Western Saddle Fitting with David Royal!

Western Saddle Fitting

Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply was lucky enough to have David Royal come to our location and provide a seminar on Western Saddle Fitting! We all know how hard it can be to know if your equipment is properly fitting your horse.

David Royal is a professional saddle fitter from Morresville, North Carolina. David has been fitting saddles for over 25 years across the country and has extensive knowledge fitting problem horses. He has been a saddle expert with Circle Y, Reinsman, & Tucker Saddles for 17 years. David has competed in cutting, team roping and mounted shooting and has held board positions with several equestrian associations over the years.

The video listed below really allows any equestrian to discern if their saddle is fitting properly or not. It is important to make sure your saddle fits appropriately to avoid muscle damage, soreness, muscle atrophy, and prevent pain. For western saddles, it’s vital to know if you horse is a semi quarter horse bar or a full quarter horse bar. It is equally important to take into consideration the slope of the withers or absence of withers as you don’t want create pressure sores or slide around on the horse’s back once you’re in the saddle. Additionally, you will need to be aware if your saddle is bridging and causing back soreness to your horse. This is all important to help determine if your saddle fits appropriately or not.

There are options to help your saddle fit better if it is not already a perfect fit. You can explore using shims or corrective pads that can help relieve pressure or fill in the gaps where your horse needs it.

Riser Pad for Western Saddle

Riser Pad

This is a wither riser pad that is helpful for a high withered horse that tends to rub or useful to help fill in gaps by the shoulders.

T3 Matrix Western Saddle Pad Shims

T3 Matrix Shims

These are T3 Matrix Shims for the Toklat T3 Shimmable western saddle pads. They come in a set of 12 and are to be used for the front, middle, and/or back of the saddle pad to help saddles fit better if they are gaps between your horse’s back and the saddle.

T3 Matrix Extreme Pro Impact Performance Western Saddle Pad

T3 Matrix Extreme Pro

This is an example of a Toklat T3 Shimmable western saddle pad that you can use to correct your saddle fit.

Reinsman Shoulder Fill Correction Western Saddle Pad

Reinsman Shoulder Fill

Reinsman also makes a corrective pad for shoulder correction for high withered horses to help fill in the hollows behind the shoulder blade. This will provide more comfort and a better fit to your horse.

Thinline Sheepskin Correction Western Saddle Pad

ThinLine Correction Pad

Thinline  also has a sheepskin correction pad that you can add shims to correct the fit of your saddle on your horse. This is a nice durable and comfortable pad for your horses back even without the shims, but being able to customize to provide comfort to your horse is priceless!

There are so many options to consider when searching for corrective pads that it can be overwhelming. If you have questions or need assistance we are here to help! It is always advisable to have a qualified saddle-fitter come out to assess your horse and saddle in and out of the tack!

Big Dee’s welcomes Enviro Equine Product Line!

Big Dee’s is excited to announce Enviro Equine Products! Enviro Equine believes in using naturally occurring ingredients to optimize your horse’s health. With a product line that helps with your horse’s coat, gut, and electrolytes, as well as shampoos and fly spray, we guarantee you will want to give one a try! Below we will highlight a few of their products that have a become fan favorites!

GastroBalance Plus

GastroBalance Plus is available in a paste, a 5lb bag, or a 25lb bucket. This supplement is an all in one for any horse as it supports a healthy immune system, promotes hoof health, skin support, hind gut health, and incorporates Zinpro  Organic Trace Minerals

  • Contains Zinpro performance minerals
  • Stomach buffer
  • Hydration Support
  • Proprietary yeast cultures
  • Detoxification
  • Stabilizes intestinal tract pH
  • Promotes hind gut health
  • Skeletal support
  • Drug Free
  • Sugar Free

This is a great all around product for any horse to ensure they are able to perform at their best by supporting the entire body of the horse.

OmegaBalance with Pumpkin Seed Oil

OmegaBalance with Pumpkin Seed Oil is an interesting supplement that is not only effective in horses, but in dogs and cats as well.  This supplement is great for regulating inflammatory responses to help reduce post event muscle soreness. Because this supplement is rich in Omega 3’s, 6’s, and 9’s it helps promote overall health in your horse, dog, or cat. This supplement also helps promote a healthy coat, reduce seasonal allergies, increase joint flexibility, and more! OmegaBalance with Pumpkin Seed Oil is available in a quart or gallon size.

  • Rich source of naturally occuring mixed tocopherols
  • Promotes skin and coat health
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil for digestive health
  • Seasonal Allergy Support
  • Omega 3, 6 and 9 Fatty Acids
  • Natural vitamin E
  • Improves joint mobility

ElectroBalance Electrolyte

Another all natural supplement that helps provide the essential vitamins and minerals to keep your horse at their peak is ElectroBalance Electrolyte. Electrolytes are important to give during the summer months with your horse perspires more and in the winter months when they drink less water. ElectroBalance Electrolyte utilizes the Zinpro organic trace minerals just like the GastroBalance Plus.  This product detoxifies, supports recovery, buffs the stomach, and encourages horses to drink to help replenish what they have lost during an event.

  • Replace elecetrolytes lost during exercise
  • Zinpro Organic trace minerals
  • Natural Vitamin E
  • Stomach Buffer
  • Detoxification
  • Recovery support
  • Encourages horses to drink
  • Drug Free
  • Sugar Free

Available in a paste, 5lb bag, and 25lb bucket, you will be feeling confident that you equine partner is getting everything they need to compete and train!

Check out the video below of Enviro Equine showing their product line!

Please note, the contest is over and no longer active. 

Foxhunting Apparel Trunk Show

Foxhunting apparel trunk show!

I’ve got some exciting news from the Fledgling Foxhunter for our local (and not so local) foxhunters! Our purchasing department

Taste of Hunting Trunk Show
Taste of Hunting Trunk Show with The Chagrin Valley Hunt

has graciously given in to my incessant pleading to add a selection of foxhunting apparel and tack.  On a recent visit with members of the Chagrin Valley Hunt, I brought along a small selection of my favorite additions for a literal trunk show during Continue reading Foxhunting Apparel Trunk Show

Cox Vet Labs Introduces Pelleted Versions of our Favorite Products!

Cox Veterinary Labs has taken their top selling supplements and is now offering them in a pelleted version! A lot of horse owners experience difficulties getting the right dosage with a liquid supplement or getting their horses to eat all of the powder that is top dressed on their feed. Now horse owners can feel more confident that their horses are going to get the proper nutrition they need to keep their joints healthy, stop the pain of new and and old injuries, and keep their tummies happy!

Acti-Flex 4000

A cult favorite, Acti-Flex 4000, has been converted into pellets. The alfalfa based joint  supplement is our number one seller that everyone loves. Acti-Flex is known for protecting the joints while fighting inflammation with it’s active ingredients of Chondroitin Sulfate and Hyaluronic Acid. Available in now in a pelleted formula, in a 5lb and 10lb bucket!

Acti-Flex Pellets

STP (Stop The Pain)

Another great product by Cox Vet Labs is their STP Stop the Pain. Available in a liquid and paste, Cox Vet Labs has turned this go-to into a pelleted version of it’s ancestors. This product is great for a bute alternative to help ease the pain with the use of ingredients such as vitamin B12, yucca extract, and devil’s claw extract. These ingredients help relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and performance injuries. It is now available in a pelleted form in a 5lb and 10lb bucket.

STP Stop the Pain

Gastroade

Finally, the last supplement to be available in pellet form is their Gastroade. Gastroade is a natural, drug-free supplement to help neutralize your horses stomach to help prevent gastric distress in your horse by utilizing calcium, magnesium, and aluminium. These ingredients help neutralize the acid in your horses stomach. Dealing with a liquid can be cumbersome, as most horse owners know. Now that Gastroade is offered as a pelleted form in a 9lb and 25lb bucket, you can’t go wrong!

Gastroade Pellets

Be sure to stop by our store or shop online to check out the new Cox Vet Labs pelleted supplements! Make your feeding routine less stressful and ensure your horses are getting the right amount of the supplements they need!

 

Equestrian Fashion

Street To Stable

Equestrian fashion has made its way into mainstream street style lately and we, the multifaceted horse women, are loving it. Gone are the days of the “Day to Night” looks that fashion magazines offer us. Taking the office pencil skirt and pumps and suggesting we toss on some strappy heels, sparkly baubles and a new lip color for a night at the club. Though they may be fun to thumb through in line at the grocery store, this is just not us.

What we need is a no-nonsense application for our daily lives of either school or work and then right to the barn. The key is finding practical multi-purpose pieces without sacrificing style and comfort. Below is a look made of some of my favorite items this season that will seamlessly take you from a day out right to the barn with only a few modifications for either occasion.

Street to Stable | Big Dee's
Obsessed with Horses Ladies Tee
Obsessed with Horses Ladies Tee by One Horse Threads

Be bold about your love for horses in this Continue reading Equestrian Fashion

Horse Trailer Organization for the Travel Pro

Horse Trailer Organization for the Travel Pro

Horse trailer organization
A well organized trailer with its own necessities will make travel more enjoyable.

Let’s face it the night before traveling with your horse is always a bit hectic. Between tracking down tack for your horse and clothes for your self then filling hay nets, bathing and braiding; saving time wherever possible will ensure you get a good night’s rest. Horse trailer organization can take the stress out of travel. Stocking up your trailer with the basic items that you know you will always need while on the road increases efficiency. Having a place for everything and everything in its place will ensure that you can head out in confidence when it is time to hit the road.

Tools of the trade

Beyond having a plethora of bridle racks, tack hooks and sturdy saddle racks, there are a lot of options to help keep your trailer well organized here are some of my favorites Continue reading Horse Trailer Organization for the Travel Pro

Horse Trailer Annual Maintenance and Safety Stock Up

Horse Trailer Annual Maintenance and Safety Stock Up

If you are planning on traveling with your horses this year and own your own trailer, now is a great time to plan your annual trailer cleaning and maintenance. It is also a great time to restock your road side hazard kit and trailer first aid kit. Check out this handy guide to ensure that you have all you need on the road for stress-free and safe travels.

The importance of annual maintenance.

An annual thorough cleaning of your horse trailer both inside and out, is an important part of ensuring years of safe service. This annual routine will Continue reading Horse Trailer Annual Maintenance and Safety Stock Up

Fly Season is Upon Us!

This week Tish and I did a Facebook Live event discussing our picks for the upcoming Fly Season. You can view the video here and read further about a few of the products highlighted in this video:

The new fly sheet scrim made it’s debut this week! This is a great option for those at the track, tying horses out on the trailer, or hanging out ringside at a horse show. This scrim is lightweight and breathable while keeping the flies off from your horse! Available in three colors, with choices of red, blue, and green. This scrim is not ideal for turn out as it does not have any additional fasteners under the belly or around the hind legs, allowing this sheet to easily become misaligned on your horse’s body.

Next we moved along to the mesh fly sheet with belly surcingle straps. This fly sheet is ideal for turning out in, as it is able to be secured with leg straps and belly straps. New for this year is the attached next cover! This provides great coverage to keep those flies off and help protect against being sunbleached!

Another great option for keeping flies off is our protective fly sheet. This one is ideal for those horses that like to be rough on their clothing or have other horses that tug and pull on them. They are a bit stiffer, but they do provide more durability.

After going over these great options for fly protection we touched on some of our favorite fly masks. These included the Crusader, Absorine Supermask, UltraShield Fly Mask, Noble Outfitters Guardsman, and our cult favorite our lycra with mesh fly mask.  There are so many options that it would be impossible for you to not find one that suits your horse’s needs!

We soon moved onto our favorite topical options, including some of the best all natural fly repellents. Pyranha and Aborbine definitely make effective fly sprays that I would highly recommend. The Pyranha aerosol is my personal favorite followed by the UltraShield Ex, as they have the highest levels of pyrethrins which is what kills the fly as it bites your horse. For a more natural approach Fly Bye is our #1 go-to and we have a new product EcoVet which seems to make an impression on Tish if you watch the video!

Of course we touched on some other fly protection items like the rump and belly guard, attachable neck guard, and the big seller leg fly wraps. You can see all of those here. If you have any questions about a particular product shoot us a text at 800.321.2142 or send us a message! We can certainly find something to fit your needs!

Click here to shop Fly Control

Electrolyte Supplementation

Summer Electrolyte Guide

As the summer months arrive, most of us are much more active with our horses which means time for an electrolyte.  Whether we are participating in shows, contesting, pleasure classes, jumping, dressage, or out on the trail, we need to pay extra attention to hydration levels in our horses during these next several months.

Horses sweat profusely.  They sweat more than people, about 3 times more, and lose more electrolytes through their sweat than we do.  In fact, horses dissipate about 85% of excess heat through sweating, and the remainder through respiration (Read More).   Additionally, horse sweat is saltier than human sweat; it contains high levels of sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, and calcium.  These macromineral electrolytes are essential for conducting electricity, and keeping muscles firing correctly.  Skeletal muscles, muscles in the digestive tract, and heart muscles are all negatively impacted by electrolyte imbalance. As is proper absorption of feed nutrients.

Big Dee's | Electrolytes | Supplements

Effects of Imbalances

Conditions such as Thumps and Tying-up can both be linked to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.  If you plan on trail riding, eventing, showing, fox hunting, certainly racing, or even trailering your horse this summer, consider using electrolytes to restore that balance and improve recovery times for your horse.

There are many commercial electrolytes available these days.  Some of them contain high levels of sugars, while others do not.  I tend to look for those that are higher in chloride and low in sugar.  Dr. Clair Thunes of Summit Equine Nutrition recommends looking for one with a sodium : potassium : chloride ratio that is similar to that found in sweat, 2:1:3.8 (Read More).  Perfect Balance by Peak Performance is one such electrolyte.

Big Dee's | Electrolytes | Supplements

How to Feed Electrolytes

One of the best ways to feed electrolytes is to mix them in with your horse’s water.  Be sure to read the feeding guidelines on your electrolyte container, as the ratio may vary depending on how heavily your horse has worked.  When offering electrolytes in water, ALWAYS be sure to offer plain water as well.  Sometimes horses will not drink the electrolyte water, and if that is all that is available, their electrolyte imbalance and dehydration will only worsen.

Another method is to top dress the electrolyte on their feed.  I have found this method to be more palatable for one of my horses, however, be sure to monitor water consumption when feeding the electrolyte.  If your horse is not drinking after ingesting electrolytes top dressed on its feed, it may urinate more frequently to restore sodium balance, resulting in increased dehydration.

Whatever activities you have planned for your horse this summer, don’t forget to include electrolytes as a staple of your horse’s recovery.  They can be used before and after work to ensure that your horse remains healthy and happy.

 

Click here to shop all Electrolytes

Body clipping the horse – goals and purpose

I was recently blessed with an opportunity to have my horse Paladin clipped by Natasha from A Pampered Pony for a facebook live demo. Even though I have been body clipping my own horses for years I really enjoyed the tips and pointers that Natasha was able to provide. I am so very thankful to both Wahl and Lister for helping to arrange this fabulous event. The response to the demo was overwhelmingly positive. Though I did see a number of questions surrounding the general practice of body clipping. I hope to be able to offer a little more information, about the purpose and goals of body clipping. From the perspective of a performance horse owner.

A little bit about my horse

My horse Paladin is and always has been a show horse, eventer and most recently a field hunter. In an effort to help prepare my horse for his performance career I chose to show him extensively his first

Full Body Clipped Yearling
Full Body Clip for show as a yearling.

three years of life. Regardless of if the show was local or recognized, I always take pride in producing a well turned out horse. I strongly believe that quality show turnout starts in the stable. Providing quality food and forage, regularly scheduled vet, farrier and dental care and allowing ample turnout helps to promote a strong body and sound mind. Everything that you do at home to benefit your horses overall health will be obvious in the show ring or out working in the field. I feel that clipping further enhances all of that hard work you put into your horse on a daily basis.

Clipping for show and ease of grooming

Clipping has been an important part of my horses grooming program since he was a foal.  When showing him as a yearling and two year Continue reading Body clipping the horse – goals and purpose

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