From EN to HN With Love: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

People all around the world have been getting iced in the name of ALS awareness. Of course, HN had to get in on the action!

Earlier this week on HN’s sister site Eventing Nation, Nation Media’s commander-in-chief, John, challenged a handful of brave riders and fearless writers to dump ice water on their head for a great cause.

His explanation: “I figured the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge might be fun with a little barn twist. The challenge, for those of us who don’t use Facebook or the Internet, is a movement sweeping through social media to help raise awareness and money for ALS. Participants have 24 hours to either pour a bucket of ice water over their heads or donate $100 to help fight ALS.

“If you choose the ice water over your head, then you also nominate friends, who then have 24 hours to either dump ice water over their heads or donate $100, and so on. You can also choose to dump ice water over your head in addition to donating to the cause.”

Here, John demonstrates with not just any bucket, but an entire muck bucket full of ice!


After his ice bath, John nominated a handful of writers and riders for the challenge — including yours truly. You can watch Jon Holling, Kyle Carter, Emily Beshear, Sally Spickard and I get our ice baths on here.

Of course, I couldn’t leave Horse Nation out of “the fun”!

In case you didn’t catch the last part because I was gasping for air, I nominated HN writers Amanda, Carla, Kristen, Leah, Lorraine and Morgane PLUS our very special friends Glenn and Jamie from Horses in the Morning. You’ve got 24 hours, guys!

Anyone else out there want to get in on the action? The more the merrier! Email your #IceBucketChallenge videos to Horse Nation for inclusion in a post this week!

We’re having a lot of fun with the campaign, of course, but ALS is a serious condition for which there is not a cure. Sally Spickard gives us an in-depth breakdown on the disease, the Challenge and how you can help:

Let’s get a little background on the subject we’re raising awareness for, shall we? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a neurodegenerative disease, meaning that the brain and spinal cord are affected. This disease affects a person’s motor skills with the death of motor neurons needed by the brain to control muscle movement. As the motor neurons deteriorate and, eventually, die, the brain becomes unable to send the necessary signals to muscles to create movement. Muscles will begin to atrophy as a result of their inability to move properly, and patients may eventually become completely paralyzed.

The disease has also been called Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famed New York Yankee who was diagnosed with ALS in 1939. Before Lou made the public announcement about his diagnosis, ALS was virtually unheard of. For a man who had built his life around his exceptional motor skills, the diagnosis came as a devastating blow, and Lou passed away less than two years later.

Today, social media has become a place where ideas (good or bad) quickly become viral. The Ice Bucket Challenge began just a couple of weeks ago, getting a slow start on Twitter but gaining exponential traction as time went on. Soon enough, Facebook news feeds and Twitter timelines were overflowing with people all over the country dunking themselves in ice for a good cause.

How has this affected donations to the cause, you may ask? According to the Wall Street Journal, the ALS Association has been able to raise $7.6M in donations in two weeks from this campaign. Last year, the ALS Association raise $1.4M during the same period. How’s that for making a difference?

So, EN, how can you help? We don’t want to leave you out of the fun, so we would like to nominate YOU to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. We’d love to be able to post some of your videos, so if you’d like to share yours, email [email protected].

Want to know how to make a donation to the ALS Association? You can find much more information here. Aside from the Ice Bucket Challenge, there are many walks scheduled throughout the country that are available for you to participate in as well. Let’s join in and make a difference!

Go Riding.


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