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
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.
The efficiency of feeding time is reliant on how well organized and accessible your grain and supplements are stored. From a small back-yard barn to the largest boarding facilities the ultimate goal should be the same: ease of use, maintaining feed quality, accuracy of feeding and minimizing unnecessary footsteps. I hope to offer some great ideas on how to handle feed room storage and feed room organization.
Having a safe and secure feed storage area will aid in ensuring the overall health and well-being of your horse. While we never wish for a horse to get loose, it is always a possibility and as such all grain should be kept in an area off-limits to horses. If your facility does not have a separate stall or room that can be secured from the threat of a loose horse you will need to source feed storage containers that horses are unable to break into. Do not be fooled by that reassuring click of a trash can, horses can get into them successfully and the results of a horse overeating can be devastating.
Grain stored in bags can be susceptible moisture and rodent damage and could easily be damaged by a loose horse. Grain maintains it freshness best in cool, dry conditions. An ideal feed storage container should offer a tight seal to keep the freshness of the feed in while keeping pests, contaminants and moisture out. Continue reading Horse Feed Room Storage and Organization→
Eventually Spring will come. Despite the massive snowfall much of Northeast Ohio received this past week, Spring is on its way. Many of us have cloistered our horses in their stalls for much of the winter. When turned out in the pasture, they have been dependent on round bales. Some sifted through the snow for any scraps of dormant grass they could find. All of them have been dependent upon hay for their forage needs, but soon we will have lush green pastures once again. While this is a fantastic occurrence, early spring grass presents its own challenges for us horse owners.
First, to preserve the integrity of our pastures, we need to let our grass grow and develop healthy root systems. To ensure healthy pastures that will last all summer and into the fall, it may be necessary to use a sacrifice area or paddock for a few weeks. According to an article found on the Penn State University Extension website – grass should be allowed to grow to 4-6 inches before introducing horses to pasture. Continue reading Safe Spring Pasture Practices→
Deciding on an adequate nutrition program for one’s horse can, at times, be a frustrating endeavor. There are so many differences, from types of feed to the amount one needs to feed to ensure all of your horse’s nutritional needs are being met. Combine that with differences in the quality of hay from field to field. First to second cut, and nutrient loss over time – one can really struggle to provide the best possible diet for one’s horse. Feeding a general multi-vitamin can help ensure that your horse is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs.
Multi-vitamins are going to include a wide range of vitamins including vitamin A, D, E, and the B-complex vitamins. Most horses can meet their requirements of vitamin A simply by grazing. However, especially here in northeast Ohio, horses are unable to graze year round. As we switch from relying on pasture for our horses forage requirements to relying on hay, we need to consider the impact storage has on vitamin content.
What Should You Look For
Hay, no matter what quality, will lose vitamins, especially vitamin A over time. The hay we are feeding in February, March, and April is of significantly lower quality than the same hay that was fed last September or October. Because vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, horses are capable of storing it for a certain amount of time. This can somewhat offset the content lost in hay over time. However, towards the end of winter it may be a good idea to look for alternative sources for vitamin A.
Vitamin D is readily available, especially during summer months, as horses can obtain all they need from the sun. Again though, not all of our horses are turned out all day during the winter months. Some show horses are kept stalled and turned out either for short amounts of time, or in indoor arenas only. For these horses, vitamin D supplementation is important as well.
Horses in strenuous work during the winter months have and horses suffering from muscular system disorders need extra help. Supplemental vitamin E and the mineral selenium can be very valuable and help prevent certain disorders. Continue reading Multi-Vitamins for Horses→
Ride along with me, The Fledgling Foxhunter, with each adventure I hope to share with you some insight from the beginners’ perspective of subjects including what to expect while out foxhunting, foxhunting fashion, etiquette in the field, pre-and-post hunt realities and socializing for the anti-social.
My first soiree with foxhunting was a single ride two years ago. The second first time was SO much easier, but since this is all about the first time out I will openly admit that I had no idea what to expect. I luckily found an acquaintance that had hunted before and she put me in contact with The Chagrin Valley Hunt. I sent a cordial email to the main email address, requesting permission to ride along. I eagerly awaited a response that would assure my participation, and was invited to an “open day” by Joint Master Laura Mock. I was so excited to hear back with a date, time and a “fixture” which is the land on which the meet takes place. Some fixtures are regarded as more beginner friendly, if you can’t make it to an open day, be forthcoming with the masters or secretary about your level of experience and make arrangements to ride a fixture that is most suitable for your first time out. I inquired back as to the appropriate attire and turnout for an open day and was instructed that casual riding attire was expected (think clinic attire), tall boots or paddocks and half chaps, helmet, any sort of saddle and a clean unbraided horse.
Have you ever been in a tack store staring at the wall of dewormers wondering “what should I give again“? Hopefully a savior (in the form of a store associate) arrives to tell you what to give. Then one arrives, but they are full of questions you just can’t remember the answers to! What did you de-worm your horse with last? , How often do you de-worm?, Have you had a fecal sample taken? Since most of us have been there, here is an overview that we hope is helpful when planning your horses deworming schedule this year.
Let’s start with some basics –
What types of worms cause trouble?
Encrusted Small Strongyles – Most susceptible are young and older horses. The larva can embed in the intestines. Large numbers of small strongyles can cause weight loss, colic, diarrhea and overall poor condition.
Ascarids (roundworms) – Dangerous to foals and horses under the age of two. Once ingested the larvae move through the veins into the liver, heart and lungs. Larvae in the lungs will eventually get swallowed to develop in the small intestine. Because the larvae migrate through the lungs a young horse could develop respiratory disease, have poor weight gain and colic.
Large Strongyles (bloodworms)– These worms can be dangerous to organs and can weaken abdominal artery walls. Common symptoms – diarrhea, weight loss and colic.
Pinworms – Not as dangerous as the other worms listed here – these worms typically cause itching around the horse’s rectum and tail.
Threadworms – Dangerous to foals and young horses. Foals can become infected by nursing from a mare with the larvae. They live in the intestinal tract. Common symptoms – diarrhea and weakness.
Bots – In the warm seasons bot flies swarm around horses with the main purpose of finding a place on the horse to lay its eggs. After the eggs are laid – the horse can ingest them. Once inside the horse, they implant themselves in the mouth or intestines. While living in the intestines they can cause poor overall condition and mild colics.
Tapeworms– These are probably the least worrisome worm of them all. Tapeworms reside in the intestine and just live off of the food that comes to them. Mild colic and diarrhea are common symptoms of a horse carrying many tapeworms.
Now that we know about the worms… let’s find out how to treat them!
What types of dewormers are there?
Ivermectin Paste & Praziquantel – For the removal & control of large and small strongyles, pinworms, hairworms, threadworms, stomach worms, lungworms, ascarids (roundworms) and bots.
Moxidectin Paste & Praziquantel – For the removal & control of large and small strongyles, ascarids (roundworms), pinworms, hairworms, stomach worms and bots.
Fenbendazole – For the treatment of large and small strongyles, ascarids (roundworms) and pinworms
Pyrantel Pamoate – For the removal and control of large/small strongyles, roundworms and pinworms
Many veterinarians recommend fecal exams every three months. The exam will determine how much your horse sheds parasite eggs. Horses can range from heavy, to moderate to light shedders. Some horses have a high immunity to the parasites while others don’t. Horses that are in the pasture with other horses have a higher risk of becoming infected with roundworms and strongyles. A horse needs to ingest the eggs to become infected. Horses that are kept in well cleaned stalls are less likely to become infected. There are other factors as well – age, environment, climate, etc.
Your vet will most likely come up with a proper deworming program for you that will last a year. After a year, you will need to reevaluate and come up with an updated program.
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.
* 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.
As we stare at the Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies’ timeline, it’s hard to not feel sentimental. Borrowing the famous phrase from Sally Field(And modifying it slightly), “You like us, you really like us!” We couldn’t feel more honored, more humbled or more excited! We pledge to show all of our fans, each and every week, just how much your support and patronage means to us. With that in mind, we have searched the prize cabinet and have come up with a great prize package for this week’s contest! With a value of over $400, this prize package has something for everyone. Here’s a peak at everything inside:
The Prize Package:
Jolly Pet’s Jumbo Jolly Lick
Jolly Pets does not disappoint with this innovative toy! The Jumbo Jolly Lick toy includes a spot for a Jolly Stall Snack for maximum fun! This horse toy, which helps reduce your horse’s boredom, is designed to attach to the your horse’s stall. Young and old alike, this toy and treat combo is perfect for horses of all ages! The plastic toy spins to keep your horse entertained while the Jolly Pets’ Jolly Stall Snack will keep your horse coming back for more! The Jolly Stall Snack isn’t included, but isn’t an expensive add on at only $4.50. With flavors such as apple, carrot, mint and molasses, you are sure to find a stall snack that your horse loves!
Centaura Fly Insect Repellent for Horse & Rider
This unique new equine fly spray by Farnam is great for both Horse & Rider! For your horse, it provides 12 hour effective protection from flies and mosquitoes. For you and your family, it provides 12 hour long lasting protection from mosquitoes and ticks. It also repels biting flies, stable flies, black flies, gnats, chiggers and sand flies for up to eight hours. As an extra bonus, it smells great and isn’t sticky! If this isn’t enough to convince you, check out the Centaura Fly Spray reviews or the video testimonial, which was done by Big Dee’s Operation’s Manager, Jessica Roslan!
Vision Focus & Calming Paste & Pellets by Vitaflex
If you’re looking for a calming supplement for your horse, then this new product by Vitaflex might be your answer. The Vision Focus & Calming supplement, which boasts of seven stress relieving active ingredients, won’t cause drowsiness. Speaking from my own experience, I used this Vision Focus and Calming Paste when moving my horse from her training stable to her winter stable. My mare was calm while traveling and adjusted quickly to her new surroundings. I was even able to ride her on her first trail ride. During the ride, she was attentive but not spooky. If you ask me, that is the perfect combination.
Succeed Digestive Oral Paste by Freedom Health LLC
Succeed Digestive Oral Paste is one of the best trade secrets in the business! From improved temperament to a better body condition, how you treat your horse’s insides definitely shows on the outside. This equine digestive product gives your horse everything he or she needs to succeed (Pun intended). These single serving pastes are great for shows, the track or starting your horse on the Succeed Digestive Conditioning Program. If you haven’t heard of the Succeed Digestive Conditioning Program for horses, please take a moment to read our more detailed description and watch the video. I think you’ll be impressed.
Next Level Performance Equine Joint Pellets by Farnam
Next Level Performance is a new equine joint supplement by Farnam. This pelleted equine joint supplement contains MicroLactin, a patented dried milk protein that helps manage inflammation caused by daily exercise and training. In addition to MicroLactin, it also contains Chondroitin, Glucosamine, Manganese, Vitamin C and Zinc.
In addition to the great prizes mentioned above, this package also includes a sample of Calxequin By Nutramax, which is a concentrated daily hoof supplement. A small sample of Pyranha fly spray, a $50.00 Big Dee’s gift card, some treats for your dog, a set of cordless trimmers from Oster and some great promo items from Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies! Phew, that was a mouthful. Now you can really see how there is something for everyone is this prize package.
The rules are easy… You just need to comment on this contest(Here on the blog), telling us why you are a fan of Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies and like the link to this contest on Facebook! Do you like our products? Is it our fast shipping? Or, maybe it’s our knowledgeable CSR’s? Whatever it is, we want to know!
On 09/06/12 at 8:00 AM, we’ll pick one random winner to win the ENTIRE PRIZE PACKAGE!
No Purchase Necessary. Random Winner chosen on 09/06/12 at 8:00 AM. Must have a valid US Address to participate.
The unfortunate consequence of owning a horse…FLIES (Ticks, gnats, or any other creepy crawly that comes with summer)! Here at Big Dee’s we’ve been thinking of ways to help you enjoy the summer season without the bugs, which is why we developed the Big Dee’s “Beat the Bugs Contest.”
This unique new product by Farnam is great for both Horse & Rider! For your horse, it provides 12 hour effective protection from flies and mosquitoes. For you and your family, it provides 12 hour long lasting protection from mosquitoes and ticks. It also repels biting flies, stable flies, black flies, gnats, chiggers and sand flies for up to eight hours. As an extra bonus, it smells great and isn’t sticky! If this isn’t enough to convince you, check out the Centaura Fly Spray reviews or the video testimonial, which was done by Big Dee’s Operations’s Manager, Jessica Roslan!
Trap ‘N Toss by Farnam
This handy, disposable Trap ‘N Toss fly trap by Farnam can be hung up or set down wherever flies are most active. It attracts and kills over 10,000 flies without insecticides. The special attractant contains multiple feeding stimulants plus a fly sex attractant, which is sure to grab any fly’s attention. It’s also safe for use around children, pets or livestock! Best of all, it’s easy to use – just squeeze in attractant and add water. No messy jars to clean. The Trap ‘N Toss by Farnam is both an effective and an inexpensive way to control flies around the stable area.
Fly Mask by Horse Sense
Summer is upon us and fly season is in full force.This Fly Mask by Horse Sense will help both you and your horse beat the bugs this season. The durable netting not only protects your horses eyes, but is also easy to wash. The comfort cotton trim will make your horse both calm and cool during these hot summer months. At $9.99, this fly mask’s price is hard to beat.
Tack Bands Insect Repellent by Fly Armor
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past several months, then you’ve heard of Fly Armor! The insect repellent tack bands provide an invisible shield of tranquility against flies, mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, ticks and no-see-ums for approximately four weeks, depending upon weather conditions. The hotter it is, the better these bands work. The unique component of a Fly Armor™ band is the scented, eco-friendly replacement insert. Fly Armor inserts protect your animal from bothersome flying insects. I would encourage all of you to view the video describing the Fly Armor Tack Bands. Fly Armor also provides video testimonials, which are quite compelling! In our humble opinion this product it well on its way to becoming a barn staple!
The rules are easy… You just need to comment on this contest, telling us which of these products you are most anxious to choose! On 7//27/12 at 8:00 AM, we’ll pick one random winner to win the ENTIRE PRIZE PACKAGE!
No Purchase Necessary. Random Winner chosen on 7/27/12 at 8:00 AM. Must have a valid US Address to participate.