Professional barrel racer and Vitalize® Ambassador Emily Miller is taking one day and one rodeo at a time. The young athlete from Weatherford, Okla., closed out a phenomenal 2017 season just short of making her first NFR appearance, but also faced some hurdles with her two main horses. Pipewrench, her primary horse has been sidelined with severe bruising in his feet, and Jet is currently having embryos flushed for breeding purposes.
“I just take one day at a time. I try not to look at December,” Miller said. “I ask myself where am I going this week? Where am I going next week? How are my horses doing? There are a lot of things that could happen between March 1 and Sept. 30. I want to focus on setting realistic close-term goals, and those include entering smart and going to rodeos that the horse that is working the best at the time will do really well at.”
Miller’s primary focus has always been on her horses’ health, and that is one reason she is a Vitalize ambassador. Vitalize is a line of equine supplements produced by BioZyme® Inc., that contain Amaferm®. Amaferm is a natural prebiotic that supports the horse’s entire digestive system. Designed to eat small amounts of forage throughout the day, horses today are often fed large amounts of grain once or twice a day. This undermines the horse’s digestion and can ultimately lead to digestive imbalance and performance issues.
Miller has been using the Vitalize® Equine High Performance Pellets and Vitalize® Equine Recovery Paste (transitioned to Vitalize® Equine Recovery Gel July 2019) for nearly a year and notices a difference in her horses’ health and performance, especially when traveling.
“I never had ulcer trouble until I hit the road hard and traveling takes a toll on them. I’ve found if I keep them on a steady diet and the more preventative maintenance I can do, it just helps them in the long-run. Both the Vitalize High Performance Pellets and the Recovery Paste, have helped keep my horses more level so they aren’t struggling when we are gone for a long time,” Miller said.
With her two main horses in recovery mode, Miller has been competing this year on her youngest horse, Foxy. Foxy is a 6-year-old Palomino. And she is Pipewrench’s little sister. She has already won three pro rodeos for Miller this year, all in 14 seconds and under arenas.
Miller said Pipewrench is on the mend, and she will bring him back as soon as he is ready. He has run one pro rodeo for her this year but says both horse and rider need to refocus mentally as a team. She knows that once her horses’ feet and mental focus are in check, she will keep their gut in check with Vitalize.
“Our horses were made to be intensive grazers yet we feed them twice a day. I’ve always been a big believer in prebiotics and maintaining that healthy gut, especially traveling,” Miller said. “Do the best by your horses, focus on short term goals and the outcome will be better.”