All About Balance

Five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Tyler Wade and wife Jessi are making the most of raising their family on the rodeo road.

It’s no secret that life on the rodeo road is fraught with challenges.  From the early mornings and late nights to the long miles and lengthy stretches away from home, juggling family life and competitive commitments is a delicate balance. Five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Tyler Wade and his wife, Jessi, share their top tips for making it all come together.

Equinety: How do you balance family life against the demands of professional rodeo?

Tyler: Our friends and family are a big part of how we make this lifestyle work. The people who jump on board and help us take care of things at the last minute or travel with Jessi somewhere to help with [our 4year-old son] Weston mean everything to us. They are a big part of what makes our program successful. It takes a lot of people helping and supporting us to make it work.

Jessi: It’s a daily grind. The biggest thing I have learned is the importance of building the right team. People don’t see what goes on behind the scenes. Between taking care of the horses and helping with Weston, there are so many moving parts. This way of life requires a lot of give and take. You have to be willing to compromise. 

Boaz Dov Elkes photo

Equinety: What is the hardest part of making the rodeo lifestyle work while raising a family?

Tyler: Being gone as much as I am, especially with Weston at home, is the hardest part. 

Jessi: Tyler being gone is the hardest part now that we have Weston at home. He leaves in the middle of June and isn’t back until the end of September. Last year we saw him one time during those months when he flew home for Weston’s birthday. The travel feels like the best and the worst part. On one hand, we hate having Tyler gone so much. On the other hand, we’ve gotten to make so many good memories, and Weston has experienced things a lot of people only ever dream of experiencing. 


Equinety: What is your all-time must-have for life on the rodeo road?

Tyler: You need a horse you can win on regardless of the conditions. Your horse is the most important thing on your trailer. If you forget your good saddle, you can borrow one. The same can be said for most things, but you can’t build a career without a good horse. If you don’t’ have a horse you can bank on when you nod your head, I think you might as well stay home until you do.

Jessi: I agree with Tyler — you have to have the right horse for the job on your trailer. And once you’ve got it, you have to keep that horse at the top of its game all year long. That’s one of the most challenging parts of being on the road and it can be the difference between keeping or losing a trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. If your horse goes down, you go down too.


Equinety: What’s your best advice for someone who wants to pursue professional rodeo?

Tyler: Be ready to work harder than you ever have and be willing to make sacrifices. When people talk about hard work, I think they’re talking about roping a lot of steers or putting the hours in in the practice pen, but it’s about a lot more than that. It’s ensuring your horse has the right nutrition and supplements, wrapping legs for long trailer rides, buying extra shavings at events and just generally going the extra mile to make sure the horses are well cared for. 

Jessi: My advice is simple: you have to be ready to put in the work. This way of life is every day. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it’s every type of exhausting you can dream of — mentally, physically, emotionally. You have to be passionate about it if you’re going to chase it together as a family, because sometimes there’s no room for anything except rodeo.

Andersen CbarC Photo

Equinety: How did you get started using Equinety?

Tyler: We were customers — really happy customers — before we ever partnered with Equinety. Our friend recommended the product to us when my good horse was injured.

Jessi: We started using Equinety in 2018. Tyler’s horse he made the NFR on fractured its coffin bone, and one of our friends who was helping us with his rehab told us we should try putting him on Equinety. I didn’t think anything about it, but when we took him to the vet to get follow-up x-rays, there was such a big difference, even the vet was surprised. He told us whatever we were doing, we should keep doing it. Our horses have been on Equinety since then.


Equinety: In what ways does Equinety help your horses?

Tyler: Our performance horses used to get sore, and we would have to inject them frequently to keep them comfortable. Since using Equinety, it’s almost like we forget to inject them. We’ve gone from injecting every four months to maybe once a year. The horses also don’t have as much muscle soreness because Equinety helps buffer the wear and tear. 

We give Equinety to all our horses, not just the ones on the road. Personally, I love seeing what the product does when we are at home. Muscle tone improves, coats look healthier, and hooves, manes and tails grow better. We love making each horse look and feel as good as it can while it’s in our care. That’s almost become a hobby for us, and Equinety helps us excel.

Jessi: Seeing the hoof growth we get with our horses on Equinety has been amazing. I’ve also noticed we are using a lot less ulcer medications for stomach issues. That’s been crucial in the training process for young horses.


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