All posts by Jessica Vezza

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. 

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!

 

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

Formula 707 Simplifies their Product Line!

We are really excited here at Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply that Formula 707 has made a huge effort to make their product easier to administer to horses! I am sure barn owners and boarders alike can attest to the challenges of setting up their supplement routine for their horses. Formula 707 has introduced Fresh Packs! Their supplements are now available in pre-packaged servings to make traveling to events easier and making sure that feeding routines are simplified. What else makes these Fresh Packs great, you ask? Well, for one- these fresh packs insure just that, your supplement stays fresh! We all know how it is when you get half-way through a supplement and it’s hardened or changed consistency. It’s money right out the window. Another great aspect of this product is you know that you are giving the right amount needed for your horse, and they are extremely convenient to use. Also, they are affordable!

For me, I find the Fresh Packs extremely desirable.  First reason being, I know that my horse is getting the correct serving based on these pre-measured packets. Secondly, I know that when I head to shows, I don’t have have to find containers to ration the servings out or drag the whole tub with me. I can also imagine for those that are responsible for feeding horses at a large barn will enjoy the amount time that is reduced by using these new Fresh Packs!

Lets get into the actual products by Formula 707 that are available at Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply! Continue reading Formula 707 Simplifies their Product Line!

Bitless Training with Justin Dunn!

We had an amazing opportunity to team up with Weaver Leather and Justin Dunn with Justin Dun Mustang Horsemanship to host a few seminars at our 3rd Annual Anniversary Event at our store located in Streetsboro, Ohio. We were really excited to have Justin Dunn join us to talk to us about his Bitless Bridle that he partnered with  Weaver Leather to make. Justin Dunn gained his notoriety through the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

We got to know Justin a little bit more and how he got his start with Bitless training and mustangs. We also had the opportunity to host a contest for a local Big Dee’s fan to win a private one hour session with Justin Dunn!

The winner of the contest was Sarah and her recently rescued mustang mare Mae, whom she was fostering. Sarah had been experiencing difficulty gaining Mae’s trust and this couldn’t be more up Justin’s alley! Here are some pictures from when we first arrived to meet Sarah and Mae: Continue reading Bitless Training with Justin Dunn!

Mud Fever getting you down?


We’ve all been there when our seemingly healthy horse comes in from the pasture or out of their stall one morning with blown up legs. You immediately take a gander and feel around with your hands searching for heat or a cut, only to find a colony of scabs. The entire leg may or may not look like a balloon, but your heart feels like it’s about to burst. Though this is a common nuisance for horse owners, mud fever can be a pain to deal with and can lead to chronic skin issues.

So what is mud fever? Mud fever is a common name for pastern dermatitis. It is an infection caused by a group of bacteria that flourish in wet and muddy conditions. Mud fever is a loose term for a whole slew of skin reactions affecting the lower extremities of your horse. Mud fever can also be referred to as “greasy heels” or “cracked heels”, as the heels are usually the origin of the infection.

The mud fever causing bacterial organisms do just fine living on healthy equine skin causing little to no harm on its own. However, once a cut, scrape, or wound is present, the door has been opened for the bacterial organisms to climb their way into the layers of the skin. Once the skin has been injured or breeched by being too wet, a bite, or injury, the bacteria then multiple in the damp and warm skin causing an infection.

Images of Mud Fever on the heels

Symptoms of Mud Fever in Horses Mud Fever also know as pastern dermatitis Irritation caused by Equine Mud Fever Mud Fever can spread quickly on the horses pastern and lower limbs

Mud fever can quickly spread to other areas of the lower leg and become a more severe infection.

Causes

There are conditions that predispose horses to mud fever. Even certain soil types can make horses prone to mud fever. Some of other contributing factors are:

  • White limbs or white patches (may be due to photosensitivity)
  • Prolonged exposure to damp & muddy paddocks
  • Soiled bedding
  • Sweat that has not been properly removed
  • Not thoroughly drying the limbs when excessive washing is a constant occurance
  • Feathered legs- mostly because they tend to be washed more than those without feathers
  • Injury resulting from rubs, bites, chaffing, excessive and rough grooming
  • Weak immune system compromising the integrity of the skin which is more than likely secondary to another underlying condition
  • Mites
  • Fungal infections

Signs

There are many tell tale signs of mud fever as well, as it can come in many forms:

  • Scabs beneath matted areas of hair
  • Once the hair and scab falls off, there are circular ulcerated lesions of moist and red skin
  • Discharges in a thick, creamy consistency, are usually white, yellow, or green color and found between the skin and scab
  • The scab will have a concave shape, with hair follicles protruding. Mud fever and rain rot/scald are the same thing just on different parts of the body.
  • Hair loss
  • Severe causes have been known to show the skin splitting in the back, thus the term cracked heels
  • Heat and swelling are typically present and can generate up to the knee or hock
  • In the most severe cases, lameness, loss of appetite, and depression are present

Treatment

The best preventative for mud fever is to keep the legs as dry as possible for as long as possible when there are wet and muddy conditions. Once mud fever has set in there are a few topical treatments that can be applied to help heal your horses skin. Take a look below for a few of our favorites:

Keratex Mud Shield Powder

Keratex Mud Shield Powder

This product helps guard against mud and water while disinfecting the skin. What is great about this product and makes it standout is that it is a powder. So rather than continually keeping the skin damp with promotes bacterial growth, this is a dry application that can be used as after it the legs have been shampooed and dried, or as a preventative on the way out to pasture.

Absorbine Fungasol

Absorbine Fungasol

This is a great product line that includes a shampoo, spray, and ointment. Gently scrub the entire leg with the Fungasol shampoo and let it sit for about 7-10 minutes, so that it can kill all the bad bacteria. Then thoroughly dry the legs off, top with the Fungasol spray and apply the ointment where there are deep fissures.

Muck Itch Spray

Muck Itch Spray for Horses

This is a relatively newer product on the market and the feedback has been great! It specifically treats mud fever and provides a protective barrier to the skin. What is really cool with this product is the use of organic essential oils.  This helps calm the skin and allow new hair growth to begin.

Micro-Tek Medicated Shampoo and Spray

Micro Tek Equine Spray - Soothes on Contact Micro Tek Equine Shampoo - Soothes on Contact

This product has been around for a long time. There are very few barns that you wouldn’t be able to find this product in. Known for its healing capabilities, Micro-Tek Shampoo and Spray go hand in hand. Allow the shampoo to set for roughly 10 minutes, thoroughly dry the legs off, and then apply the spray as a protective barrier.

Shapley’s MTG Plus

Shapley's MTG Plus

Lastly, a cult favorite MTG is now available as MTG Plus. The same formula as the original, but with a new herbal fragrance instead of the dreadful bacon scent of the original. This is a tried and true product that helps soothe the skin, promote hair growth, and provides a barrier as well.

Prevention

Preventing mud fever is your best defense to keep your horse suffering from this skin condition.

  • Rotating paddocks
  • Clean and dry bedding
  • Stalling your horse during treatment to keep it from reoccurring
  • Keep limps dry in inclement weather
  • Keeping areas of the paddock dry where horses stand for long periods (hay feeders, gates)
  • Disinfect equipment
  • Detailed grooming so early signs are caught
  • Avoid over washing or rough grooming
  • Administer an immune support supplement if your horse is in poor condition
  • Spray legs prior to turn out with a medicated spray to provide a barrier on the legs

Fingers crossed we are able to get out of this winter and spring without mud fever dampening our parade! All the aforementioned products are available at Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supplies via phone at 800.321.2142 or our website www.bigdweb.com. Feel free to call us to find the best product for you and your horse!

New! Ariat Fuse Athletic Shoe

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 Fuse Athletic ShoesAriat 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!

Ariat Fuse Breathable Mesh 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 Ariat Fuse Soletechnology 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.

Ariat Fuse SneakersLastly, 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

Ariat Fuse Grey SnakeAriat Fuse Grey Snake Bottom ViewAriat Fuse Serape Athletic Shoe Ariat Fuse Purple Serape Top View Ariat Fuse Blue Leopard Athletic Shoe Ariat Fuse Blue Leopard Back View Ariat Fuse Pink Serape Athletic Shoe Ariat Fuse Pink Serape Bottom View