Setrics Tracker

Best D.I.Y. Fly Spray For Horses???

June 7th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

Vinegar wins the day! How cool is that! It’s cheap, easy to get, totally natural and I personally love the smell of it. did this awesome experiment on four different recipes which are all fairly easily sourced and then compared them to find which worked best.

(Another common solution not part of  this experiment below includes a 50/50 Pinesol and water mix in a spray bottle however it must be noted this can be an irritant to the horses, is not made from natural ingredients and is probably much better used around the barn.)

Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #1


  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Eucalyptus oil
  • 1 cup water

NOTE: To learn more abut Eucalyptus oil please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake well before every use and spray the horse.

Natural homemade horse fly spray ingredientsThe Results
For house flies and stable flies this recipe worked very well. In our opinion it worked better than several store-bought fly sprays we had recently used. It wasn’t perfect – the house and stable flies still landed on the horse but the actual bites he experienced were definitely less.

However, it was a different story with deer flies. When we rode the horse away from the barn and house and out into the pasture the deer flies swarmed to him like he was a free, all-you-can-eat buffet. The fly spray seemed to be of little or no help as the deer flies bit him constantly, all over, and in large numbers.

How Long It Lasted
This fly spray lasted between 45 minutes and an hour. It did work well for house and stable flies during that time.

Our Opinion
For house and stable flies we liked this fly spray recipe. It only has three easy-to-mix ingredients, and the ingredients are all natural (remember, as we stated above we’re defining “natural” as an ingredient that is not a man-made insecticide). However, it did not work at all for deer flies.

Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #2


  • 1/2 cup hair conditioner for humans (the kind you leave on for a minute or two then rinse out). We used an inexpensive generic brand without a strong scent (Suave).
  • 3 Tablespoons Eucalyptus oil
  • 1/2 cup baby oil
  • Enough water to fill the remainder of a 32 ounce spray bottle

Ingredients for homemade horse fly sprayInstructions
Mix the ingredients in a 32 ounce spray bottle. Shake well before every use and spray the horse.

The Results
Like recipe #1, above, this homemade horse fly spray worked well around the barn and house, but was of no help in the pasture for deer flies.

How Long It Lasted
Also like recipe #1, above, this fly spray lasted between 45 minutes and an hour.

Our Opinion
While this recipe worked about the same as recipe #1 it has more ingredients to purchase and mix, so is therefore slightly more complicated to make. We also didn’t like trying to get 1/2 cup of thick hair conditioner out of a measuring cup and into the top of the spray bottle. The conditioner kept plugging up the top of the bottle and using a kitchen funnel wasn’t much help. Since this recipe worked about the same as recipe #1, we prefer recipe #1 because it has fewer ingredients and is easier to mix.

Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #3

IngredientsHomemade essential oil horse fly spray

  • 12 ounces of water (after first putting the above ingredients into a spray bottle, this is enough water to fill the bottle to the 16 ounce line)

Note: Coconut oil is a liquid in hot summer temperatures (above 76 degrees Fahrenheit). In cooler temperatures, it is a solid. Therefore, coconut oil may not be suitable for a fly spray recipe unless the temperatures are warm.

Put all of the essential oils and the coconut oil into a spray bottle. Add enough water (which should be about 12 ounces) to fill the spray bottle to the 16 ounce line. Shake vigorously before every use, and occasionally during use. This mixture separates very easily.

Since essential oils can cause skin irritation, the first thing we did with this fly spray recipe was spray our own forearms and wait 24 hours. When we didn’t have any kind of skin irritation we tested it on the horse.

The Results
Epic fail. Unlike with the other homemade fly spray recipes on this page we never even got the horse groomed or saddled before this recipe failed. We sprayed him, and there was a brief pause when he was really damp that the flies and other insects slowed down for a few moments. Then, after mere moments, he went back to fighting flies as if nothing at all had been sprayed on him. We had to follow with a different fly spray in order to groom and ride him.

With this “fly spray” recipe, if you can call it that, our horse did smell heavenly, but as an insect repellent this homemade recipe was totally useless.

How Long It Lasted
Mere moments.

Our Opinion
This recipe is a total waste of essential oils and coconut oil. We like essential oils for some things, and love coconut oil as a mane and tail conditioner and homemade hoof conditioner, but when used together in this recipe as a fly repellent for our horses they didn’t work at all.

Homemade Horse Fly Spray Recipe #4

This is actually a semi-homemade fly spray recipe that is NOT all natural since one of the two ingredients is store-bought horse fly spray.

Vinegar and fly sprayIngredients

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part store-bought horse fly spay (we used a brand that had permethrin .25% as its active ingredient)

Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and store-bought fly spray in a spray bottle. Shake well before every use and spray the horse.

The Results
We feel like this semi-homemade fly spray recipe worked just as well to keep house and stable flies from biting our horse as when the store-bought fly spray was used alone. In fact, though it was hard to tell for sure, we thought it may even have worked slightly better. Although flies still landed on the horse the actual bites were greatly reduced.

When it came to deer flies, the mixture of vinegar and store-bought fly spray was helpful to keep them from biting the horse, but not as helpful as we had hoped. However, when the store-bought fly spray was used alone the results were only marginally better. In both cases deer flies still bit the horse in noticeable numbers, but slightly less than when no fly spray was used at all.

How Long It Lasted
This semi-homemade fly spray lasted about an hour, perhaps a little less. This is about the same amount of time the store-bought fly spray lasted when it was used by itself.

Our Opinion
In our opinion the mixture of white vinegar and store-bought fly spray worked just as well for house, stable, and deer flies as when the store-bought fly spray was used alone. The mixture also lasted about the same amount of time, and since vinegar costs quite a bit less than store-bought fly spray using the mixture cut our costs significantly.

Hauling A Horse? The Mandate That May Require You To Get A Commercial Drivers License!

May 16th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

You thought you were involved in the horse industry? It seems the Federal Government may actually define you as a commercial truck driver.

According to the Commercial Drivers License law written in 1986, anyone driving a vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds and above is required to carry a CDL whether it’s for recreational or agricultural purposes. So you might have to go sit for your commercial license test just to haul your horses to a show!

Protect The Harvest Representative, Shawn Burtenshaw

Shawn Burtenshaw, a Representative for Protect the Harvest, explains how the CDL law requirements plus a 2012 Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate could affect how you travel, but is here to educate and help you!

“The law that was implemented [in 2012], which would be referred to as the ‘ELD Mandate,’ is an electronic device put in your vehicle to monitor your drive times between point A and point B and throughout the day,” Burtenshaw said. “So if you’re in a pickup and horse trailer traveling, hauling horses to shows it’s your business… it puts you as a commercial driver to where you’d have to have an electronic logging device in your pickup to haul your horses to shows.”

SO not only would you be required to carry a commercial drivers license, but you would also be required to log your trips and abide by ELD rules. However, advancements in vehicles and the hauling industry have changed vastly since these were written, creating a few complicated issues.

“The problem is this law was written in 1986, when a one-ton pickup was 8600 pounds,” Burtenshaw said. “It was never intended to umbrella over pickups and trailers but today when this is enforced through, the ELD really brought attention to these weights because the law is still at 26,001 pounds; which in 1986 was a Class 7 truck, today it’s a pickup. Gross vehicle weight ratings since 1986 to 2018 have increased 60% but the law stayed the same so that’s where people get caught in it with a pickup and horse truck.”

Adding to the complexity are states that have different regulations and classifications of a CDL, where in some states it’s a simple process, while in others it is extremely difficult.

“We’d like to see that not happen because these people are not commercial drivers, they’re horse trainers, they’re rodeo cowboys, they’re ranchers, they’re farmers, they’re not a commercial driver,” Burtenshaw said. “So why should they need to go get a CDL and be monitored the same as a over-the-road truck driver when they’re just driving their horse to a horse show?”

Another issue that will place an onerous burden on drivers is the tracking and monitoring that o

Electronic Logging Devices (above) required for commercial drivers to log all stops and track drive times, and requires breaks after certain amounts of driving.

ccurs with the electronic logging device.

“It is extreme inconvenience,” Burtenshaw said. “It becomes a personal issue of privacy to tell you the truth, I don’t want to be monitored how fast I’m going, where I’ve stopped, how long I’ve stopped. I don’t want to be told when I need to stop and use the restroom, I don’t need to be told when I need to stop and eat, I don’t need to be told when I stop and sleep. The hours of service that you have to comply by when you have an electronic logging device in your pickup and you have live animals on your trailer, you can’t stop for ten hours consecutively, you have to keep going.”

From December of 2017, there is a 12-month exemption to the rule for agriculture when live animals are being transported.

“So that means that hopefully within the coming year that maybe different hours of service can be written,” Burtenshaw said. “These laws need review because it’s not 1986 anymore. The biggest thing I’m trying to do right now at Protect The Harvest are get people engaged and get them educated to where they’re going to fall in this mandate or these CDL requirements, what classifies them as a commercial motor vehicle.”

On the Protect The Harvest website it also states that a “Not For Hire” sign on your rig will not protect you if it is determined that your truck and trailer fit into the commercial category or are being used for commercial purposes. Nor will it protect you if you are driving a vehicle and trailer that requires a commercial license. The law also affects young drivers and will put the brakes on anyone under 18 hauling a horse or anyone under 21 crossing state lines to go a rodeo or show.

“To be intrastate (within your state) you have to be 18 years-old to get a commercial drivers license and to go interstate (to cross state lines) you have to be 21 years old. 87% of the college rodeo kids are under the age of 21 and every college rodeo around the United States kids have to cross across state lines,” he said.

If the mandate alarms you, Burtneshaw said go to and read the highlighted version of the 200 page mandate, which has been narrowed down to the key points. Another suggestion is to spread the word and lobby your local representatives.

“Call your congressman, get a hold of your senator, get everybody in government whose connected to you, because those government officials work for you,” Burtenshaw said. “Let them know where you stand on these issues, let them know that these need review. The more people who write their letters, call their representatives, make some noise about it to get this changed.”

“It’s laws like this that keep restricting our industry. Usually it happens and nobody knew about this..well we’re gonna tell you right now it’s happening,” Burtenshaw said. “Please take action, get involved, become engaged, voice your opinion, and help us move forward with getting this rewritten.”

Wrangler in the Pen & on the Streets: Gabe Reynolds

April 25th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

By Bailey Bryan

He could have had his pick of glamorous ladies, he could have been the master of the rose ceremony, he could have been a reality TV star, but Gabe Reynolds is more interested in training and showing cutting horses.

Between modeling assignments, TV scouts and cutting clients, it seems the Kentucky based trainer is in high demand. But with a growing list of wins to his name, four time Mercuria Finalist, NCHA Ltd Reserve Champion, and Augusta Classic Challenge Reserve Champion, Gabe’s focus is squarely on his training career.

With his dashing good looks, unassuming manner and Aussie charm, this cutter has got a little more boot cut than the rest of us, filling in for Blake Shelton as a Wrangler jean model and starring in a Wrangler commercial along with George Straight! The opportunity presented itself when Gabe was training for Barbra Brooks in Tennessee.

“There was a bunch of celebrities that came out to Barbra’s ranch for the CMA shoot and for some reason or another Blake Shelton didn’t show up and they asked if I’d fill in for him as I was about his size,” Reynolds said. “A few months later I was in a western store and saw a picture of me.”

Reynolds later got a call asking if he’d come out to audition for the Wrangler commercial in California, which he originally said no to, but later they called again to offer him the role if he’d say yes right then.

“It was really neat,” Reynolds said. “I went out there and was picked up in a black limo and got full rock star treatment.”

As it turns out, Wrangler wasn’t the only one with an eye for Reynolds, he was also recently asked at a cutting event by scouters to participate in the popular reality tv show, The Bachelor.

“I was walking around the coliseum and they happened to sit next to me,” Reynolds said. “They got to whispering and they told me they wanted someone who rode horses and I told them I didn’t really know about that.”

Reynolds said he never really paid much attention to the show, but went back later and watched a few episodes and said afterwards that ‘it seemed a quick way to embarrass yourself.’

Although well-known as a handsome cutter, Gabe’s hardly an eligible bachelor, with a serious live-in girlfriend and business partner Lauren Minshall (sorry ladies).

Reynolds says on a more serious note he’d love to make a final in Fort Worth.

“I really feel like I’m knocking at the door in Fort Worth,” Reynolds said. “I keep making semi-final after semi-final, but am trying to stay consistent and train the best horses I can train and we’ve got some good horses this year.”


Watch more CHTO videos of Gabe HERE.

Lance Cooper Dominates 2018 Super Stakes Ltd Non Pro Derby

April 23rd, 2018 by Simone Cobb

You could say Lance Cooper was a star of the 2018 Super Stakes after winning two titles in less than a week and making a third final. Lance dominated the Ltd Non Pro Derby Championship on Zen And Tonic with an impressive 224!

The 17-year-old told CHTO’s Simone Cobb he just loves showing that mare! Reserve Champ was awarded to Alexa Dahl with a 218.5 on Playsomethingsmooth.


Megan Miller and Chad Bushaw Tie for First in 2018 Super Stakes Non Pro Derby

April 23rd, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

It was an exciting Non Pro Derby final that saw Megan Miller and Chad Bushaw share the title at the 2018 Super Stakes. Chad marked a 222 on Bittersweet in the first set, a score matched by Megan on Carolena Reyn in the second set. Chad told CHTO”s Simone Cobb he’s hopeful of winning the Triple Crown after also taking out the Non Pro Futurity title on the same horse. Meanwhile Megan told Simone she was proud to win in the Will Rogers on a horse she raised.

Casey Crouch: The Hot Quit Bottle

April 23rd, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

The Perfect Penalty

The saying is true, if you want something bad enough you’ve got to get creative and creative is the exact word I’d use for trainer Casey Crouch and his technique to train bad habits out of his clients. They call it the “Hot Quit Bottle,” and it roots back to 2015.

“It started actually right here at the futurity. We showed the colt here at the futurity and I hot quit in the first go around,” Crouch said. “It was a walking hot quit. I’ll go to my grave-I did not hot quit the cow, but they got me for it! Anyway, before it was all said and done, Joe had hot quit twice on this horse here at the futurity.”

It wasn’t until the horse was showed again in Batesville, Mississippi, that the whole bottle ordeal began.

Watch the full interview below, or continue reading …

“We get to Batesville and I have a pretty good run the first day and they have an R on one of my runs and it was for a quit and it was good,” Crouch said. “Anyway my wife got a little excited, she’s a big part of this the whole deal, so she got a little excited and we had several questionable quits and about the third day I Hott Quit won, and when I walked out of the arena I could see fire blowing out her ears I knew she was a little upset.”

“Everything settles and I go to work some horses for my amateurs and what not and everybody’s kind of laughing you know, ha ha-ing about it in the practice pen and here she comes and she walks up and everybody gets quiet,” Crouch said. “And we’re sitting there and she says, ‘if any one of you hot quit again I’m going to explode, I’m gonna have it out on you.’ So it becomes a big joke. So then we decided were going to have a hot quit bottle.”

Ever since that day the hot quit bottle is a five-dollar penalty for Crouch and his clients, however, Crouch claims that it isn’t humiliating to pay into the bottle, but actually ‘softens the blow,’ so to speak.  

“We take it very seriously but by the same token you gotta enjoy it,” Crouch said. “You gotta enjoy what you’re doing and one time in particular as the year went if somebody even questioned it they’d come out laughing digging in their pocket, ‘I’m in.’” 

Crouch’s unique way to put a quit on hot quits has touched more people than those just in his program and has made a positive impact on others.

“We were at Dripping Springs, Texas and there was a lady there and she had a pretty nice run and she hot quit, she’s not in my barn but I help her a lot and what not, anyway she hot quit a cow and had a really nice run,” Crouch said. “And this is one time that really stands out, she was very disgusted and really upset with herself and as we’re walking out of the pen I ride up beside her and I told her she owes me five bucks. And she looks at me and she’s not sure what to say at that moment and then about that time she goes to smiling and she says, ‘thank you so much,’ it just softened everything.”

When speaking with Crouch, it was early in the day that they had agreed to open, count and spend the money in the bottle, so what did they spend it on exactly?

“We haven’t decided what we’re going to do with it yet. That’ll come today sometime, but several people have put in several times, myself included,” Crouch said. “We gotta come up with what we’re doing. Maybe a big party, it might be a big one from the looks of the bottle.”

Kobie Wood Victorious In 2018 Super Stakes Derby Championship

April 23rd, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

An emotional Kobie Wood thanked his wife, loper and turnback team with much gratitude, showing the mark of the man, after taking out the Derby Championship at the 2018 Super Stakes. A crowd favorite, Kobie rode Cool N Hot to dominate with a 227, well ahead of the field by 4 and half points. Beau Galyean won Reserve on Rollz Royce with a 222.5 Kobie told CHTO’s Simone Cobb, it took him 40 years to win the Derby title and did it on a horse he bred by Hottish.

Lance Cooper Dominates 2018 Super Stakes Ltd Open Derby Final

April 17th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

At just 17 years old, Lance Cooper has dominated the Limited Open Derby Final at the 2018 Super Stakes. Lance rode Zen And Tonic to mark a 223 first out in the final to win by 6 points! He told CHTO’s Simone Cobb he was thrilled to win his second major title, after the successful pair tied for first in the Limited Non Pro Futurity last December. Garrett Hampton earned Reserve Champ title on Merlott, scoring a 217.

Kellee Clarke – More than a Loper!

April 13th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

More often than not, lopers come and go, but Kellee Clarke has turned loping into a satisfying career thanks to her hard work, willingness to take on new challenges and interestingly, finding an outlet for her creativity.

An Australian native, Clarke moved to the States to work with horses where for the last eight years she has been loping for John Mitchell at the Slate River Ranch. With a passion for learning and a drive for taking on more responsibility, Clarke juggles loping, running the barn and managing the ranch office while starting up her own business.

“I wanted to make leather handbags and do them all by hand,” Clarke said. “When I grew up rodeoing, I made all my own I’ve always had this creative thing going on.”

After purchasing all the materials, Clarke found that she never had the time to actually start.

Brumby Necklace

“One week I got so mad at myself because John’s wife, Hope kept asking, ‘have you made a bag yet?’ and it was really frustrating me,” Clarke said. “So one week I got super mad at myself and I said, ‘you have to finish one project by the end of the week.’’”

And since that week, Brumby Goods was born, but not in the way Clarke expected.

“I had kangaroo leather and lace because they were going to be part of my bags and I had some freshwater pearls and I had all this stuff sitting there,” Clarke said. “So I started tinkering around with it and the next thing I made a necklace with it. This long tassel necklace with these pearls on it and I was like, ‘that’s pretty cool.’”


Although Clarke hasn’t made any bags yet, she intends to expand the line later to include them.

“I had my logo and my name and everything for my business, Brumby Goods, that was all in place but the product wasn’t coming about,” Clarke said. “For now it’s evolved into jewelry.”

Brumby Earrings

Clarke officially launched Brumby Goods in February this year and is keeping up with working full time for Slate River Ranch while building her jewelry line, which has quickly gained a following.

Clarke says she gets design ideas while loping.

“It’s a matter of utilizing that time loping around and to just take that time to think about something,” Clarke said. “I’m constantly thinking about Brumby and what’s next.”

Brumby Bracelet

Clarke says she wants to stayed tapped into the western world and cutting/rodeo industry from her roots. One of her main materials, kangaroo leather, is used not only for its durability but connects her to her Australian heritage. Her company name, Brumby Goods also was chosen to tell people more about Clarke as a person.

“Brumby was something that came in America,” Clarke said. “It’s a horse, it’s a little wild, free spirited and…it’s pretty catchy.” 

Clarke says she enjoys making the jewelry for women like herself.

“A lot of this stuff I had in mind for the working girl and the girl who rides,” Clarke said. “This was my original idea, to find something feminine but easy to wear.”

Clarke likes to make jewelry that is functional, durable, light and comfortable. She now ships across the country and overseas and also takes custom orders. Clarke initially made sales on social media, but now has her own website to properly display her designs,

Although her career is focused on loping, she believes that having Brumby gives her something more to look forward to each day.

“Its given me something for myself,” Clarke said. “I’m accountable, it’s all me. It gives me something, it’s making something and being creative and I like to look at it and be like, ‘I made that.”


Watch the full video interview HERE

Steve Anderson Triumphant In 2018 Super Stakes Non Pro Classic

April 13th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

It was the best shot of adrenalin Steve Anderson has experienced in his 22 years of cutting when he won the Non Pro Classic Championship at the 2018 Super Stakes. Steve rode Littlemak to mark an impressive 224, a half point in front of Reserve Champion Alexa Stent who rode Bowmerang.

Langston Patillo and Jim Vangilder Share 2018 Super Stakes Amateur Classic Title

April 12th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

It was two for the title in the Amateur Classic Final at the 2018 Super Stakes in Fort Worth. Jim Vangilder and Langston Patillo both marked a 221 to share the championship on Smooth Sailing Cat and Dualin Smooth Legacy respectively. Both riders spoke to CHTO’s Simone Cobb in this interview. Langston started out saying he was proud of himself for making at least 3 finals. Meanwhile, Jim said he was happy to win after a nine year break from the sport. Langston also placed third on High Stylin CD with a 219.

Rocky Davis Wins 2018 Super Stakes Unlimited Amateur Derby

April 12th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

Rocky Davis is on track to becoming a triple crown champion after dominating the Unlimited Amateur Derby at the 2018 Super Stakes. Rocky and Redneck Creyzy laid down a 222 to win with a lead of 5 points. It’s the same event the pair took out at the 2017 Futurity. The Canadian competitor told CHTO’s Simone Cobb, he’s excited to come back for the Summer Spectacular to try. Traci Shehady is the Unlimited Amateur Derby Reserve Champion with a 217 on You Cant Buy Love.

Nelson Vivas Takes Out 2018 Super Stakes Amateur Derby Title

April 11th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

It was a dream come true for Nelson Vivas who claimed victory in the 2018 Super Stakes Amateur Derby Championship. Nelson, who’s only been cutting for 3 years, rode Futurity Champion Playboy is Smooth to mark a 216 to win. He told CHTO’s Simone Cobb he’s only had 3 rides on his horse and immediately gelled with him. Reserve Champion, John Rockey secured his spot with a 214.5 on Dureyngo Kid.

Gary Barker Clinches 2018 Super Stakes Unltd Amateur Classic

April 11th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

After more than two decades of cutting, Gary Barker enjoyed the sweet success of taking out the Unlimited Amateur Classic at the 2018 Super Stakes. Gary rode Smooth Nu Cat and marked a 224 in a competitive final that saw half a point difference between first, and second and second and third. He told CHTO’s Simone Cobb it was doubly satisfying because he won on a horse he bred. Jacob Taurel makes Reserve Champion with a 223.5 on Little Jewels Olena.

Chelsea Tatum Claims 2018 Super Stakes Ltd Non Pro Classic Title

April 11th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

Chelsea Tatum laid down an exciting run to claim victory in the 2018 Limited Non Pro Classic Final. She rode Bobs Smart Rey to mark an impressive 225, some 3 points ahead of the field. Chelsea told CHTO’s Simone Cobb she has great chemistry with her horse and has high hopes for the Non Pro Classic. Langston Pattillo was the Reserve Champion on High Stylin CD, scoring 222.

  • Upcoming Events

    Aug 07

    Tarin Rice Cutting Horse Clinic

    August 7 - August 8