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Rybecca Panchuk - A Smart Earth Featured Rider

June 22nd, 2021

Rybecca's & Christine's full interview can be read in it's entirety below...

Christine Walsh: Well hello, Rybecca. Thanks for being here with me today.

Rybecca Panchuk: Hello, how are you?

Christine Walsh: I'm good, good! Everybody, I'm Christine Walsh. I'm the director of Companion Animal Products over at Smart Earth Camelina, and I have a very special guest today. She is our featured rider. Her name is Rybecca Panchuck. And Rybecca, she is kind of a jack of all trades. She does rodeo, team roping, breakaway, barrel racing, and she's now part time entering into breeding, which is a family tradition. So she's following in her parents' footsteps. Her family breeds performance quarter horses, and I know she has a brand new foal on the ground, which is a gorgeous little guy.

Rybecca Panchuk: Two brand new foals.

Christine Walsh: Two.

Rybecca Panchuk: Yeah.

Christine Walsh: Okay, I've only seen one so...

Rybecca Panchuk: Yeah. The other one's pretty new so...

Christine Walsh: And to wrap, Rybecca in her spare time, when she's not busy doing all of the aforementioned, she is a substitute teacher for elementary kids. So why don't you tell us... I just summarized your involvement in sort of the horse world, but is there anything you want to add to it or talk about?

Rybecca Panchuk: I was lucky enough, I live at a boarding facility with my siblings and we're running that and training horses on the side. Me and my sister and my brother got to college rodeo, getting our education so that was really awesome. And we've just grown up in a family that we've got to rodeo and be around horses our whole life.

Christine Walsh: That's pretty cool. So how did you... You're a partner with Smart Earth now, but tell us about, let's go backwards. Tell us about some of the problems and products that you've tried in the past, sort of how you got here to where we are today with Smart Earth.

Rybecca Panchuk: I think before I started on Smart Earth, I was looking on a supplement that would kind of help a multitude of things in my horse, like something that would help with their coat and weight gain, especially living in a really harsh climate in Saskatchewan. It's negative 50 in the winter. Something that's going to help keep weight on my horses. When I'm holding them, it's going to keep them looking good and keep the muscle tone and growth of my young horses and stuff. And that's kind of why I tried Smart Earth in the first place and I've been happy with the results and I haven't really looked back since and everything on my place gets it so...

Christine Walsh: All the horses in your barn get it, did you say?

Rybecca Panchuk: All the horses from my yearlings up to my good rodeo horses are on it.

Christine Walsh: That's excellent. And what kind of things have you noticed in the different horses? What kind of changes?

Rybecca Panchuk: I noticed immense condition on my horses. Say I ride throughout the whole winter, even if it's negative 50, trying to train my horses, and they keep their muscle and body condition better than I've ever seen before. In the last couple of years, I've really been using it lot and really incorporated it into my program. And I've noticed that people have came up to me and said, "Wow, your horses look great over the winter. What are you doing?" And that's the only really thing that changed at all, as well as my three-year-olds looked like their five-year olds, right? And they're growing, and within like a year, you see such a difference when they're on the oil so...

Christine Walsh: That's excellent. Now, you being in the performance world in a few areas, when Camelina Oil, specifically ALA, which is the kind of omega-3 that's in our Camelina Oil. And that omega-3, by the way... I think you probably know this, but that omega-3 is deemed essential for horses and foals. And it's the only omega-3 that is actually required in their diet for proper health. But one of the things... So that's kind of for all horses, right? Now, for performance horses, an added benefit is the way the ALA affects the blood cell. It actually allows the blood cell to move more oxygen through into the blood. And so what that looks like for a performance horse is more wind, more stamina and quicker muscle recovery. So...

Rybecca Panchuk: If I was going to add to that, I'd say that once my horses are in shape, I noticed they're never really out of breath, that their... It seems that their stamina is always up higher and they can handle more. Sorry.

And they're not as sore the next day. I've had way less problems with having to give horses time off and stuff like that, even if I'm riding them hard. I think it's really essential that way, as well as everything looking well. Right?

Christine Walsh: Yeah. And as an athlete, you want every little bit of edge you can get. The spread is so small between first and second place so....

Rybecca Panchuk: Yeah, exactly. It's usually hundredth of a second, so you need something that's going to help separate you, right? For sure.

Christine Walsh: Yeah. And our Camelina is legal in all arenas.

Rybecca Panchuk: Yeah, exactly. You don't have to worry about it being a drug that's something that's going to put you out, right?

Christine Walsh: Yes. Yeah. So what about demeanor? And you may not have had any animals with any kind of mood or demeanor problems, but is there anything in that arena that you can talk about?

Rybecca Panchuk: I would say right now, most of my herd is young horses. So, of course they're always going to have some sort of attitude and react to things different. And I had a four-year-old actually winter and he was looking not too bad, but I noticed his temperament had changed a a lot. So he really was kind of like impatient all the time and didn't want to stand tied. And that was really not personality. He's usually pretty laid back. And I had ran out of oil for a couple of weeks. And within that couple of weeks, I was already noticing a difference that he needed it. As soon as I put him back on... I think a lot of the benefits of the oil are things that we don't see. Everyone says my horses look better, but it essentially, to me, helps them, I think a lot, with their digestion.

Especially with those young horses, we're putting them through a lot of stress and we have them on feed programs and stuff, but it almost will help with digestion. And he was kind of reacting with not having it there because he was so used to having that aid his digestion, keeping ulcers away. That's a really big thing in our industry is ulcers, right?

Christine Walsh: Yes.

Rybecca Panchuk: You can find products that are more natural and not your expensive that prescriptions when it gets really bad and we can maintain it and keep the environment as healthy as possible, that's always a win, right? So for him, I noticed a big difference. For sure. And my other horses have been on it for as long as I've had them, right? I've been using the oil for a couple of years already, so I think I don't see the changes, except for that one time you came when I ran out for that little bit.

Christine Walsh: Yeah. And you really hit it on the head. People will comment a lot about the aesthetic of their horse. And who doesn't want a nice, shiny, gleaming, healthy-looking horse? Of course. The fact is that whenever you add fat to the diet, it's going to improve the coat quality, but that's so not the whole picture.

Rybecca Panchuk: I mean, thoroughbred guys feed corn oil. Well that's okay. It's going to make him look better, but you don't understand what that corn oil and other types of oils wreak havoc on their insides and on their joints too, right? It might be higher in inflammatory omega. People don't sometimes look into those before they pick a product, even though they think it might be simple, Right?

Christine Walsh: Yeah. That's exactly it. They don't realize that just because the animal looks shiny doesn't mean that it's actually healthful. And you hit it on the head when you talked about the inflammatory omegas, because most oil on the market is really high in omega-6 and, and horses already have a really high omega-6 in their diet.

Rybecca Panchuk: And we love the product. I have actually converted everyone at the barn here. We have about 40 horses and everything's on it now because everyone sees the benefits that I'm reaping through my animals, right? So...

Christine Walsh: That's awesome.

Rybecca Panchuk: Makes a difference for sure.

Christine Walsh: And do you give it to any other animals around there? Your dogs or anything?

Rybecca Panchuk: My dog, she's a little French bulldog with a little bit of Austin Terrier, but she's ripped all the time, little muscled up. And she's the shiniest thing all through winter, all through summer, all the time. It's actually pretty crazy. And bulldogs are very the type of dogs that are prone to allergies and health issues and she has none whatsoever. She is never sore, she never gets PPIs from having allergies, or anything like that. She's super healthy.

Christine Walsh: That's really good. Thank you. Twain behind you there looks real shiny too.

Rybecca Panchuk: Yeah. It's actually crazy. A couple of weeks ago, it's still kind of cold here. It still will be zero or negative five at night and I'm surprised how good she looks, especially for being a baby essentially, right? She's really shined up and I honestly think it's the oil because last year she... Before I started riding her, I wasn't feeding it as religiously, and she looks awesome since I've had it on her every day.

Christine Walsh: And what about your... Just before we wrap here, tell me about recent competitions and how you've been doing.

Rybecca Panchuk: So, with COVID, we've kind of been limited to what we can go to do. I went to a couple of barrel jackpots and I have a younger horse that's really stepped up to the plate and won some money and gotten really good. So I'm excited to keep growing on her. In the next couple of weeks, we have a few more things planned, a breakaway jackpot and stuff, and we're going to have an event. So they might just need bigger jackpots. There's not a word on if rodeos are really a go yet, but that's the hope anyway, yeah, to start going into more things. This is kind of the time of year that stuff starts happening, but we just been going to some brandings in the meantime and getting the horses rode and just doing that type of stuff so...

Christine Walsh: Right. Well, that's awesome. Well, thank you, Rybecca. Thanks for spending time today.