Chance Schuknecht was raised and graduated high school in Iowa Falls, Iowa. His love for horses and a rodeo scholarship took him to Rapid City, South Dakota where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Equine Management from National American University. A college internship brought him to Buhl, Idaho where he worked along side Mickey Young, learning how herbs aid and support equine and canine health. Chance now oversees all of Silver Lining’s sales representatives and distributors.
“My brother got me started roping in the 8th grade and I rodeoed through high school and college. I’ve always loved horses and in college thought I wanted to be a trainer,” explains Schuknecht. “I worked for a reining cowhorse trainer and worked for Lisa and Grady Lockhart one summer. I got burned out and realized I would rather ride for pleasure than as a job.”
A college friend, Dustin Luper, introduced Chance to the owners of Silver Lining Herbs, Mickey and Lori Young. Chance was offered a chance to do his college internship at Silver Lining and has been there since.
“Going into that experience, I wasn’t a supplement or herbal person, but this was a chance to stay in the industry and not have to ride every day. My internship was a life changing experience. It inspired me to take care of my horses. It made me think back to a mare I owned and all the problems she had like pulling back, and how she would dunk her hay in the water. We thought she was half crazy at the time, but after what I learned from Silver Lining, I realized she probably had some physical things going that needed addressing.”
What has resonated with Chance after working at SLH for 7 years is that the truth doesn’t change. What truly helps these animals goes beyond trying to place a Band-Aid on the wound and hoping it goes away, but going to the core of the problem. Chance feels that everyday he gets to help to truly make a difference in the lives of horses and dogs.
“We are truly like a family here. We all truly care about each other at the end of the day. We are involved on a personal level as well as a professional level. We all have each other’s backs and I love the people that I get to work with.”
“The products are also great. People ask me if they are the best products out there and I truly believe they are. I’ve seen a difference in my animals and I get comments from customers on a daily basis that reaffirm that it is the best product out there.”
Chance looks forward to attending the NFR every year and having that face-to-face connection. “I get to meet people that I’ve been talking to all year, as well as meet new people… it is definitely an annual highlight.”
Chance and his wife, Kyla have been married for over 10 years. They have two children, Austyn (7) and Wade (4) who are involved in every aspect of the horses and dogs that they own. Chores, training, feeding, it is all a family affair and the kids enjoy helping do their part. Chance and his family enjoy riding horses and teaching their kids horsemanship. “We love to wrestle, be together, enjoy the lifestyle that horses and country living offers. We go tubing in the South Hills every winter. We read a book every night together and always sit at the dining room table to eat dinner (except on Saturday nights when they watch a show together).”
Chance’s favorite horse is his wife’s sorrel mare ‘Derby’. “I love the passion that Kyla has for horses and so it is fun to see Derby take Kyla to a new level. Kyla had the work ethic and talent but Derby was the horse that helped her get there. That was a pretty rewarding thing to witness…” Chance enjoys starting these horses and then watching them have success knowing they are your home grown products who also become members of the family. “I’m just hoping one becomes famous one day because then I can say I was the first to take it around barrels.”
The best dog Chance has ever had was a blue heeler named Duece. Chance’s wife had her when they first started dating, and she ended up living for 17-18 years. “She was so loyal and so pleasing. She’d look at you with her big brown eyes and you couldn’t help but see the passion and love that she had for you. She was an extraordinary dog.”
The best advice that Chance gives his customers is to listen to what their animals are trying to tell them. “If we pay close attention, our horses will let us know when something is hurting or bothering them. Recently my head horse was swishing his tail through the corner. Obviously something is bothering him. We can ignore it, or try and figure out what’s wrong. I found my horse had sore kidneys,” explains Chance. “The kidneys are not protected by the structural system and the bars of our saddles sit over the kidneys. Then we’re asking our head horses to put that bend in his back going across the arena while pulling a 400 lb. steer. It’s no wonder they may not finish well, or might leave harder or not pull. A typical reaction for most people is to get after their horse. But we really need to take a minute and ask ourselves why it’s happening. The fact is horses by nature are willing and try to please us.”
Some horses are more vocal than others. Those horses that hump up or flag their tail are horses that are trying to communicate with us, to let us know something is up. We should always be listening to our horse’s needs, but, now that we are able to rope for the large amount money available, and considering what our horses are worth, I think it’s very important to listen to what your horse is trying to tell you.”
If we throw a saddle up on a horse and he pins his ears, he’s trying to communicate and we need to listen. I can sit at a team roping and see a 400 lb. guy on a little 14.2-hand horse or see a guy lose his temper and whip his horse these are some of the things that amaze me about horses. These horses show up every day and perform regardless of what they’re having to overcome. I’ve become very sympathetic to horses and realize that they are the coolest animals God has created.”