The dynamic duo of the roping world tied a different kind of knot this May. However, hectic schedules and busy careers haven’t allowed Shelby Boisjoli and Haven Meged to enjoy being a “normal” married couple quite yet. But they aren’t complaining; 2023 is still going to be a year for them to remember.
“Married life is pretty much the exact same as it was before,” Boisjoli said. “There’s quite a few times we would pass each other, going in opposite directions.”
She notes that there are a series of rodeos in the Northwest that allow them to travel together. Otherwise, due to schedules of their respective sports, they might only see each other once a week during the busy rodeo season, if they are lucky.
“Our wedding was in May, and it’s been go, go, go. We haven’t really slowed down to relax or enjoy married life,” Meged said. “If we are lucky, we see each other at the gas station. There will be a couple weeks we don’t see each other at all.”
Regardless of where they have been, they are both heading to Las Vegas in December.
Preparing for the Finals
Boisjoli is heading to her fourth National Finals Rodeo–her second time as the season leader in the sport of Breakaway. Her new husband is preparing for his fifth appearance. Meged is standing third in the world in Tie-down Roping. Both Boisjoli and Meged have had a phenomenal year. One could speculate it is due to their wedded bliss or their seasoned spirits in the arena. Either way, they are using the next few weeks to prepare them and their horses for the Super Bowl of Rodeo.
Following her Passion
For Boisjoli, there isn’t much she is going to change in her routine or new tasks she will add to prepare for the Breakaway event. It actually takes place two days prior to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo kicks off. However, both Boisjoli and her older sister, Makayla, qualified for their first Canadian Finals Rodeo. They will rope in that the first week in November.
“That will be fun and a good little warm up for the NFR,” Boisjoli said.
The middle of three sisters, who grew up on a ranch outside of Calgary, is looking forward to sharing that experience with her sister. She will rope off her black mare, Root Beer. She competed on Root Beer at all the Canadian rodeos, and this mare will go to Vegas as a back-up to No Wimpy Turns – “Onna”.
Onna recently won the 2023 AQHA Horse of the Year award, for the second time. She was also the inaugural winner of the AQHA Horse of the Year award in 2021. Onna has been turned out to pasture since her last rodeo in late September.
According to Boisjoli, this break is the best way for her to prepare for the Finals. As for Boisjoli, she takes one day at a time and doesn’t pressure herself.
How Does She Do It?
“I don’t really know if I prepare. I just love it (the sport) so much. I enjoy doing it every day. This year especially, I tried to go in with such a grateful heart that win, lose or draw, I was happy to be there. The outcome didn’t matter to me, and I feel like I had the most success,” she reflected.
“I just have to keep reminding myself I rope because I love it. I mean I go outside every day and just love roping on my horses, and I love riding. And I love the lifestyle, so it doesn’t even feel like preparation. I think that’s helped me get to where I’m at–just loving what I do.”
Unlike his wife, Haven Meged has a definite plan for preparing for the NFR. The 2019 World Champion prepares to stay in shape both mentally and physically, while keeping his roping game strong.
He said mentally, he tries not to overthink the sport or the run. Physically, he stays in shape by going to the gym. And he stays sharp with his roping by practicing every day. Meged said he’ll ride 10-20 horses each day, making each run easier.
“It’s getting easier. You understand a little more about the winning and losing aspect of rodeo. You know when you don’t do good, you don’t get upset as much. You just understand that your time is coming to get on the right end of the calves,” Meged said.
“Take advantage of it when you do draw good calves, so you can be really sharp and win big checks.”
Meged has relied on two horses as his primary partners all year. He’ll be taking his 7-year-old bay, Smoke, and 6-year-old Little Punch to compete during the 10 rounds at the NFR. A trip to Vegas wouldn’t be complete with his tried-and-true mare, Beyonce.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
Growing up on ranches in Montana and Canada, Meged and Boisjoli have known each other since their junior high school rodeo days. Although he didn’t come from a rodeo background, Meged said he has been “packing a rope ever since I was little.”
There were always ropes and horses on his family’s ranch, and he started competing when he was in the third grade. Meged recalls that he didn’t have any formal training until he was in eighth grade, but feels blessed by his family’s support and the skills he has been given.
“It has all been part of God’s plan,” he said.
Like Meged, Boisjoli also grew up on a ranch. However, her family was involved in the rodeo lifestyle. Her mother, Sherry, was a Calgary Stampede Princess. Boisjoli started rodeoing when she was 12.
The two of them moved to Texas about the same time. They enjoy the lifestyle and enjoy riding and sharing their talents. When not on the road, they offer lessons.
Meged offers this advice to those in the beginning stages: “Try to find a good horse and find a good mentor. It will help you go further.”
Passion is Key
Just like Boisjoli follows her passion for the sport and lifestyle she has chosen, she encourages others to find and fuel their passion to find success.
“You have to love it. If roping isn’t something you absolutely love, then find something that you absolutely love. I think to go super far in the sport and go all the way with it, you’re always going to have to go the extra mile. It is just always going to feel like work if your heart’s not in it. So, make sure that you pick something that you love doing,” she said.
And when asked between the two of them, who is the better roper, they both answered without hesitation, that their spouse was.
“Definitely Haven. I learn anything I can from him,” Boisjoli said.
Keeping Their Horses Happy & Healthy
One product that Boisjoli learned about from Meged was the Vitalize® Alimend® that gives all their horses a #goodgutfeeling. In an earlier conversation, she had admitted to sneaking his Alimend into her horses’ grain. Now, there is no more sneaking.
“Every horse we have gets the Alimend. Two pumps with their grain,” she said.
Vitalize Alimend is a liquid product for horses designed to support gastric health and GI tissue. It may relieve occasional gastric issues commonly associated with training, traveling and performance.
Alimend contains beta-glucans to support the gut and immune system, AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility, and MHB3®, a patented high molecular weight hyaluronic acid that coats the stomach and supports GI tissue integrity.
Another product that the roping couple finds to be important in their horses’ performance is Vitalize® Hyaluronex® Joint. This liquid product for horses is designed to support sustainable soundness using hyaluronic acid and antioxidants. Meged was impressed with the way his Roping Futurity horses performed after being on the combination of products this year.
“We didn’t have them on the Alimend a few years ago. We put them on Alimend and Hyaluronex and kept them on it. They felt good at the Futurity and all summer long. They are all really sound and feeling good. They don’t have ulcers or anything wrong with them,” he said.
How Vitalize Helps
Both ropers rely on other Vitalize products, depending on the situation. Boisjoli said the Vitalize Horse Treats are a must for saddling. She keeps them in the barn and in the trailer door at all times.
The Vitalize Equine Gel is important for hauling and is used by both as a quick-response product to keep their equine partners eating and drinking on the road. Meged also put all their horses on the Vitalize® Equine Free Choice Mineral for the first time this year.
“All horses all summer were on the horse mineral. That has done a lot to help cut back on some feed, and made that feed go a lot further,” he said.
BioZyme Products Produce Results
And back at home in Montana, Meged’s cows are fed VitaFerm® Concept•Aid®, a nutritional supplement for beef cattle that maximize energy and forage utilization for successful production. It is also developed and manufactured by BioZyme®, makers of Vitalize. VitaFerm products are powered by the same Amaferm that is found in Vitalize.
Keeping their horses healthy and happy is just part of the equation. With #agoodgutfeeling feeling in their horses, focus and passion, we know they are going to finish 2023 with much success!
Congratulations to this dynamic roping duo. We’ll be keeping our eyes on them during the 10 best days in December and wish them the best then and always!
Add BioZyme Products to your Feeding Program
You too can give your horses the best products from Vitalize. Regardless of if you want to give them a #goodgutfeeling or keep their joints in top shape, Vitalize has a product right for your equine companion.
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