Megan Lyerly has a heart to help others – other people and horses. The young lady from Stony Point, N.C., spends her days training and riding at least a dozen horses at the Triple M Arena, and she spends three nights a week caring for patients in their homes as a hospice nurse.
The barrel racer was born into the sport of rodeo and received her first pony when she was just 4-years-old. She continually moved up to faster horses as her experience and age allowed, and at 15, she started training horses, and she hasn’t looked back since.
“There’s really great people in the industry and we’ve all got the same common goal of just to be better and make better horses and feed the best products on the market to make our horses look the best that we can,” Lyerly said. “It is challenging. I don’t think anyone has said they have mastered the art of barrel racing and training horses because I learn something new every day; it keeps me on my toes for sure.”
One of the products Lyerly has discovered in the last few years is the Vitalize® line of equine products that promote gut health in her horses. She feeds the Vitalize® Equine Free Choice mineral to her colts to get them started right. The horses that travel and she competes on get Vitalize® Equine High Performance Pellets and Vitalize® Equine Recovery Paste (transitioned to Vitalize® Equine Recovery Gel July 2019) to help keep them healthy and eliminate the stress they endure.
Vitalize contains Amaferm®, a natural prebiotic designed to maximize the nutritional value of feed. It is research-proven to increase nutrient absorption resulting in maximized digestive health for improved performance. With the Amaferm advantage, equine enthusiasts can expect increased stamina without the horse getting hot, hardkeepers eating and gaining weight; digestive wellness; consistent appetite and strong solid hooves.
Lyerly had used Vitalize in the past, but when she mentioned to another horse enthusiast and Vitalize dealer, Kaycee MacGibbon that her good mare, Shady, was prone to ulcers, MacGibbon and BioZyme ASM, Justin O’Flaherty suggested the Vitalize products for Shady.
“After I put my mare back on it, I noticed she’s shedding like crazy. She was looking a little ulcer-y before because I was hauling her quite a bit to big shows in the fall, all weekend rodeos with 2 or 3 runs over the weekend. She’d gaunt up pretty bad and had a lot of separation anxiety of being away from the other horses while there,” Lyerly said.
Now that’s she’s been eating the Vitalize, Shady looks fuller, she’s slicked off and has a shiny haircoat, and most importantly, she doesn’t look nervous and gaunted up anymore.
“I felt like I needed to increase my feed, but all I needed was to add the Vitalize to her diet,” Lyerly said.
Although Shady still gets nervous when she is away from the other horses, using both the High Performance Pellets and the Equine Recovery Paste have helped her overall health and appearance. She no longer has the physical symptoms of anxiety like looking gaunt all the time.
Lyerly said she has another nervous horse, a gelding named Eddie, that she’s also seen great results with since using the Recovery Paste. She treated Eddie last spring for ulcers and said he would get nervous and chomp his teeth. Since adding Vitalize to his daily diet, he no longer chomps his teeth, is filled out and has a pretty, slicked off coat.
With healthy horses and four-day weekends, Lyerly said she hopes to compete in more WBRL and WPRA competitions this year. She has filled her WPRA permit and looks to buy her pro card and compete more in 2019 in the Southeast Region.
“Rodeo people are some of the greatest people you will meet,” she says with a smile as she gets back to work on training and exercising the dozen horses she plans to work with today.