Category Archives: Horse Supplements

Simplify Supplementation All-in-one Horse Supplements

Is it time to consider an all-in-one multi-system supplement?

Do you find yourself adding scoop after scoop of specialty nutritional supplements to your horses daily feed rations? Is your feed room storage solution bursting at the seams? If you are using 3 or more supplements, perhaps it is time to consider a multi-system supplement for your horse.

All in one horse supplements
Are the number of supplements in your feed room growing? Is there a better way?

Not to be confused with multi-vitamins or ration balancers. All-in-one supplements are nutritional supplements that are formulated to cover more than one of your horses specialty needs. The greatest benefit is being able to feed a single supplement that contains all of the ingredients for joint support, gastric health, strong hooves, a shining coat and more! No matter if you keep horses for business or pleasure, any change in your supplementation routine should be met with facts and figures. Will the change be of benefit to your horse, your wallet or both? Let’s take a look at how to evaluate a change in supplements with some choices available at Big Dee’s Tack.

Can and all-in one supplement work for my horse?

My horse is in full work and eats a well balanced feed that provides optimal levels of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. He is on grass turnout a minimum of 14 hours per day. Due to his unique needs his vet recommended Continue reading Simplify Supplementation All-in-one Horse Supplements

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!

 

Keep Your Horse Hydrated with Electrolyte Supplements

Imagine this:

It’s hot. You’re sweating, your mouth is as dry as the Sahara desert. You just whizzed around a course in the heat of the day. You reach over grab a Gatorade and sloshes down like you are barreling down a luge in the Olympics. So here’s the thing. By taking that swig of Gatorade you replenished most of what you lost while cooking in the sun… But, what about your horse?

What is an electrolyte?

Electrolytes are positively and negatively charged ions that are formed when minerals and other salts dissolve in water. Similar to the ocean, the body’s fluids (blood, plasma, saliva, etc.) are full of salts and minerals. They are important because they are what the cells use to maintain voltage stability across cell membranes. Electrolytes carry electrical impulses such as muscle contractions & nerve impulses across themselves and to other cells. Without electrolytes, the cells in the body couldn’t properly communicate with each other and perform essential functions.

Horse Electrolyte SupplementsHow do we lose electrolytes?

Electrolytes are typically lost through sweat. The three main salts that need to be replaced are sodium, chloride and potassium. Calcium and magnesium can also be lost through sweat but typically on a much smaller scale than the other three. Each salt plays an important role in the body. Sodium helps to maintain blood pressure and balance water levels in the body. Chloride balances the alkalinity (acids and bases) of the body fluids. Potassium helps balances the cellular fluid and is vital for optimal muscle, heart and kidney function.

When should I use electrolytes?

Electrolyte supplementation is not necessary for every horse, every day. As long as the horse has access to fresh water and free choice minerals/salt, the horse’s electrolytes should be in balance. Conditions in which you would want to consider the use of electrolytes would be:

  • Heavy workload/training in which the horse sweats considerably much
  • Long trailer hauls (especially in the heat)
  • Endurance events such as racing, cross-country/eventing, competitive trail or other long riding/driving events

Ideally, if you know you and your horse will be engaging in activities like those mentioned above electrolyte supplementation would occur before, during and after the event. However, there are times when those activities are not foreseen.

A few signs that your horse may be in need of electrolytes:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Lack of thirst
  • Increased capillary refill time
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Poor performance
  • Abnormal heart rhythm or rate
  • Lethargy
  • Diaphragm spasms/thumps

What types of electrolytes are out there?

There are typically 3 types of electrolytes on the market. The recommended time of administration on these electrolyte supplements can vary greatly, so it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions to find the one that is right for you.

  • Powder/Granules: Electrolytes that come in the form of powder or granules are typically given as a top dressing to feed or put in the horse’s water. Oftentimes these come in flavors appealing to the horse such as apple, orange or cherry. This form of supplement would be ideal for those horses that are less picky of eaters.
  • Liquid: This form of electrolyte is often put directly in the horse’s drinking water or as a drench. Drenches are ideal for those horse owners that are practiced in drenching. Otherwise, we recommend contacting your veterinarian regarding the correct procedure. The liquid that is given through the horse’s water is good for a horse that will still drink water, but needs an electrolyte boost.
  • Paste: Paste electrolytes are administered to the horse orally. By giving the paste, you know that the horse is getting most, if not all, of the electrolytes.

Before and After: The Benefits of Cocosoya Horse Supplement

Fabio’s Story:

Fabio Fabulous is a 13 year old miniature horse gelding that is owned and loved by Big Dee’s employee, Mary. His events include halter, showmanship, in-hand trail, jumping, being spoiled and snuggled. Mary has used Cocosoya as a supplement for various horses over the years, but has been giving it to Fabio a year and a half. As you can see in the pictures below, Cocosoya has greatly improved Fabio’s mane, tail, coat and overall body condition.

Fabio Before Cocosoya

Fabio After Cocosoya

Cocosoya, manufactured by Uckele Health & Nutrition is a fatty acid horse supplement. This supplement provides Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids. Horses, as well as humans, that are deficient in essential fatty acids may show hair loss, skins problems, and impaired immunity and reproduction issues. This supplement helps with coat, hair and hoof strength and shine. The increase fat in the horse’s diet may also help build and maintain weight. Cocosoya is also highly palatable – which is great for a picky eater or if you want to mask the taste of other supplements or medications. Cocosoya horse supplement is recommended for all ages, breeds and disciplines of horses.

What are essential fatty acids?

Omega 3

  • Alpha-linolenic acid, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
  • Improved skin and hair coat quality
  • Decreased joint pain in arthritic individuals
  • Improved bone formation
  • Reproductive benefits
  • Prevention of gastric ulcers
  • Anti-inflammatory effects

Omega 6

  • Linolenic acid
  • Pro-inflammatory (needed to fight infection and repair tissue)
  • Produce steroids & hormones
  • Regulating pressure in body fluids, cell division and smooth muscle activity

Omega 9

  • Oleic acid and Erucic acid
  • Supports the function of Omega 3 and Omega 6
  • Nonessential fatty acid because the horse can produce it

Enter to win a gallon of Cocosoya! A $23.00 value.

Enter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ee3f1c9990/

How Horse Calming Supplements Can Help

Horse Calming Supplements | Big Dee's Horse Tack & SuppliesDo you have a horse that is tense, on-edge or unfocused? Perhaps a calming supplement would be the right choice to bring out the best behavior in your horse without sacrificing performance.

Typically, there are two types of horse calming supplements. The first is a top dressing for feed that will help with everyday handling, work and training – this usually comes in the form of a powder or pellets. Second are “day of” supplements given before an event – these most likely come in the form of a paste. Calming supplements can be given anywhere from 1 hour to 5 days before the event – each supplement has its own specific time frame.

While the types of calming supplements greatly vary, there are a few common ingredients that can be found in products on the market today:

  • Vitamin B1/Thiamine: This is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the horse’s body – as a result, it must be supplied by the horse’s diet. This vitamin is used in metabolizing carbohydrates and fat. Horses with a deficiency of this vitamin often appear stressed and nervous – the reason for its inclusion in a lot of calming supplements.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency in a horse is characterized by nervousness, irritability, muscle tremors and incoordination. This mineral plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions – including cellular energy generation and genetic information decoding. It also works in part with calcium in nerve transmission and muscle contraction.
  • Vitamin B12: This vitamin aids in nervous system regulation, metabolism and red blood cell production. The recommended usage of this vitamin is for a horse in a stressful situation or to help increase appetite. A calming supplement with this ingredient would be ideal for situations such as long trailer rides or moving to a new location.
  • Tryptophan: This is an essential amino acid from which the horse is unable to product itself. This is used to increase levels of serotonin in the brain, which in turn creates a calming effect in horses. This includes increased sleepiness, reduced aggression and reduced fearfulness.
  • Valerian Root: This natural herb is used to reduce anxiety and excitability without reducing the horse’s mental function. Valerian can also be used as an antispasmodic in cases of colic or muscle spasms. This calming supplement would be recommended in stress-inducing events as opposed to competitive events.

If competing, it’s important to make sure that your association or registry accepts the use of the calming supplements you are using. This can usually be done by taking a look at the rule book or calling the office of the association or registry. If the supplement is not approved, be sure to give it time to leave the horse’s system before competition.

Other considerations for an edgy horse would be the horse’s diet. If the horse is being fed a grain that is high in sugar – they will react the same way as a human who has had too much sugar (hyper & unfocused). Consider switching to a grain lower in sugar or consult with a nutritionist or veterinarian to find the best way to reduce sugar in the horse’s diet. Another thing that can affect the horse’s attitude would be an overabundance of calcium. Like we mentioned earlier, calcium and magnesium work together – too much calcium means too little magnesium. Rich grass and alfalfa hay are often the culprits when it comes to a surplus of calcium. More exercise and turn out time can also reduce the amount of excitability and anxiety within a horse.

Do you have a go-to calming supplement? Let us know your favorites!

The Truth Behind Hoof Care and Horse Hoof Care Supplements

Horse Hoof Care Supplements - Horse CareHealthy hooves are influenced by a variety of factors – some controllable and some not. Genetics, age, climate, environment, nutrition, activity, hoof care and breed, along with countless other factors, play a key role in how healthy your horse’s hoof is. Things like genetics and age can’t be controlled but proper hoof care is in our hands.

Proper nutrition is the start of healthy hoof growth. Your horse should have constant access to fresh water and free choice minerals. Since the horse’s diet is based on forage good hay should be given priority. In addition to good hay, a grain with essential nutrients can also be given. Healthy hoof care is an everyday thing – hooves don’t get time off.  So it’s important to be diligent about caring for your horse’s hoof, inside and out.

Daily Hoof Care:

  • Check all four hooves & pick out any dirt/mud/rocks/other debris using a hoof pick. Be mindful of the sensitive “V” of the hoof, the horse’s frog, as it is more sensitive than the other parts of the hoof.
  • Make sure there are no injuries to the hoof or the leg.
  • If your horse has shoes make sure they are all securely on the hoof – no loose nails or bent ends. If there is an issue with the shoe, be sure to get in touch with your farrier. The longer the horse walks on a thrown or loose shoe the possibility for injury and soreness increases.

In addition to daily hoof care, you can use topical products such as hoof dressing to maintain the appearance and feel of hooves. The use of hoof dressing is ideal if your horses live in an area that is particularly dry or if the horse has a naturally dry hoof. Hoof dressing is also beneficial to those horse’s that have minor cracks and splits in the hoof.

Benefits of Hoof Dressing:

  • Helps to retain moisture to combat dry and brittle hooves
  • Conditions and brings out natural shine
  • Enhances texture
  • Prevents cracks and splits

If your horse needs a little more support than the above mentioned practices, a feed through hoof supplement might be a good idea. Like so many other types of supplements, there are plenty of hoof supplements on the market to choose from. One difference, however, is that is can take approximately 6-9 months of using a hoof supplement to see any change or improvement. This is because the hoof grows at such a slow rate that the new (and hopefully improved) growth won’t be evident for quite some time. In accordance with that, hoof supplements typically need to be fed on a continued basis and not just during certain periods of time.

Key Ingredients in Horse Hoof Care Supplements:

  • Vitamins: E, Biotin
  • Minerals: Zinc, copper and calcium
  • Amino acids/Proteins: Lysine, methionine and threonine
  • Fatty Acids: Omega 3 & 6

Any questions regarding hoof health? We would love to help you out!

How to Choose an Equine Joint Supplement for Your Horse

How to Choose an Equine Joint Supplement

Looking for a joint supplement for your beloved horse can be tough – there is a variety  of options out there and a lot of questions you have to ask yourself (powder, liquid or pellet? MSM or HA? Budget?). We’re going to go over a few key factors in making a decision on a joint supplement for your horse.

First, you want to look at what active ingredients the product offers. While there can be a variety of ingredients found in equine joint supplements, there are a few key players in most supplements found on the market today. Keep in mind that a joint supplement can contain one, a few or none of these ingredients – it’s important to research what the supplement offers.

  • Glucosamine Sulfate: This is a naturally occurring chemical found in the fluid surrounding joints – it’s responsible for the manufacturing of cartilage, ligaments and tendons. It’s been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects and is crucial to the development and maintenance of joints. Glucosamine Sulfate is the most readily absorbed ingredient in joint supplements due to the small molecular size.
  • Chondroitin Sulfate: This compound is found in the cartilage surrounding the joint – it acts as a flexible connector in cartilage. It also helps neutralize destructive enzymes in the cartilage. Where glucosamine helps build the cartilage, chondroitin helps to slow the degradation of it. However, due to the large molecular size chondroitin is harder for the body to absorb.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: This is found in the fluid surrounding the joints. HA helps to thicken the fluid to around the joints for added protection and lubrication. A joint supplement with HA would be beneficial to a senior horse, since natural HA production slows with age.
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): A readily usable form of sulfur which is necessary for the production of collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin as well as the formation of the connective tissue. MSM is proven to be beneficial to horses with arthritis but it can also helps in preventing scar tissue from forming so horses with injuries might find this beneficial as well.
  • Yucca: Plant that is found in The Southwest US and Mexico which is believed to have natural pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. This product isn’t specific to joint supplements, but is still often found in many of those on the market today.

It’s also important to consider why you are looking at putting your horse on a joint supplement. Is it because of arthritis, injury, age or a combination of factors? Or are you trying to take a preventative step towards the care of your horse’s joints? Most companies target their supplement to a specific cause – so be sure to look for that.

Senior Injury Arthritis Combination
  Glucosamine Sulfate Yes Yes  Yes
  Chondroitin Sulfate  Yes  Yes  Yes
  Hyaluronic Acid  Yes  Yes  Yes
  MSM  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
  Yucca  Yes  Yes  Yes

 

Joint supplements also come in a variety of substances – all of which have their benefits. The biggest factor that I consider when choosing between different formulas is how good of an eater the horse is. If your horse will eat pretty much anything, then you could go with any of the options. However, if the horse is a picky eater, going with a liquid or powder would most likely be the best option. All of the supplements are easy to feed as a top dressing to your horse’s grain. If your horse doesn’t receive a grain ration on a regular basis, the pelleted joint supplements would be a good option because they can be fed on their own.

As always, we recommend consulting with a licensed veterinarian about your horse’s specific case before starting them on a supplement.

What joint supplement do you use? And what do you like about it? Let us know!

Employee Product Review: Two Products Essential to Growing a Long Mane & Tail

Most, if not all of our employees here at Big Dee’s are true horse-people. Meaning they have owned, worked with, and/or show/shown horses. Many have been involved in the horse industry for numerous years. Within that knowledge, we’ve all had personal experiences with horse related products. We know what products really work and we want to share our experiences with our customers!

Big Dee’s Marketing Assistant, Mollyann Piunno was excited about sharing her two favorite products that she uses to help keep her Gypsy Stallion, FF Chavo, looking like “Fabio!”

chavoas3yo
FF Chavo as a 3 y/o, before discovering Omega Horseshine!

Growing out Mane & Tail

Having a “hairy” breed in which mane, tail, and feather are important staples within the breed standard, I have tried several different products in effort to find the best match for my Gypsy Stallion. I wanted to touch on two products that I feel contribute the most to my stallion’s beautiful hair. I freely admit that when I run out of either of these products, panic soon follows! They are that good!  Since I’ve been called upon on several occasions by our showroom staff to come to the showroom to help a customer with questions on hair care, I feel it only appropriate to start with a review of my two favorite products.

chavo5yo2
A 5 year old Chavo & Mollyann

Hair Growth

The most important aspect in getting a horse’s mane and tail to grow is to maintain the proper balance of moisture and nutrients needed for healthy hair growth. One product that I use to provide the needed nutrients for a healthy coat and skin is Omega Horseshine made by Omega Fields. I am really big in trying to find the most natural products for my horses, especially when it is something they are going to be ingesting. I feel I’ve hit the jackpot since I started using Omega Horseshine.

This non-GMO all natural product supplies a positive punch of vitamins and minerals that every horse can benefit from. Not only does it restore and promote strong solid hoof growth, soothe aching muscles, strengthen the immune system and helps prevent sand colic, but it also provides the powerful  nutrients for growing a healthy coat and keeping skin smooth and properly moisturized. Everyone that I have suggested this product too has told me that they see a huge difference in as little as 2 weeks!

chavo5yo
Mollyann & Chavo, with Dressage Trainer, Victoria Patterson-Pirko AFTER discovering Omega Horseshine!

Grooming

Aside from regular grooming and bathing, the single most important topical product that is absolutely vital in keeping my stallions mane,  tail, and feather looking luxurious in the show ring is Carr & Day & Martin’s Canter Mane and Tail Conditioner. Not only does this product keep him tangle-free, but is adds a layer of shine while truly conditioning the hair. What sets this product apart from some of the other mane and tail products is that this product is one of the few detanglers made without any drying agents. Many horsemen do not realize how important it is to use a product that doesn’t contain silicone based products when you are trying to promote hair growth.

While silicone products DO add a high level of gloss and shine, they do so by coating the hair follicle with a form of liquid plastic.  This coating actually traps air and moisture out, which prohibits the hair from gathering the proper level of moisture for healthy growth. In turn, prolong use of these kind of products will actually cause breakage and become counter-productive when trying to grow a long and luxurious mane and tail.

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Chavo at age 7. (Note: Chavo’s feathers are clipped off in this picture)