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Service To Equine Industry Is Incentive For Horseman’s ‘Better Horses’ Ventures

Ernie Rodina, Ottawa, has been honored with the Bud Newell Award by the Kansas Horse Council (KHC). Jim Thomas, KHC president, and Justine Staten, KHC executive director, made the presentation recognizing Rodina for his outstanding service to the horse industry. 


Everybody even vaguely familiar with the personable promoter for all horse and equine enthusiast betterment relates to the one-word quotation.  

It is a frequent comment from Ernie Rodina in his diverse media endeavors tied together as Better Horses LLC.  

This time there was a uniquely different truly surprised pitch to Rodina’s expression.  

He was honored with the Bud Newell Award at the meeting of the Kansas Horse Council (KHC) in Osage City.  

“Unbelievable,” Rodina repeated upon the announcement. “I would have never expected such an honor.   

“I am so privileged to receive this award for doing what is so very close to my heart. All I have ever wanted to do is serve horses and the equine industry,” the honoree insisted.  

In making the announcement, Jim Thomas, KHC president, applauded Rodina of Ottawa for his broad services to everything horses. “Nobody deserves this award more than Ernie Rodina for all he does for horses and horse people,” Thomas declared.  

The Bud Newell Award is presented annually to a KHC member for outstanding service to the Kansas horse industry.   

With the honoree selected by KHC directors, the award is named and presented in memory of KHC founder Bud Newell.   

Earlier during the KHC annual meeting, Rodina was the main speaker discussing his diverse horse media enterprises.   

“My goal is to do everything I can for betterment of horses and their owners,” he emphasized. “There is great opportunity for us to work more closely together with the Kansas Horse Council in our mutual efforts.”  

An account manager for Purina Mills beginning in 1978, Rodina started the Better Horses newspaper in 1998. “With my lifelong horse interests, the publication served as expansion of my service to my horse clientele,” he explained.  

With assistance from his wife Connie, Rodina’s Better Horses circulation totals 12,000 copies printed five times a year.   

“It’s actually widely read hard copy throughout the Midwest and an e-blast goes to more than 15,000 each issue. Readership multiples further with the vast website hits,” he said.   

“Better Horses is driven by inspirational and entrepreneurial thinking,” Rodina insisted. “It combines integrity, energy and vision through our core publishing and events business.”  

Popularity of the newspaper soon led to development of a weekly radio program and then a television show. “I retired from Purina seven years ago to dedicate my life to the Better Horses Network,” Rodina said.  

“We are committed to delivering high quality entertaining content that gives a true reflection of the horse industry,” Rodina said. “We take pride in promoting forward-thinking products that help equestrians stay updated.  

“This fresh approach means Better Horses innovates with all those who interact with the business. As a direct result, exciting products and services are devised,” he continued.  

Better Horses is actively involved in the industry and horse shows.  “We support industry associations and professional societies,” Rodina informed. “That helps us better understand and anticipate concerns and to share our expertise.”  

With Dawn Dawson as his cohost since starting the radio program, Rodina discusses horse tips with today’s leading equine professionals.   

“We air on more than 25 stations across the country from the states of Washington to New York,” Rodina said. “We talk about God, horses, horse training, cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo, equine health, some cattle, and even about Roy Rogers.  

“We love horses, horse folks, and the Western Way of Life. We hope our listeners enjoy the show as much as we love doing it,” Rodina added.   

Joining efforts with Ed and Tara Adams, Better Horses LLC now produces a weekly Better Horses television show.  

“Better Horses Television is all about the love of the horse," Rodina explained. “It is our way of saying thank you to our horse friends who we have met and are meeting through this journey.”  

“Each show opens with a prayer,” Rodina explained about his folksy delivery. “It sets the tone and tells people what we’re all about.”  

At the annual meeting of the Kansas Horse Council in Osage City, Ernie Rodina of Better Horses LLC encouraged increased cooperation between the two groups for more service to the horse industry.

Rodina is an equal opportunity horseman with the show covering every equine discipline. He also records segments for the show at approximately 25 horse events a year.  

Keeping it cowboy Rodina reads from the Roy Rogers’ Cowboy Code to the tune of “Happy Trails.” He’s even developed the sign off: “Be good buckaroos and buckarettes.”  

“We continue to work hard to improve our programs and make them available to more horse enthusiasts,” Rodina said. “We are excited to announce that Ron McDaniel, a tremendous cowboy poet and horse enthusiast, is joining our airwave programs.  

“Part horseback rider, part national equine sales director, Ron decided early on he wanted to serve agriculture,” Rodina said. “For 30 years, Ron has been working in animal health. He loves his career because of the difference he makes in animals’ lives.”  

With intentions to have a worldwide horse network, Rodina is rapidly moving in that direction. “Thanks to Ed Adams, our Better Horses Radio Show will soon be on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 147,” Rodina said.  

With listeners throughout North America, Canada and Mexico, it’ll air Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 8 o’clock beginning December 16.  

Rodina, 65, has been diagnosed with the Lewy body dementia, a terminal disease. “With my limited time in this life, I am making the full use of it in public testimonies,” Rodina said. “I have a direct relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ and I have turned my life over to his way.  

“Nobody is going to get out of this world alive. You must realize Jesus Christ is your only salvation,” Rodina proclaimed.  

Details about Rodina’s horse publication and programs can be found at

Frank J. Buchman
Published on 23-11-2020