. I used to think that the equipment caused pain, which is what caused the bucking (untrue). Why this type of practice? Because a good animal communicator can set his own beliefs and opinions aside which is so helpful in accurately hearing what an animal truly has to say. I wanted to offer my students the opportunity to practice this skill. Little Yellow Jacket (1997-2011) was a

10 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

By Danielle Tremblay

large brown bull. My students and I tuned into him in order to ask him about his personal experience in his career. This bull expressed that when he was in the physical, what he appreciated most about himself was the power and strength within his body. He loved being strong and also loved the “game” (that’s how he saw it) of throwing bull riders from his back. He enjoyed his spine’s flexibility and his ability to thrust and toss riders up in to the air. He shared that he thrived on the roar of the crowd and knew people were watching his performance. He said how he loved to give the crowd a good show and believed the people were cheering both him and the rider on (though sometimes the crowd played favorites). When I asked if he knew that the bull riders sometimes fell off and got hurt, he said that he wasn’t really concerned

about that because he knew they understood that the potential for injury was part of the game. A known risk. He quite frankly didn’t dwell on it at all. If they got hurt, he didn’t feel bad, he was simply neutral towards that fact. He also relayed that there were times when, for certain riders and under certain conditions, he’d go ‘easy’ on them when he was bucking. So what did he not like about his career? Long trailer rides to and from places and waiting around in pens before and after his ring time. He’d grow bored sometimes, but overall was pretty patient. The intelligence of this bull was very present as well. He understood what people expected of him and it pleased him to do the job of being a tough ride. When asked how he felt about people, he expressed we are fine as a species and he has no animosity towards us. He doesn’t see us as mean or cruel. He felt

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he was always well pampered actually and looked after by the people who cared for him. He felt respected by most of his caretakers and by the crowd. While he liked his career more, he also loved retirement which involved breeding with females. He also commented to us that he knew he was a good looking bull. When asked if he felt all rodeo bulls or bulls in general would be as happy as he was being a rodeo bull, he replied, “No. Some would be fearful and not find it fun at all. Nor all are physically designed for the sport.” When asked if he would consider returning to earth again at some point to be a rodeo bull again, he shared that while he wouldn’t mind it, he had other interests now in experiencing other ways of being, for his soul’s growth. He did relay that he had purposely incarnated to be a rodeo bull in order to have the experiences that go along with such a job. Little Yellow Jacket relayed that he

has no regrets of his life. For him, bucking with riders was indeed a highlight. For me personally, this is what animal communication is about— letting go of what we humans believe or think about such and such in order to ASK the animals about their life experience firsthand. While I also do believe neglect and abuse can and does occur in animal sports, these days it’s a delight to discover that many of these animals find enjoyment in their career and life and generally don’t view themselves as victims of people’s whims, but rather know they are an infinite being who has chosen a specific incarnation in order to attract certain experiences.

Danielle Tremblay has been a professional animal communicator since 2005. She offers phone sessions to clients and works with all species, living or passed. You can contact her through her website www.

Little Yellow Jacket, was named the 2003 PBR Bull of the Year. During the latter part of his life and retirement, Little Yellow Jacket was solely owned by Teague Bucking Bulls of North Carolina where he was able to enjoy winters in a warmer climate, surrounded by his band of cows. As the tremendous athlete he was, Little Yellow Jacket wanted for nothing and received the best of care during his career and retirement until his final days at the ranch. Little Yellow Jacket lives on in his offspring at Teague Bucking Bulls. For more information:

Horseback Magazine would like to thank Teague Bucking Bulls for their willingness to take this story with a “grain of salt” and allow us to use their photograph of Little Yellow Jacket.





any of the world’s top riders engage in cross training activities to build strength, improve endurance, and build muscle memory. Kangoo Jumps rebound shoes (KJ’s) are a convenient and versatile sport shoe that provides a safe and effective method for improvements in muscular development and well-rounded health. They are adaptable to multiple sports applications as a cross-training tool and can be used for any activity, and on any surface that you use sneakers. KJ’s are the original rebound shoe and have been on the European market since 1996. They are currently gaining greater recognition in the US. Because riding is a sport that requires overall strength and endurance and is enjoyed at many levels of age and ability, the fact that Kangoo Jumps shoes come in sizes and styles that are suitable for adults and children makes them the perfect choice for the entire family. This article will explore some of the fitness requirements of horseback riding and how using Kangoo Jumps rebound shoes as a cross training tool can create fast, fun improvements in many of the skills required to improve riding

ability. A little physical training can go a long way toward making riding a more enjoyable experience for both you and your horse. A horse and rider are a single entity that must act and react with each other as partners. Think of dancing with your horse when you are riding: It is not an act of just sitting. Riding requires dynamic whole body movement, having your body strong and conditioned for the dance is essential for the ride. Exercise on KJ’s requires the muscles of the core to contract isometrically to stabilize limb movement throughout the workout, thus creating improvements in the torso stability and posture critical to effectively dancing with your horse from the saddle. Balance is also an essential component for a rider’s overall stability. It is defined as the ability to keep the body in equilibrium. For balance to improve, it requires practice. The curved lower shells of the KJ shoe requires the body to maintain balance while exercising by stimulating the communication between the muscles and brain to improve proprioceptive skills.

leg muscles, tendon and ligaments, but it also increases bone density. A fit rider is less prone to injury, and less likely to fall – but if you do fall, a strong musculoskeletal system will help you land safely. Too often amateur riders find themselves too tired to ride. Strong fit riders do not easily tire. Exercising with KJ’s create greater improvements in the body’s ability to process oxygen on a muscular level and improves the cardiorespiratory system more efficiently than other land-based exercise. This means that as fitness level improves you will be able to work harder and longer with less effort and fatigue. In conclusion, using Kangoo Jumps rebound shoes as a cross trainer for improved overall whole body fitness shows great promise for improving your riding skill and enjoyment whether on the trail or a full day at the show. For more information about Kangoo Jumps rebound shoes, go to

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12 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue


Hello, I am DEB RUSDEN, the creator, designer and manufacturer of The NibbleNet® Hay Bag for horses. I have done canvas work on boats and yachts for 30 years and created many special architectural projects for restaurants and events in the past. This varied history puts me on the cutting edge of functional design and the best and toughest materials. I am proud of my creation, The NibbleNet® and all of the benefits it has created for our equine partners. I am also very proud to say that we hold dear our quality and are manufactured in the USA. The unique slow-feeding design and high quality construction make this an ideal way to feed hay to your horses. The 1” webbing lattice-work grid design sets this bag apart from other “nets” in addition to making it extremely safe and durable. The 2”, 1.5” or 1.25” openings allow the horse to “graze” for his hay in a much more natural way. Instead of gulping big mouthfuls, the horse gets one bite at a time to simulate grazing. This slows him down, which is much healthier for digestion and extends the feed time. They help prevent ulcers, colic, laminitis, obesity and stall vises that arise through boredom. They are prefect for horses with limited turnout and ideal for traveling and trailering. They are easy to fill and hang anywhere.

We have recently introduced new NibbleNet® styles and sizes to our barn! With over 20 different styles and sizes, we feel we have a fit for every horse and horse owner. We now offer the Nibble-Go-Round® which is perfect for a corner in the trailer. It is also wonderful as a “free-swinging” bag as this approach will keep them occupied even longer. We also have the Double-Nibble NibbleNet® with webbing on both sides. These can be purchased with 2”, 1.5” or 1.25” openings on both sides. As an extra bonus, because we have the webbing on both sides, the Double-Nibble “Slow-N-Slower” style offers a different size opening on each side! You have a choice of (2” + 1.5”) or (1.5” + 1.25”). This bag can be hung (includes 3 straps) or used as a ground feeder (includes a hook and eye kit for mounting). The NibbleNet® Rock-N-Roll is named in memo-

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The USO Home Away From Home

“The people at home occupy a strategic place in a nation at war. One of their major responsibilities is to convince the armed forces that the country is behind them,” wrote General Dwight D. Eisenhower when he described the purpose of the USO in a speech.


llington Field serves as one of the four bases for the USO in Houston and is just one of over 160 plus centers throughout the United States and foreign countries. One of the last military facilities which was built in 1917 to train pilots for combat in World War I, it still stands to serve the military and as a base for the USO. Times have changed a lot for the USO from the remembered Bob Hope shows for our troops around the globe. What began in World War II as a private social organization for soldiers for entertainment and a place to relax, is now the main resource for support for troops and vets from their deployment to their transition into their communities. Without a community base in Houston, where troop’s families live together and see each other for support and socializing, the Houston USO fills that void. With events year round, they bring

families together so they has changed a lot since it’s connect with each other conception as a social club and offer a support system for soldiers. From commufor them. nication with loved ones in Espiridion Zuniga, Afghanistan to making sure Center Operation & Procare packages are received gram Manager is one of on time, The USO is an ever those special Vets who now changing organization. spends his days working The USO strengthens for the troops in this area. America’s military service With numerous medals Espiridion “Speedy” Zuniga members by keeping them and ribbons from his time connected to family, home spent in the Army, including two tours of and country, throughout their service to duty in Iraq he now uses his skills to help the nation. manage and help active soldiers and vets

across the Houston area. Helping to recruit and train volunteers, he makes sure that Houston troops receive all the help they need. Espiridion knows exactly what a soldier needs, whether here in Houston or in a foreign land and he spends his days making sure their needs are met. The USO 2017 Rodeo Issue HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue HORSEBACK MAGAZINE

15 15



*data based on statistics from Houston Area Realtors for Washingon County





16 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue



The Clowns Who Fight Bulls (and other critters) By Roni Nordquist


he job as a clown hasn’t been the most popular occupation of late, what with all the spooky clown sightings recently, but clowns really do serve a most valuable service. They make us laugh, have kept children’s birthday parties from becoming all out riots, and most of all, have saved lives. Yes, saved lives. Just ask any bull rider, and he will tell you just how close he’s come to that final rodeo. During the early days of rodeo, bull riders had a terrible time just getting off their bull, let alone steering clear of his rampage. It was like a free for all! Clowns were used back then just as an instrument to

18 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

entertain the crowds between events, basically so no one would leave from boredom before the action began again. However, when the powers that be decided to used more aggressive Brahma bulls around the 1920’s, they needed a distraction to get the riders out of harm’s way. Enter the rodeo clown’s new job, a bull fighter! A rodeo clown or (bull fighter as they are called today) in the 1930’s named Jasbo Fulkererson, decided one day this would not be his last rodeo. He built a barrel that was reinforced with old automobile casings covering the outside of the barrel most of the clowns were using to pro-

tect themselves. He would then run frantically towards the barrel to the delight of the crowd, who oblivious did not realizing the danger and plunge himself into the reinforced barrel. Thus was born the rodeo bull fighter we know and love today! Bull fighters/clowns still use Fulkererson’s idea, but they have had to come up with some of their own. They use techniques such as running around the sides of the bull once the rider has been thrown, or throwing a hat, dancing in front of the bull, any distraction to get the bull’s attention from the rider and on to “the clown”. But, clowns they are not! They are some(Cont. on page 20)



STEP 1. Learn about the career. You must be willing to put your butt on the line, enjoy entertaining people, love your bulls and riders, and are willing to risk your life for the sake of all of that above. Could be lots of money involved if you are dedicated to it. STEP 2. Work at a dude ranch or even a community rodeo. Get involved with people who work in the field. Pick their brains. See how an amateur clown at local rodeos handle their job. I’ll bet they may have more insight then any website. (Cont. from page 18)

times the only thing between life and death to the bull rider. They usually work in groups of two or three to avoid being killed themselves. Two are free roaming to distract the bull, the third is the barrel man who usually acts the clown, to the delight of the crowd, before the bull Is directed at him, and he jumps into the barrel to get tossed around. Safer ways to make a living, right? As rodeo enthuastists know, there are many famous rodeo clowns/bull fighters. In fact, they have made their way into the various halls of fames. The oldest hall of famer is Wilber Plaugher, now 94 who was at first a successful ro-

20 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

deo cowboy himself. One day a bull fighter got sick and Plaugher took his place, and his new career was launched. He was one of the pioneers developing the rodeo clown style of bull fighting. Other greats soon followed such as Flint Rasmussen and Luke “Leon” Coffee. Each one brought their own style to the game and will be remembered as the greatest in their own right. If any of this interests a new generation of “clowns”, it takes time, effort and dedication to make it happen. Love of the bulls you will be playing with won’t hurt either. My research has led me to a site, “How to become a Rodeo Clown”. Pretty basic.

STEP 3. Get in shape physically and mentally. The first is a no brainer, the second might save your life. Be the bull, how displeased would you be if someone wanted to ride you and you threw that sucker off? Who would you run to first? In my observations at rodeos, the clown is always the first one the bull chases just because he is there! For more information visit: There are a lot of other things to consider, especially life insurance and a good health plan-lol. But most important, rodeo life is a mobile life. Make sure it is the life for you and your loved ones.

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A CUSTOMER’S REPEAT SUCCESS WITH MORTON Horse owner Tommy liked his Morton Buildings horse barn so much, he built a second one just like it—more than 1,500 miles away from the first. “I built my first Morton barn in Wyoming at the recommendation of my neighbors,” Tommy said of his structure that won ‘Building of the Year’ from the National Frame Building Association. “We got so many compliments and I enjoyed the barn so much that I built the same barn in Tennessee. I had another great experience with Morton Buildings.” Tommy’s 1,920-square-foot facility, identical to his original barn, houses four horses and is measured at 40'W x 11'H x 48'L. The rustic-looking ‘cowboy barn’ features wood siding on all four sides and Morton’s Hi-Rib™ steel makes up the roof that extends to a turkey tail overhang. A riding arena and pasture are adjacent to the building. Morton’s construction process allows building owners to design every detail of a structure before it’s brought to life. “When you work through the design process with Morton, you’re free to insert any elements that you’re looking for. Once designed

This horse barn was built for Tommy of Kingston Springs, TN. and the package arrives, the framing crew is so experienced. The elements of the horse stalls are from years of experience, obviously. My horses love my barns as much as I do.” It was Morton’s wide national reach that allowed Tommy to recreate his building in a different time zone, and he plans to return to Morton when the time calls for another building. “Having built two Morton buildings, I have to say that…when I build another barn, I will be calling Morton to be my builder. The agreed-upon price (and) process of payment is on a schedule that is comfortable for the customer. After 100 years, you can honestly say Morton Buildings has gotten it right.”ß

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26 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue



ooking outdoors has been around since the first humans learned how to cook with fire, for at least a million years. When we moved the kitchen indoors, it was a revolution and most families saw it as a luxury. Now, we are returning the kitchen to the outdoors once again in our own backyards. The explosion of outdoor kitchens and products which began about ten years ago, have transformed a

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mundane backyard into party central, a place where the family and friends can gather because you can’t have a party without food. Today’s outdoor kitchens have evolved from a small charcoal grill to full feature smokers with built in grills and there are products to fit everyone’s budget. Add a small refrigerator, pizza oven, fireplace and a big screen TV and no one ever has to leave the patio and the great outdoors of your own yard.

27 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

The practical nature of an outdoor kitchen gives you the ability to begin small and add pieces as your budget expands. Take a tip from our ancestors from the stone age – food always tastes better cooked out doors and friends and fun always follow around a great cooked meal. To Begin your own Outdoor Kitchen Contact: Tradition Outdoor Living 832-829-5829 www.TOLTX.COM 2017 Rodeo Issue HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 27

28 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue





odeo season has begun in Texas and everyone is excited to attend the huge rodeos in major cities across the state to watch the cowboys rope cattle, the cowgirls ride exceptionally fast horses, and win shiny belt buckles! What most spectators do not know is how to become a cowboy or cowgirl, or who these athletes are, or how they got involved with rodeo in the first place. Little do they know that the athletes very well could be the college student in class next to them, an accountant, a farmer, a CEO, or even their neighbor. Partici-

30 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

GENERATION By Kelsey Hellmann, Photos By Jennings Photography

pating in youth rodeo events has provided many people with opportunities and scholarships that they otherwise would not have gotten.

One of the great many things about rodeo is that its contests are a wide variety of people from different backgrounds with the same passion for the thrill of the event. Most of the athletes started competing in rodeo events at a very young age and have worked hard to make a name for themselves over the years to make it to the major rodeos that everyone wants to see. Rodeo as a whole is more

than boots and spurs, horses and cattle, it is about life lessons and family values. The hard work and dedication that goes in to preparing for rodeo events does not go unnoticed, it is reflected in all the athlete does. It will be reflected in their work, relationships, and in their care for livestock. From a young age, they learned the importance of determination, practice and respect for the livestock they work with. One of the largest and most prestigious youth rodeo organizations is the Texas High School Rodeo Association, a state chapter of the National High School Rodeo (Cont. on page 32



(Cont. from page 30

Association. This organization was built to help provide a solid foundation for future rodeo athletes. The Texas High School Rodeo Association (THSRA) mission statement is-“Enriching the lives of Texas student rodeo athletes by preserving our western heritage through the sport of rodeo, promoting family values, and providing future opportunities through college scholarships.” The THSRA has become a foundation for many of the rodeo athletes on the circuit today. It is more than just becoming a famous name in rodeo though. The first high school rodeo was developed to encourage rural-oriented

32 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

youth to stay in school. The same principles hold true for the association today; students must uphold academic standards throughout the years to be allowed to compete. The association, with the help of sponsors, awards thousands of dollars of scholarships to seniors each year. In 2016, the THSRA awarded $300,000 in scholarships to student athletes across the state. “We believe that a student that has developed the skills that rodeo provides; hard work, determination, caring for animals, and knowing how to win and how to lose, paired with an education will go far in life. They become leaders in their communities and pre-

serve and pass off the love for the sport to their own children.” said Holly DeLaune, THSRA Marketing Director. With the support of family, friends and fellow athletes, these young people develop the life skilles needed to graduate and chase their dreams. Mollee Herrmann is a high school senior and the Region 8 Ariat reporter for the Extreme Team newspaper. She is from an active rodeo family, with a father who ropes and a barrel racing sister currently on the rodeo circuit. She has made it to the THSRA finals the last three years and hopes to qualify again this year. (Cont. on page 34


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“Rodeo has been passed down to me from my dad and I’ve been doing it since I can remember so I don’t know what life would be like if I didn’t rodeo.” explains Herrmann. The THSRA is broken up in to ten different regions and sponsors 125 rodeos across the state. These youth rodeos offer bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, goat tying, pole bending, cutting, and of course, barrel racing. In addition to

34 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

these events there is a rodeo queen contest, a board of regional and state officers and a division of shooting sports. The rodeo year for these students begins in August and ends with the Texas High School Finals Rodeo in June. They compete for awards, scholarships and the honor of attending the National High School Finals Rodeo in July to represent the state of Texas. In Texas, rodeo is not just an event, but a way of life.

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tures. Custom built and made from the finest quality of materials, you will never have to worry about the siding getting rotten or the barn becoming unsafe. Horses are beautiful creatures that need love and care from their owners. Just think about your own life— you want a home where you can relax, unwind, and get out of the harsh weather elements. Well, so do your horses. They want a place where they can go to get out of the rain, wind, and snow. They also want a place where they can feel safe if they feel that there are threatening entities outside. With a custom built horse barn, you can give this to your equine part-

ners and other livestock on your ranch. Our custom built horse barns will be able to fit a variety of different areas designated on your property. Depending on how many horses you have, you will want to get a custom built barn that will give each horse enough room to be comfortable, while not wasting any space. Deer Creek Structures offers fabulous run-in-sheds as well. These come in handy when you need to move your horses around. You can rest assured Deer Creek Structures only provides the best in quality products. We love horses just as much as you do, and we know how to get you the best products to take care of all your livestock needs.

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Our Team of specialized brokers/agents has numerous affiliations with all types of equestrian organizations. We are highly qualified horse property specialists having designed, sold and marketed hundreds of horse properties. We live this life! Texas is our home, horses are our inspiration and land is our passion. That makes us more than just another real estate firm — it makes us Equestrian Property SPECIALISTS. As a member of the distinctive American Farm + Ranch (AFR) network, our marketing platform extends beyond just a local audience, giving our sellers the advantage of an eclectic international audience for both print and digital media, including magazines, video, social media, Web and other customized projects and strategies that pave the best path to your desired results.

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large crowd is always waiting outside the Custom Confections Food Truck at the Houston Rodeo on Circle Drive and for good reason. The award winning pastries are the number one stop for rodeo fans needing a sweet break from all the action inside the NRG arena.

Custom Confections In A League of Their Own

Operated and owned by Kimberly and Tony Revis, Custom Confections food truck first hit the streets of Houston in June of 2011 and their menu of sweets, and funnel cakes has taken all the top awards at the rodeo and beyond.

art, business management, and customer service. “When I start with a new pastry idea, I usually find 500 ways it won’t work before I hit on the perfect recipe” she laughs. While you can usually find her running the order window and thinking about a new cool cupcake design, it’s the smile on her customer’s face that makes her the happiest.

Kimberly has been baking since she was a child, and has a strong background in

Tony came by his talent for cooking naturally. While his job is manning the fryer, his

creative juices get flowing as he cranks out original treats such as his “Fried Banana Foster.” Tony’s background in manufacturing and repair also comes in very handy when dealing with a kitchen that has to produce fresh desserts and drive at highway speeds all in one day. Staying on the road while raising four girls is not easy, and to add home schooling into the mix plus two dogs and a cat, Kim and Tony have their hands full. With all the awards they have won state wide, this husband and wife team always have a smile on their face and love working together. This year they have a complete line of gluten free pastries and fried goodies. Their Custom Confections food truck can be found at space 203 – Circle Drive at the Houston Rodeo. Rodeo is more than cowboys so take a break and grab one of their fried brownie bars or a special ice cream stuffed cupcake.

38 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

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Tack Care...

Rough Stock Rodeo Equipment

Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor


one former rough stock rider, I’d like to share a bit about the tack and equipment used in rough stock competition. Just as a primer for someone new to rodeo, rough stock refers to the three basic bucking competitions, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, and bareback riding. Each aspect of the sport has its own specialized equipment which is generally similar. Bull riding is the easiest to get into financially. A braided bull rope of natural or synthetic material, with a built in hand hold, reinforced with leather in a particular twist, depending on if you are right or left handed. These bull ropes will range in price from $40.00 to several hundred, most good ones being around $150.00 and up. A pair of bull riding spurs, a glove, probably a helmet, and vest, will set you back close to $1,000.00, so you can get professionally outfitted to ride bulls for about $1200.00, plus $400.00 to $800.00 for a pair of custom chaps so you can look like one of the good ones. Saddle bronc riding, to me, is the quintessential event of rodeo. It requires a saddle bronc saddle, something you would never ride on a pleasure horse. Saddle bronc saddles have no horn, they have weird looking stirrup leathers that stick out the front of the saddle,



and generally have a longer seat than a normal western saddle. A good bronc saddle will run over $2,000.00. A bronc halter and bronc rein will run another couple hundred, and add spurs specific to the event, and chaps, usually a slightly different style from the bull riding chaps, and you’re knocking on the door of at least $3,000.00 to get set up. I remember about 2002, a young chap came walking into my old saddle shop, and asked if I knew where a particular dude ranch was. I offered to give him a ride out there at lunch time. He set down this old auction saddle that you could get at any horse auction in the country for about $125.00. He told me he and that old saddle had been a lot of miles together, that it was his bronc saddle when he was in the RCA. Now in 2002, I would have been 54 years old, and I was too young to have ridden in the Rodeo Cowboys Association. This guy was younger than me by at least 10 years, and hadn’t even been born when the RCA became the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association), plus the fact that his saddle would never have been allowed in the chutes at any professional rodeo. He didn’t last a week as

the new head wrangler at the dude ranch. If you’re gonna tell a story, you need to have some knowledge about the subject. Bareback riding really gets me. Today’s bareback rider slips his hand into a heavy glove with tabs on either side of the palm that lock his hand into the suitcase handle on his bareback rigging. This locks his hand in so it doesn’t get jerked loose with the horses bucking. It also doesn’t jerk loose a lot of times when you get bucked off. When your hand is stationary, and you’re doing windmills around it, something has to give. My late friend, Chris LeDoux, told me he broke his wrist 6 times! Anyway, it always seemed to me to be easier to ride a bareback horse than a saddle bronc in some ways. We used to ride them more straight up than they do now, and our rigging wasn’t as tight. Today, you need an $8 or $900.00 rigging, a $100.00 glove, a neck roll to prevent whiplash, $250.00, and your bareback spurs, about $75.00. We can probably do an entire column on the differences in the spurs and rowels used in each event, but essentially, bull riding spurs have a 22 degree angle, and have locked row0 YEARS



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els to help the rider hook on. Bronc and bareback spurs have a lesser degree of angle, and the rowels have to move freely, as the riders are required to spur with every jump, and the rowels can’t leave a mark. More and more riders, in fact most today, wear safety vests. Some of these incorporate neck rolls to prevent whiplash, and most bareback riders wear a neck roll. Most professional bull riders wear a protective helmet with a face guard. Anyone that is trying to make a living as a rough stock rider is usually focused on staying healthy and ready to ride. Today’s riders are generally a lot different from the old time rough and rowdy rough stock riders that smoked, drank, and raised Hell. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, rough stock riders and timed event people seldom mixed or crossed over to do events on the other side. Rough stock riders were uncouth, dirty, and redneck, according to the timed event people, and the timed event people were prima donnas, according to the rough stock riders. Of course, everybody loved the barrel racers, who often incited fist fights within both factions. Today, I really enjoy the ranch rodeo competitions, which somewhat more closely resemble real life ranch work, especially the ranch saddle bronc riding, which is done in stock western saddles. One of the best ranch rodeos I have ever seen is in the beautiful little Hill Country town of Utopia, held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It’s a great ranch rodeo, with a concession stand run by local folks, and a family friendly western swing dance in the pavilion after the rodeo. It’s like a western Norman Rockwell painting of America the way it should be. Bandera’s Lew Pewterbaugh has been called the most knowledgeable saddle and tack authority in the Southwest. For private fitting consultation call (830) 328-0321 or (830) 522-6613 or email:


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How long does it take you to feel uncomfortable without electricity? According to a Harris Poll of 2000 homeowners, more than half would feel the strain of no electricity within seven hours. That isn’t a long time, but when you are left in Houston without A/C or cannot charge your phone, what begins as an irritation can soon become unbearable. While most of us think of the occasional power outage as something that will pass quickly, we usually don’t associate the cost of an extended outage unless we are faced with a hurricane or major storm. From food spoilage to life threatening Houston heat, the cost can mount up. A home generator can take away all the discomfort and cost and give you and your family the reassurance that you are ready when the lights go out.


Stand By Generators are miracles of engineering that switch on automatically when your electricity shuts off, and can power everything in your house. Unlike portable generators, they’re installed permanently on a concrete pad in your yard and will provide uninterrupted backup for days since they’re connected directly to your home’s electrical panel and powered by an external fuel supply.

Portable Generators with extension cords are the simplest and least expensive backup power system. Keep the generator at least 10 ft. from your house. The downside is you have to run extension cords everywhere you want power and you’re limited to how many things you can plug in at once. With gas as its fuel source, you need to consider how long the generator can run on a tank of gas.


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exas and Texans have always been special to me. Our first production tour was in Texas and it produced the most watched shows we have ever produced. I especially remember riding, by accident, part of the historic trail of Mexican Pancho Villa, the General that rode so many places in the Mexican Revolution. It was along the Rio Grande in a most remote location that is still as it was when he rode there. I always wanted to go back. I am fascinated with the history of the Alamo and also Sam Houston. I have always wanted to do one more major ride. (My previous rides have been the Atlantic to the Pacific, 3,000+ miles at every step, and Mexico to Canada, 2,500+, every step of the way). I often think about a ride with my Texas friends from, perhaps starting in San Antonio and the Alamo back to my ancestral route of colonial Jamestown, Virginia. Perhaps, retracing history but Texas and trail riders of Texas would be the key. If you have thoughts on that ride or have suggestions of who to talk to in San Antonio, let me know. I remember riding in a small town, and just cannot remember the place’s name, where we stopped with our horses and ate at an incredible cafe/restaurant where the brisket and bar-b-que were like none other I ever ate. My family had a bar-b-que restaurant in Virginia and I grew up eating great bar-b-que. People that visit here, compliment the roast beef and bar-b-que we make here. It is so tender, you can cut it with a plastic fork, but I was overwhelmed with what I ate that day. I just cannot remember where it was and my horse is not talking, but sure would like to return to that place or, better yet, one like it. Sometimes the smaller the town or community, the better the trail riding, people and food. I want your help in coming to new small communities in Texas. Even though this article appears in print in Texas, there are so many great places to ride. I want to ask you to contact me about a place or places to ride in Texas that are historic in nature. I want to showcase the town, the people and the history. If you and your town want us to come produce a television show and showcase the history, contact me at my personal email, and we will begin to plan and explore the possibility to make it happen.

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Welcome to Cowboy Corner.

Trust all had a great holiday season and look forward to a prosperous new year. Change is in the wind, folks and Texans are ready. First quarter of the year in Texas is devoted to rodeo. Ft Worth, San Antonio, and Houston take up all three months. Rodeo is big, been told both San Antonio and Houston have over two million visitors. That’s a lot of folks. All help the education of Texas young folks and makes a better Texas for all of us. The Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo is the largest of the rodeos in Texas, and in the country, and takes up about all of each years’ first quarter for the people involved. HLSR is known for the thirteen trail rides that start in February and end with the downtown Houston parade the first Saturday in March. The trail rides are in the business of promoting the Livestock Show and Rodeo along with preserving our western heritage and being fun. HLSR is unique in the state by having the oldest, largest, continuing rides. Have had the good fortune to be a part, for over twenty years, of Valley Lodge Trail Ride Association and look forward to this years’ ride. The growth of Houston has created some interesting situations over the years and brought some issues to the top of the page along with fun and promoting HLSR. As the years have gone by, safety has become more important every year. The trail ride environment has changed. Urbanization has created lots of traffic on roads that can’t keep up with growth, creating challenges for the trail ride routes,

46 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

and rider safety in the traffic. Started my first trail ride during high school during the mid-1950’s. In sixty-five years the riders have changed and the rigs have changed. Back in the early years, lots of riders were ranchers with lots of time in the saddle. Nowadays most riders are not in the saddle so often, and more prone to have accidents. The rider rigs have changed for the better. Now most riders have a living quarters horse trailer, travel trailer, or motor home. Sure beats sleeping in a tent or under a wagon like we did in the last half of the last century. However, safety in the use of generators whether a part of the living quarters or portable, needs to be a concern to all. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a real killer that has caused many deaths associated with trail rides and rodeo. Oh by the way, don’t tie your stock downwind of the generators, CO2 will also kill livestock. Each trail ride has a safety boss so let’s all work with these folks to keep each other safe. If you see a wreck getting’ ready to happen, politely mention to those in harms’ way to make some changes for the benefit of all. The trail ride managers are the Trail Boss, Assistant

Trail Boss, and Scouts are always ready to avoid accidents and improve safety for the riders. Let’s all work together for our mutual benefit. During the last three years have had the pleasure to work closely with the Trail Ride Committee and its’ Chairman Mr. Scott Baumann. Scott has done a great job keeping up with all the trail rides and HLSR for the good of all. Several years ago the trail ride committee started an award for safety, to be given annually to a trail ride. Am proud to say the Valley Lodge Trail Ride won the safety award in 2015. For 2016 the safety award was increased, reinforcing HLSR’s commitment to the “ safety for all” issue. Been a pleasure to be associated with the trail rides and rodeo all these years. Have met some of the greatest folk in the world, “in the dirt doin’ it for the kids”. As my clock rolls past another year, thank you Lord again for the energy and resources to serve, and be a part of “the greatest show on earth”. So, let’s saddle up and head to Houston, safely.

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Stops Cribbing

Available in 32 oz Spray and 16 oz Gel

Protect your horse from the harmful effects of chewing, gnawing AND cribbing! CRIB-GUARD is a long-lasting anti-chew spray and gel that is guaranteed to stop your horse from chewing and cribbing! CRIB-GUARD is safe for all surfaces, including: wooden, plastic or metal fences and stalls, blankets, wraps, bandages and any other surface your horse desires to chew. Will not irritate skin and will not harm vegetation. CRIB-GUARD Gel is a clear long-lasting anti-chew gel with a brush applicator


• Will not irritate skin • Will not harm vegetation • Alcohol free • Safe for all surfaces including leather • Will not stain blankets or wraps • Avoid costly vets bills, dental injuries and digestive tract problems

800-526-7469 • 48 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE 2017 Rodeo Issue

Call for product information or for a store near you. Available at your local tack and feed store, your favorite catalog, or online store. Visit us on the web for other unique products.

The Rodeo Issue 2017 Horseback Magazine