2016 International Helmet Awareness Day is September 17! International Helmet Awareness Day was started in 2010 by Riders4Helmets to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing properly fitteing, secured and certified helmets.
Did you know that there is an estimated 300,000 sports related traumatic brain injuries a year in the United States? The International Brain Injury Association states that “Brain Injury can cause many kinds of physical, cognitive, and behavioral/emotional impairments that may be either temporary or permanent. Impairments may range from subtle to severe. Brain injury may result in seizure disorders.”
Helmets will absorb impact to the head, provide cushioning to the skull and reduce jarring of the brain against the skull. It is important to remember that the rider should wear a helmet designed specifically for riding horses and that it has been properly fitted. An ill fitting helmet will not provide the needed protection.
Big Dee’s supports International Helmet Awareness Day! We will be offering 20% off on helmets from Ovation, One K, IRH, UVEX, KASK, GPA, Tipperary, Charles Owen and Troxel – Saturday, September 17th – sale prices will be valid both online www.bigdweb.com and at our store in Streetsboro, Ohio.
Finally! After an unusually extended absence I am pleased to be back working with Big Dee’s! I spent a 3 week tour of duty as the Deputy Chief Steward for Dressage in the Equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The news of the successes of the three US teams I am sure you already know, but the back story of the stewarding team that covered the Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage events is a view few see or experience.
As an FEI (International Federation for Equestrian Sports) Steward you must be an “International Representative” (although it is impossible to not at least quietly pull for the success of your nation’s athletes). You work on a large team – at this event about 50 stewards from all over the world.
As an FEI Steward (licensed in Dressage), my competition job was to assist with the first running sport (Eventing) to ensure that the dressage test equipment check was run properly and according to FEI rules. For the Dressage, to serve as the inspector of equipment after every ride in each of the three classes.
For every portion of each of the three Events (Show jumping, Eventing and Dressage) teams of Stewards handled the logistics of horse inspections, schooling arena schedules and competition days. This made for MANY photo ops. Here, the Stewarding team for the first Eventing horse inspection marks the successful completion and a job well done with a group shot in the main competition stadium.
Although technically held during Brazil’s winter, the daily highs ranged from a cool upper 60s to a challenging upper 90s. A cool breeze or still humid air added a bit of a challenge to our casual vs “Show Days Field of Play” blazers dress code! This 6:30 AM photo of the center warm-up pad signaled the beginning of a hot and humid work day.
Here I directed the groom to the Steward behind me for the Eventing Dressage equipment check. Each horse is given a quick examination to; confirm that the bit is legal, there are no injuries to the mouth or sides from the spurs, the horse was not wearing ear plugs for noise reduction and that the rider’s spurs did not wound the horse nor exceed 4 cm in length. The Steward in the foreground worked with the rider – offering water or electrolyte water. Then escorted him (or her) through a mandatory “mixed zone” where media from around the world had their photo opportunity with the riders and perhaps an answer to a quick question or two!
At every arena and phase of competition a Veterinarian and a Farrier were stationed near the stewards to ensure that at all times the welfare of the horses was considered and if necessary, immediately addressed.
Be sure to check back for the next blog installment from “My Road to Rio”!
Fall is approaching quickly and this means that we get to see some new products come in to our hungry little hands. The Ariat Fuse athletic shoe has just arrived at Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply, and I simply could not wait to get my fingers on them. Were they everything the hype was leading them up to be? Let’s find out! Ariat made the Fuse athletic shoe to be the go-to when you take your boots off. The Fuse athletic shoe is not a riding shoe as it does not have a heel, but they can be worn in the barn or in everyday casual life. This athletic shoe is great to change into before and after our rides so we aren’t stuck in our riding boots. Now lets get to the nitty gritty details about the Ariat Fuse!
The first thing I noticed about the Fuse was the breathable mesh material they are constructed of. Using a mesh material means that your feet won’t feel like they are suffocating inside a tiny cage all day. Also, your foot can expand and contract without feeling constricted and allows natural temperature control as well. My feet tend to swell by the end of the day and I don’t like shoes that make my feet feel they don’t have any wiggle room. That is not going to be an issue with these puppies!
Another thing I noticed about the Fuse is how light they are! I don’t even think they are more than a few ounces… it feels like I am tip-toeing on clouds! They are so light and airy that you feel as though you are not wearing shoes. This athletic shoe features Ariat’s 4LR technology that provides a four layer footbed, lightweight shank, while cushioning and stabilizing the foot for comfort and performance. The footbed in the Fuse is also contoured and removable. If you have a high arch I would recommend switching out the footbed, as I feel this fits more of a flat foot. The Fuse footbed lends itself to keeping your tired dogs kickin’. They feel really comfortable on, and act as though you have little massaging hands encouraging your feet to keep going. If you can’t tell, I am in love with these athletic shoes!
Other features of this athletic shoe are the heel and tongue pull tabs. The tongue pull tab also moonlights as a lace security factor. The Fuse sports a rubber outsole and an EVA midsole keeping them durable and easy to clean. The Fuse athletic shoe is available as a round toed shoe in sizes 5.5-10, 11.
Lastly, I also like the color options available. There are four color choices ranging from Blue Leopard Mesh, Grey Snake Mesh, Pink Serape Mesh, and Purple Serape Mesh. The Fuse athletic shoe is a great cross-over shoe and Ariat has hit a home-run with them! I hope you can enjoy them as much as I plan to! Click here to view them on our website: Ariat Fuse Athletic Shoe
Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply is excited to announce the launch of a new, redesigned version of its website www.bigdweb.com! Updated and new features include a cleaner look, easier way to shop products and enhanced navigation. New wish list features and a great new optimized design for mobile shopping customers!
“We are very proud of this new website. We know how busy everyone is and this site should make your shopping experience quick and easy”.
About Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply
Founded in 1976 by Dennis Osterholt (Big D). Big Dee’s started off selling standardbred racing equipment out of a small building in Northfield, Ohio. Outgrowing a few buildings, Big Dee’s currently resides in Streetsboro, Ohio and has a 17,500 sq ft showroom and 80,000 sq foot warehouse! Filled with thousands of items for the horse and rider in every discipline – you’ll be sure to find what you are looking for. Visit us at 9440 St. Rt. 14, Streetsboro Ohio or online www.bigdweb.com
Bring in your used, cleaned turnout blankets in any brand or style & receive $50 off a new Rambo Turnout! Your old turnout will be donated to a local equine charity. To get involved, just follow these steps:
1. Wash your old turnouts
2. Bring your old turnouts into the store, 9440 State Route 14 Streetsboro, OH 44241 or mail them to us.
3. Select your new Rambo turnout (any weight, any style)
4. Complete the trade-in vaucher and we will submit it for you.
5. Automatically receive $50 OFF each new Rambo Turnout for each turnout traded in!
Stone Gate Farm August Mini Trial Schooling Day – Tackling the growing pains of eventing
or “How not to event”.
For those of you who have been following along with the progress of my 5 year old gelding Paladin – Despite a few growing pains we’ve had an enjoyable summer of eventing with lots of growth for both of us. The spring started out with placing 8th in the starter 2’ division at the Winona Horse Trials in May. After a brief tendon scare that put us a bit behind in June we moved up to the Beginner Novice division at the Hackamore Farm mini trial in July and scored a 4th place finish. Unfortunately due to the excessive rain the cross country course was shortened significantly and I was not able to get a good feel of his overall fitness to be able to go a full cross country course at our new level, but continued on with conditioning and entered the Stone Gate Farm mini trial which was held on August 2nd. Despite Paladins bravery at Winona, I chose to school Hackamore since we were moving up a level and in doing so I learned that my young guy still needs more miles and more exposure to the various obstacles that are found out on cross country at the 2’6” level. For this reason I also chose to school Stone Gate on the Saturday before the event.
Schooling day was a pleasant and sunny 82 degrees and as always Stone Gate Farm offered an enjoyable mix of people, horses and dogs to greet us. I had a couple close friends who were going to be competing in the starter division along to school their horses and we had a pup and two husbands to serve as our ground people. I flipped on the mycoursewalk app and we all set out to walk the courses and come up with our ride strategies. Upon walking the course I found jump number 2 to be a bit imposing, it was a cedar colored mulch top table that was set between two ponds. The terrain was a bit rolling and the approach was off of a bending line. I found the line I wanted to ride which would hug the right hand pond initially and knew that I would have to be committed to get him over it. The fence would be shared with the novice division with the addition of a rail on the back side, but the rail was down and I had my plan. The other fence I devised a strategy for was a very straight forward coop but it was positioned on the lower side of a gallop across a large hillside. I decided that for the coop I would to cross over the hill a bit early on then steady him up for a nice presentation over the fence prior to galloping on.
We tacked up and headed out to warm up and then set out to jump around the cross country course. I had changed bridles the night before and was not able to get the noseband snugged up and was learning straight away that he was significantly stronger and less sensitive when he is able to open his mouth and evade the bit. Fence 1, a welcoming hanging log (more like a robust branch) was easy enough, Paladin had already seen it when we had competed and winona and though the top would be raised a bit, he added a late step and got over it. On to fence two, the first of my questionable jumps, I found my line hugging the pond and got him moving forward to it. I remember thinking on my approach “boy this looks a lot bigger now!” and at the last stride Paladin spun himself sideways in an attempt to duck out the side and deposited me in a less than graceful heap on the ground in front of the jump. As I was falling I reached out in an effort to divert my head and body from hitting the jump itself and felt instant pain as my wrist accepted the brunt of the force from my fall. I got myself up and turned my attention to Paladin who had only walked a few steps before stopping with a “what gives mom?” look on his face. I took hold of his reins and walked over to where our convoy had congregated to witness my epic failure. After doing inventory of my limbs it was obvious that my wrist was injured but I could still hold the reins effectively and walked back over to the fence to get back on. After I got on I looked back down at the fence again and realized that the back rail had been added. I tried to lift it off from in the saddle but did not have enough strength in my hand to hang on and opted to just get him over it as is. With my confidence obviously rocked (always so much worse when we actually hurt after a fall) I rode him towards it again but in a more defensive position expecting a refusal and that is exactly what I got. I realized then that he is still such a baby, it is my job to be brave for him, and I need to ride it like I meant it. I quickly felt a sting of disappointment as I pictured our awesome weekend of camaraderie among so many friends was going to be over at the 2nd fence on schooling day. I bucked up and took him back again, spurred and cropped him on, yee-hawed and squalled at him and over he went.
Everything in my being wanted to be “done” for the day, but the trainer and competitor in me knew that I needed to ask for that jump again and he sailed over with less apprehension the last time. As I approached fence 3 which was a bright blue brush box it was obvious that it was not just my confidence that had been rocked. Paladin ducked out again, and again, but we managed to get over it again and again (and again for good measure) and moved on. The next three fences were a hanging log, a tan and orange bench, then a little bit of tricky uneven terrain to a dark colored roll top with a slight bend that required a close ride along the edge of a planted crop. Those all went easy and I felt his confidence returning once again. We left the back field for the middle field via a shaded trail and arrived at fence 7 which was the palisades. This fence was also shared with the starter division but would have additional brush for added height on competition day. This was a cinch for him in the spring (not necessarily for me at that time) but was a non-event this day as well. On to our next questionable obstacle the big gallop over the hill and on towards the timber coop. He was feeling mighty fresh and was incredibly strong. I sat down, sat back, asked for a half halt in an attempt to collect and steady him over the coop, but he powered through my requests and sailed over at a much faster pace than I had been asking for. We continued on over a roundtop fence and after a few more strides I transitioned him down to a trot into the water. He went right in without hesitation, earning him a series of “good boy”pats! Out of the water there was a turn to the right then and up over a little log onto the bank complex. Again he was really strong striding across the top of the complex and leapt off the drop without hesitation. I gave him another “atta boy” fot being so brave off the drop. Finally we had a long gallop back over a much less imposing mulchtop table which completed our course and I was so very relieved to be done!
Back at the trailer I was struggling to un-tack Paladin and my husband stepped in to help me get everything undone, cleaned and packed up to head back home. I was thankful that the day was over. I was looking forward to the next day but still feeling emotionally challenged to be brave at fence 2. My horse had been so very confident over jumps all summer that I started to forget that he was still just a youngster. I regressed to riding passively and letting the jumps come to me and being less technical about my position from approach to landing. This was my big mistake of the day. It is a subject that I struggle with, especially when trying to wear two hats (eventers vs hunters). Lesson learned. I need to focus on keeping my seat back, closing my hip angle, and keeping my leg just slightly ahead than that of the traditional ear, shoulder, hip and heel line on approach. I need to keep him energetic and forward to the fences and by no means let myself jump ahead of him. I had my game plan I knew what to expect and it was time to go home, bath him for the show, finish packing the trailer and then eventually work on doctoring my wrist. Stay tuned for my competition day blog!
Whats in my boo boo kit?
Regardless if you are hacking out on trail, going to a pleasure show or schooling cross country, cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises can happen (to both horses and humans). It is important to have some first aid basics at the trailer and ready for when the unexpected happens. These items really do not differ from the necessities that every barn(med)box should have, and if you do not travel frequently or do not leave other horses at home you might be able to get away with just having one kit that stays with your horse. For me though I have a barn box that has a much bigger selection of supplies and a trailer box just the necessities and that way I know I always have what I need when I need it.
In addition to those items that you can only obtain and use in accordance to your veterinarians instructions, such as Banamine, Bute and Dexamethasone (I take these along if I am going to be away for more than a day)
Your trailering(med)kit should have:
–4×4 gauze pads – One package is plenty enough to stock your barn first aid box and your travel tote, just grab out a couple inches worth and put in a zip top sandwich bag to keep clean.
–Latex Gloves – again grab a few out from your barn box and stick in a sandwich back to keep clean.
-A couple cohesive bandages such as CoFlex which you can tear by hand.
-a roll of Duct Tape
-A blood stop powder such as Wonder Dust, SuperH or new Celox Pads.
-An easy to use boo boo spray such as Vetericyn or Schreiners (watch this one stings a little)
-A digital thermometer
-A small selection of your favorite People products including band-aids, triple-A creme, advil etc.
Keep it all clean and at the ready in a zippered bag or hard case like our Ascot Box you can even add a custom decal to make it easy to identify!
* MuscleMx– a natural dietary supplement to support muscle growth!
Building muscle can be a tricky business.
A horse’s body tends to add new muscle cells at its own pace, which is sometimes slower than horsemen would prefer. Even young, growing horses receiving plenty of exercise often need a little help to pack dense muscle onto their limber frames. And as horses mature—especially horses recovering from the trauma of injury, disease, or severe stress—growing new muscle becomes an uphill battle.
Feeding extra protein—even protein rich in essential amino acids—does little to correct the problem, since you can only push so many nutrients through a series of progressively constricted metabolic pathways. To continue to add muscle mass, a way has to be found to retool the metabolism to remain in, or return to, muscle-building mode.
This is the rationale behind MuscleMx: to encourage the body to do what it already knows how to do with remarkable efficiency. To accomplish this feat, we’ve combined four natural nutrients that work synergistically to encourage the metabolic reactions required for muscle growth and development.
Lysine, the most essential of the 11 essential amino acids, lays the foundation for the formation of muscle-building proteins. Gamma oryzanol, a natural plant extract, assists in weight gain and muscle formation in all classes of the horse. Creatine, a naturally occurring organic acid, helps supply energy to muscle cells by stepping up production of ATP, the body’s energy-transport molecule. And Ornithine Ketoglutarate (OKG), an organic salt based on the amino acids ornithine and glutamine, bypasses the inhibitory metabolic processes preventing new muscle development. For all horses challenged in the task of adding or simply maintaining muscle mass, MuscleMx is the real solution for real results.
* Weight Gain – Safe, effective weight gain for underweight horses
Use to achieve and maintain a healthy weight in horses of all ages
Some horses are hard keepers. No matter what or how much you feed them, they have trouble keeping on weight. Often the problem can be traced back to the first stage of digestion, the teeth. If the teeth have grown uneven, it’s just a matter of “floating” them back to a uniform height to facilitate mastication. For other horses, however—horses with good teeth and no other digestion-related ailments—failure to maintain a healthy weight can be a combination of genetics, age and workload.
Anyone who raises performance horses is familiar with the problem of keeping weight on their horses. Intense exercise and the stresses of boarding, hauling, and competing all take their toll. Feeding more hay and grain is not always a satisfactory solution. That’s because healthy weight gain is intimately tied to energy metabolism, which in turn is dependent upon the availability of certain nutrients. It’s not enough just to feed more calories if the calories being fed are not properly utilized.
Formula 707 LifeCare Weight Gain is a highly palatable, calorie-rich supplement specifically formulated to help all types of horses gain and maintain weight. Vegetable fat provides concentrated and easily digestible calories in a form that also increases a horse’s overall energy. High-quality protein provides all the essential amino acids a horse needs to rebuild lost muscle, and fiber keeps the digestive machinery working smoothly. Calcium and phosphorus have been added to assist in the important task of skeletal maintenance and, along with zinc and copper, energy metabolism.
Does it work? In informal studies, Formula 707 Weight Gain was shown to have a visible effect on underweight horses in just a few days, and a return to normal weight within weeks.
* Restore Paste– working horses need a balanced electrolyte to restore lost minerals after workouts
Human athletes have come to understand the importance of replacing electrolytes to restore minerals lost in a vigorous workout. Because the same is true for equine athletes, we designed Formula 707 LifeCare Restore to replace the sodium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium lost in a liter of sweat. Use Restore electrolyte paste during intense workouts, when you are travelling, or when feeding isn’t practical.
* PerformanceMX Paste– A powerful iron-rich supplement for peak performance in equine athletes
Performance horses are burdened with demands that nature never intended. The nutritional demands of a performance horse can be several times those of a horse grazing in the pasture. Apple flavored Formula 707 PerformanceMx Paste provides quick energy and supplies nutrients that are readily available for the equine athlete, even under demanding performance conditions. The easy to administer oral syringe provides an energy boost when feeding isn’t practical.
I’ve decided that being a horse show mom is not for the faint of heart!
As I packed my car with everything from horse treats to chaps I kept wondering how I was going to see out of my windows on the highway! Three hours and four stops later we arrived at the fairgrounds with game faces on.
Horse stalls were bedded, tack and dressing stalls were set up, we had all ridden at least once in the show ring, tack had been cleaned and the horses had been bathed and fed. I sat down for the first time in hours. My kids were still going strong. My 13 year old son was going to put on his hatand “look for ladies” and my 8 year daughter just wanted to ride “one more time”! I needed a cocktail. However, none of that was going to happen if we don’t find our hotel – we might have been sleeping with the horses.
Show day started at 6:30am. Horses were fed, lunged, saddled and ready for the day. My son and I were first up; amateur to ride western pleasure. I have been riding for at least thirty-nine years and somehow forget what to do every time I go through that gate (have you ever seen SpongeBob when he goes for a driving test? – that’s me). There was also a HUGE flock of pigeons in this arena – I’m fairly certain that I had crossed into some kind of horror film. Thank goodness my son has a better head on his shoulders (and no fear of birds) – he placed first. I managed to stay astride my horse and got a second!
My daughter was up next; her first time in walk trot and I was a nervous wreck! I was sure that the pigeons were going to attack, she was going to fall off and I wouldn’t be able to get my plus size behind over the fence to get to her fast enough! I paced the entire time, so busy fretting, I didn’t even notice that she had done really well and placed second!
We showed throughout the ninety degree day. I had worn so many hats – I was a gopher (moommmm, I forgot my gloves), a doctor (moommm, I fell off my bike and scraped my knee), a groom, a competitor, a lunch go-getter (moommmm, I’m so hungry, I can’t make it!), a tough guy (get out of the mud – you have to show in a little while) and so many more. My head hurts just thinking about it.
Later in the evening at the hotel, with bellies full and clean smelling – I looked over and found my kids laughing with each other. That is what it is all about. No matter how much I had sweat, how much money had been spent or how many times I had heard the word mom – I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything in the world!
Oster Turbo A5 2-Speed Clipper offers faster blade speeds and wider blade sweeps, along with better airflow and less noise during grooming. Virtually unbreakable, these clippers glide through thick, coarse hair easily, managing over 4,000 strokes per minute. Its detachable blade system provides incredible versatility as well.
Turbo powered for higher strokes per minute
Up to 4000 SPM
Powerful Universal motor