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           February 2017


Welcome to the Extreme Cowboy Association   

We are excited about 2017 and the many fun filled and exciting Extreme Cowboy Racing events that are on the schedule. 

The formation of EXCA has been an thrilling and challenging adventure! Many people have worked tirelessly to create an association that you will be proud to tell your friends about.

This is the latest issue of your monthly newsletter, The Brave Horse.

You will receive it each month electronically around the middle of the month.  The Brave Horse will be full of interesting stories, EXCA event results, point standings, human interest stories about EXCA members and Tips and Tales from our founder, Craig Cameron.  We encourage you to communicate your suggestions for stories and ideas that will make The Brave Horse fun, better and more informative.  The Brave Horse: the best newsletter in the equine world.


Please forward your ideas and suggestions to Frank Turben at


Rule Information


Greenhorn vs Green Horse

Please make sure that you understand the difference between these two Divisions: 

A Greenhorn membership allows a rider to compete in sanctioned EXCA events for a period of 30 days.  Once the 30 days has expired, the Greenhorn member must pay the additional Individual membership fee to compete in an EXCA sanctioned event.  No exceptions.

When a rider is listed on the spreadsheet with this designation in place of an EXCA number "GH", they are a Greenhorn member and must have their $35 membership fee included with the event fees submitted to the EXCA office.    

Green Horse: A Division to develop aged horses new to EXCA & Futurity Horses.  Green Horse event scores must be recorded on a separate spreadsheet as their results do not get sent to the EXCA office and their points are not tracked. 

Cowboy Decathlon


Aka Cowboy Challenge by Ruth Rageth

Cameron was at it again this year

He challenged eight men to test their strength and fear;

Eight horses were also put to the test

Each man wanting his horse to be the best.


Chris Redden and Runt Rageth, the Red Rangers got the invitation

So they showed up wearing last year's buckle for pure intimidation;

They made the trip from Missouri once again

Horses ready, ropes in hand, they worked hard for another win.


The Wild Bunch showed up with a plan

To win the buckle, money and be the top man;

Bill Brown and Jim Sharp, both good cowboys without a flaw

Nobody could have guessed they would get so beat up by a damned old saw.


Shane Ervin and Tyler Ayler had entered this challenging contest

As the Desperados they were tough and gave it their best;

Being lucky wasn't part of their fate

But they held up their heads and their horses worked great.


Brendan Garrison's pretty cowhorse could really sort out the trash

And on his wife's barrel horse rode Evan Scott Rasch;

The All Rounder's were top hands inside or outside the fence

They made some big moves and showed good sense.


This Challenge was filmed on RFD-TV

So all our wrecks, everyone could see;

The film crew and cameras caused quite a distraction

But we pulled it together when they said 'Lights, Camera, Action".


2017 could be another fun new year

With new Challenges and cowboys to appear;

Everybody stay ready, stay tough and make really good plans

It's along time to September, and it's never good when Craig has too much time on his hands. 


Cinch Sponsorship


The EXCA is happy to announce that Lee Hart and Josh Rushing will be sponsored by Cinch in the 2017 season. We are excited for the new season and the new partnership!  


Understanding Common Conditions in Horses


Understanding Common Conditions in Horses

If you've been involved with horses for any significant amount of time, you have surely heard terms like insulin resistant, metabolic syndrome and others, and maybe you are not always sure what they mean. The reason for this is that horse owners and even some veterinarians can use some of the terms interchangeably or indiscriminately, causing confusion. In fairness, it's easy to do so because many metabolic conditions in horses have a similar set of symptoms, and some are treated in similar ways, but that does not mean they are the same disease. Let me try to offer some clarity by defining some of the most common metabolic conditions in horses.


Insulin Resistant or IR - An insulin resistant horse, often called an IR horse, is a horse that is resistant to the metabolization of insulin at a cellular level. A horse that is strictly insulin resistant does not have a disease, per se, but has a metabolic problem in the processing of carbohydrates. Since insulin resistance is not a disease, there is no cure but only management, which consists of exercise and a low-carb, low-fat diet that is supported by well-balanced minerals. Horses that have other metabolic syndromes or diseases can also be insulin resistant, but in these cases the resistance is a symptom of the underlying disease or syndrome.

Before moving on to the next condition, it is helpful to understand that a syndrome is different than a disease. A syndrome is a recognized set of symptoms without a distinctly identifiable cause. A disease, on the other hand, may have a set of symptoms, but it also has an identifiable underlying cause that is known and can be identified 

Equine Metabolic Syndrome or EMS - A horse with EMS is also generally insulin resistant, but the insulin resistance is one of several symptoms within the syndrome. Others include a propensity for fatty deposits in the abdomen, the crest of the neck, the eyes, and other areas; and chronic laminitis. It is thought that EMS originates when certain tissues produce abnormal levels of certain hormones. Like insulin resistance, there is no cure for EMS. It is treated in a manner very similar to simple insulin resistance; that is a low-carb, low-fat diet that is high in fiber, and supplements with proper levels of minerals and vitamins. A horse with metabolic syndrome is sometimes called a metabolic horse or Cushingoid horse. The term metabolic disease is also sometimes used to describe a horse with EMS, but its use is technically incorrect.

So now that you understand IR and EMS, it is easy to see how these terms very frequently get used interchangeably or indiscriminately. But it doesn't stop there. Indeed, it starts to get even more tricky. 

Cushing's Syndrome - Cushing's syndrome is a term often used interchangeably with equine metabolic syndrome. The reason for this is very simple: most experts agree they are one and the same, meaning they are the same set of symptoms, but still with an unknown cause. Equine Metabolic Syndrome has become the preferred term. Of course the symptoms are the same; insulin resistance, a propensity for fatty deposits in the abdomen, the crest of neck, the eyes, and other areas; and chronic laminitis. The treatment and management are also the same. Cushing's syndrome or EMS is most often first recognized in younger horses. A horse that has Cushing's syndrome (or EMS) is sometimes called a Cushingoid horse. This can be very confusing, because a horse with Cushing's disease if also often called a Cushingoid horse, but the syndrome and the disease are different. 

Cushing's Disease - Cushing's disease is caused by a tumor that grows in the pituitary gland, causing severe hormonal imbalances. There is no known cure for Cushing's disease. Cushing's disease can have the following symptoms: weight loss, excessive thirst and/or urination, chronic laminitis, a curly, non-shedding coat, poor muscle condition, a propensity to infections, and irregular fat deposits. Cushing's disease is most often diagnosed in older horses. Cushing's disease is treated differently than Cushing's syndrome or EMS. It can include both diet and specific medication to treat the hormonal functions of the pituitary gland. For this reason, it is critical for a skilled veterinarian to diagnose a horse with metabolic symptoms to determine if they are part of the syndrome or the disease.

So, in short, here is how I remember what these different terms mean:

1)      Insulin resistant (IR) means a horse has problems metabolizing insulin and therefore difficulties processing carbohydrates.

2)      Insulin resistance can be a single problem, or can be a symptom of Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), Cushing's syndrome or Cushing's disease.

3)      Metabolic syndrome and Cushing's syndrome are the same.

4)      Cushing disease is not the same as Cushing's syndrome.

5)      IR, EMS and Cushing's syndrome are all treated with diet, nutrition and exercise.

6)      Cushing's disease is treated with a combination of diet, nutrition and exercise, as well as drugs.

7)      There are no cures for any of these metabolic conditions, only treatment and management.

Hopefully this will help you understand the most commonly encountered metabolic problems in horses more clearly, whether you are discussing them with someone, or if you happen to have a horse that suffers from one of them. For the sake of clarity, whenever I discuss any of these issues and people start throwing around words like IR, metabolic and Cushing's, I always ask for clarification so I know exactly what we are talking about. Not surprisingly, I find that people are not always sure.

As always, this article is not an attempt to diagnose or prescribe treatment for any particular equine health problem. If you suspect your horse is suffering from a metabolic disorder or any other health problem, it is critical to consult your veterinary professional for complete testing, diagnosis and treatment. 


              This Newsletter Provided  by the Extreme Cowboy Association for it's members.



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Bluff Dale TX




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