All posts by jena

The Original 5/A Baker Blankets

5/A Baker Blanket, Bag & Accessories Collection

We have expanded our 5/A Baker collection ! Yes, we have the Original 5/A stable blanket in its traditional tan and blue colors and now carry their wide collection in turnouts, rainsheets, coolers, and stable blankets along with various matching barn supplies and tack carrying bags.  And we also carry the Original 5/A Baker sheet and blanket in Mini Size!

5/A Baker Original Stable Sheet

For the turnout sheets blankets we have the 2 styles, the more traditional look of the stable blankets and the Black Label collection that has the eye-catching black binding and stripe along the bottom of the blankets. We carry the original style 5/A turnouts in a waterproof sheet, medium weight 200gm fill, heavy weight 400gm fill, and an extreme heavy weight blanket with 555gm fill. Options for the coldest of winters! To match the original turnout blanket style we carry the matching waterproof neck covers, in the lined sheet style, medium weight 200gm fill, and extreme heavy weight 2100D with 200gm fill.

The Black Label collection comes in 3 different options all in the same black and tan plaid. The first being the lined turnout waterproof sheet that has no insulation, then the midweight 200gm fill, and finally the heavyweight 400gm fill blanket.

5/A Baker Black Label Turnout Blankets and Rainsheet

Along with the blankets, we have brought in the other needed blanket items by Baker as well!  We have the anti sweat sheet, square rain cover, fleece dress sheet, square fleece cooler and fleece Quarter Sheet! We even have the matching blankets for foals and your dog.

As for the stable items, you can get into the true matchy-matchy with the 5/A Baker nylon breakaway halter and chain lead rope. Hook up your horse in aisle with the Baker cross ties, and then exercise him with the matching 30 ft lunge line with chain. After your ride you can put your saddle pads on the 5/A blanket bar (also great for hanging those winter blankets/sheets) and cool your horse down with the Baker Ice boots.

5/A Baker Nylon Halter with Breakaway Crown

Of course for the human, (we can’t leave you out), you can wear the tan plaid winter scarf and there are even 2 different styles of throw blankets. They are perfect for the barns viewing room on a cold afternoon, or to bring the Baker flair home with you.

The bag collection gives you two color options for the leather binding, black and a dark brown. There are two styles for the saddle carrier bags, dressage and all purpose. And for other riding equipment there is a bridle bag, helmet bag, garment bag, and tall boot bag. Even a duffle bag for the things that don’t have their specific place! To finish the full collection there is the 5/A Baker Elizabeth Bag, which is for around down and a black or brown leather finish cross body bag.

5/A Baker Bag Collection

Make sure to check out this great collection of 5/A Baker products today!

5/A Baker Blankets, Bags and Accessories

Miniature Horse Products

Miniature Horse Products

Having miniature horses means there is  always a struggle to find items that fit. Most are too small or way too big. Below are some products that I have tried and LOVE for my miniature horses. All of my minis are 34” and under.

Wahl KM10 2 Speed Horse Clipper

I have always struggled with finding clippers that will work on minis thick winter hair. Getting ready for show season takes a lot of time and effort. Why not have clippers that work! I really like the Wahl KM 10 clippers for this job! They are light and easy to handle with a really long cord. I have had my pair for a couple years now and they are still going strong! As for clipper blades, I like the Wahl  Ultimate Competition Series Blades If taken care of and oiled every ten minutes, these last me about 5-10 horses doing a full body clip.

600D Miniature Midweight Turnout Blanket with Bellyband
600D Miniature Midweight Turnout Blanket Bellyband

Horse Wear

Another problem I have is finding a blanket and halter that fit these little guys. My favorite blanket is the 600D Miniature Midweight Turnout Blanket Bellyband Style. These fit really well and do not slide around on the horse and I love the belly band. As for halters, I like the Country Tack Miniature Horse Nylon Halter.  Most of mine wear the average mini size.

Tough 1 Miniature Surcingle
Tough 1 Miniature Surcingle

The Miniature Training Surcingle and the Miniature Side Reins are what I use when teaching how to ground. Both are a must have for breaking a mini to drive! My favorite bit is the Weaver  Driving Snaffle. This bit is great for starting out a driving horse.

Mini Biothane Driving Harness
Mini Biothane Driving Harness

As for a harness I use the Biothane Mini Harness. This fits your A and B type minis very well and is approved for show with both AMHA and AMHR shows. The Mini Hay Bag by Tough 1 is the perfect size for using in the trailer. It is durable and my horses really enjoy eating from it.

I have experience with all of these items and use then all the time on my minis!

Written by Custom Service Representative – Jennifer Williamson

New Dressage Items at Big Dee’s

Anyone else Dressage junkies like me? This year we are introducing a lot of new Dressage items into our already large repertoire. Let’s looks a bit deeper into the new items that we are offering you this show and training season.

Equla Vert Unit
Equla Vert Unit

First of all – coolest invention ever. Not only does the Equla Vert Unit sensor keep track of your speed on a Cross Country course telling you to slow down or speed up, it also alerts you on when your horse is correctly and incorrectly using its head on the vertical. A Dressage riders dream!  This unit is ideal for training and cross country, allowing the rider to glance at the unit indicator lights without lowering their gaze on the course or arena.

HKM Rose Gold English Stirrups
HKM Rose Gold English Stirrups

Two words. Rose. Gold. And they are beautiful!

These HKM stirrups are not only affordable, but modern and stylish. You can now match your iPhone. No need to replace the rubber grips anymore as they are built into the stirrup, which is easy cleaning for you! These gorgeous new stirrups are aluminum, which also means they are rust free.

And here is another great thing…matching rose gold spurs!

One K Defender Avannce with Rose Gold Stripe
One K Defender Avance with Rose Gold Stripe

Not to mention the new One-K Defender helmets with the rose gold stripe. Ride in style!

Kavalkade Dressage Saddle Pad

These new pads were made with the horse in mind. Complete with a mesh strip down the spine for ventilation while riding, and a large quilted square wave pattern for padding. The contoured style allows a better fit on the horses withers. This pad has 300g of padding and 9 mm of foam. Whoa. Comfort! I guarantee your horse will feel the difference and thank you. And even better, Kavalkade has  fly veils too!

HKM Dressage Glitter Boots

These boots right here are why dressage is my passion. Glitter boots and bell boots. They are another flashy new product by HKM. The leg boots are anatomically formed to fit your horses’ legs with a soft shock absorbing fill and 3 strong elastic bands for a secure hold. Both the bell boots and leg boots are lined with a faux fur to add another layer of protection and comfort for your horse!

C4 Bit Pattern Belt

The C4 belts have come out with another cute style – bits! They come in navy, grey, hunter, and black. These belts are one size fits most, even kids! You just size to where you need it, and cut off the extra for an easy fit, 100% recyclable and no animal products used to make them. There are endless combinations as you can switch out the buckles! The C4 belt comes in solids and patterns. They even have a dressage horse pattern and one that looks like leather! Wear with breeches, or just your everyday jeans.

Shires Leatherette Bag Collection
Shires Leatherette Bag Collection

 

     Shires Leatherette Bag Collection

It’s almost show season! Our new 9 piece storage and carrying bags by Shires are exactly what you need to keep everything clean and stored properly. This navy collection accented with leather handles and straps and has a features “wipe clean” outer shell. Simple and sophisticated. There is a tall boot bag, bridle bag, carry all bag, saddle bag, garment bag, grooming tote, helmet bag,  tote bag, and a matching saddle cover. Arrive at your horse shows in style and organized

Written by Customer Service Representative –Laura Brubaker

 

Are you show ready?

 

The popular saying “you never get a second chance at making a good first impression,” is very true when it comes to showing your horse. Whether you are showing in halter ot under saddle, your entrance into the arena is the moment that the judge gives you his/her undivided attention to make his initial assessment. When you come into the ring, the first thing the judge will notice is your horse’s overall appearance and presentation. This is your wow moment.

Grooming pays a huge part in overall eye appeal, no matter what the class is. Getting a horse ready for the show ring is not something that can be done in a few minutes. Grooming for the show ring should begin long before show day. It s as much a part of a horse’s everyday routine as is feeding!

Here are a couple of my favorites available right here at Big Dee’s!

Wahl BrushesA Good Quality Show Brush: Wahl carries a series of mane and tail brushes, soft to stiff body brushes and face brushes! They come in different affordable colors and maintain good quality!

Horse Shavers are perfect for on the go at a show

Horse Shavers:  We do all we can to prepare for the show ring but let’s be honest, we forget things! Thankfully Big Dee’s has already thought of that! A popular last minute touch up is our little handy dandy Horse Shavers! They will fit easily in a grooming tote or even in your pocket. You slowly glide over the area with unwanted hairs and they vanish!

Shapley's Show Touchups

Shapleys Touch Up Spray: Need to cover up scars, stains, flaws & blemishes? Shapley’s touch up spray is your friend! It comes in many different colors to match up to your horse. Shapley’s also works well to keep in case of a last minute spill on show clothes too!

World Champion Pepi for a brilliant shine!

World Champion Pepi Coat Shine:  This coat conditioner defiantly lives up to its name! Easy to use, gentle on the skin and leaves coat looking show ready! Brings our superior shine!  

Lycra Hoods - Keep your horse clean!

Lycra Hoods:  Night before the show and everything is done, but what to do to keep those braids in-tact, flyaways – away, and keep horse as clean as possible? A Sleazy! Full body or head and shoulder hoods work amazing in favor of the showing equestrian! Big Dee’s carries all sorts of colors and options for every horse & rider combo. Just be sure not to keep it too tight, it may rub on horse.

There are so many products to assist you and your horse to get ready for the show ring but the most important is to remember to smile and have fun!

Written by Customer Service Representitive – Jasmyn Bethune

New Bates Advanta Monoflap Saddle Now Available!

I was privy to an exciting unveiling of the Bates Advanta Monoflap saddle the other night. It has stuck in with me since then. Their new saddle has so many thoughtful changes in comparison to previous models. As an eventer, I cannot wait for the opportunity to sit in this saddle over a few fences and get the feel of what it has to offer.

From first glance the saddle is attractive and luxurious. The calfskin leather is velvety and tacky for grip and provides a soft yet durable feel.

Bates Monoflap Advanta Eventing SaddleThe knee and thigh blocks are adjustable with a simple turn of a screw! This is such a nice feature that I am sure plenty will take advantage of it.

New Bates Advanta Eventing SaddleAnother great addition to this saddle is the adjustable stirrup bar that allows you to choose your setting and where you want your stirrup leathers to fall below your leg. This is great to help with your position over fences and center of gravity. I also enjoy the recessed stirrup bar because it allows my leg to lay closer to saddle.

The Advanta Saddle "Sweet Spot"

The Advanta sports a more narrow twist than their other saddles. I have a Bates DS+ Elevation close contact and I could immediate tell the difference in the twist. The seat definitely puts you in a great place and you feel like you are in the “sweet spot”. My leg closely wrapped around the saddle stand when I decided to take a seat in the Advanta.

More Flap in the Bates Advanta Saddle

Because of the monoflap design eliminating the additional panel my leg fell into a nice secure place where you can really feel close with your horses body. The Advanta has done a lot to bring you closer to your horses body by removing the bulk of additional material between you and your horse.

Synergy Panel on the Bates Advanta

The SynergyPanel underneath the saddle has been streamlined and contoured to allow more freedom in your horses shoulders as they move. Complete with the CAIR panel system like their other saddles, you are able to eliminate pressure points and encourage blood flow and muscle movement beneath the Advanta. The changeable gullet system has also seen some improvements with steel hardware and updated tapering of the tree points which provides an easier change of gullets. The girthing system on this saddle encourages a balanced placement of pressure as they lay over the tree in the front and rear portions.

If you are in the market for a new saddle, this is definitely one to consider. Bates spent over 3 years developing this saddle and make over 60 prototypes based on rider feedback. These saddles were ridden by professionals and tested to the limits. Their result is second to none. I am really excited to give this saddle a try. At Big Dee’s we do offer an a demo saddle that can be tried by our local clients. Please set up an appointment Lisa in or showroom and she can get you started! The Advanta is available in 2 color options of black and two tone brown and black. Seat sizes are available in 16.5″, 17″, and 17.5″.

What you should know about West Nile

The West Nile Virus is a flavivirus that infects the central nervous system and may cause inflammation of the brain, lining of the brain and spinal cord.

The first case of West Nile in a horse was reported in Queens, New York in 1999. Since then all but Alaska, Maine and Hawaii have reported cases of WNV.

West Nile  must be inside a host to replicate. Mosquitoes infect birds, the infected birds are fed on by more mosquitoes, and those mosquitoes then feed on and infect a horse.

The Spread of West Nile Virus

There are numerous symptoms of West Nile in horses. The horse may have a combination of symptoms or show none at all. It typically takes 5 to 15 days to show signs of West Nile.

The West Nile Virus can look like Eastern equine encephalitis, equine protozoal, myeloencephalitis, equine herpesvirus-1, Rabies, botulism, EPM and other neurological illnesses.

Below are the most common symptoms that may show if your horse has contracted WNV

  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weakness in the hind end
  • Droopy lip (paralysis of lower lip)
  • Disorientation, circling, or wandering
  • Inability to swallow
  • Muscle twitching
  • Excessive sweating
  • Convulsions
  • Partial or total paralysis

What should you do if you suspect the disease?

If infection is suspected, it is imperative that you have a veterinarian out as soon as possible! Your veterinarian will test to confirm that you are dealing with West Nile as many of the symptoms closely resemble other equine neurological diseases.

What will happen next?

There is not a specific treatment for West Nile. Your veterinarian will determine the best approach which may include anti-inflammatory drugs, intravenous fluids and nutritional support.

How can you help prevent the disease?

Vaccinating your horses annually is recommended.
WNV vaccine prices start at $25.95 from Big Dee’s. These are all killed virus vaccines. These are all inactive vaccines that consist of virus particles grown in culture and then killed.

Other ways to deter mosquitoes?

  • Remove stagnant water sources: Empty buckets & stock tanks regularly, clean gutters, and grade areas of the field where water pools.
  • Use barn safe electric fans
  • Remove manure regularly and control weeds
  • Keep horses in the barn during peak mosquito hours
  • Fly sheets and/or fly masks
  • Insect repellants that work on mosquitoes.

To shop all West Nile Vaccines click here 

For more information visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners or contact your veterinarian

Talking Winter Nutrition with Grant

Every winter brings its own challenges.  After facing freezing pipes and hydrants, fighting with barn doors that are frozen to the ground, and attempting to make repairs to machinery, fencing, etc., in sub-zero temperatures, most horse owners are ready for spring by this time of year.  Unfortunately, we still have a few months to go.  This is also the time of year when customers ask me how they can best help their horses maintain weight.

Shop Stable Blankets to keep your horse warm in the winter

While there are many ways and products to promote weight gain, my first thought is about preventing weight loss.  For starters, keep your horses warm.  Invest in a heavy weight stable or turnout blanket for your horse.  During the winter months, horses burn many more calories trying to regulate their temperature.  By blanketing your horse, you will cut down on your horse’s energy requirements.

Give your horse more hay in the winter for extra calories

Secondly, increase the amount of hay you are feeding.  Horses should receive 1.5% – 2% of their body weight in forage every day.  For a 1000 lb. horse, that would mean 15-20 lbs. of forage per day.  During the winter months this requirement can increase by as much as thirty percent!  Increasing hay is so important for horses because, not only does hay provide increased calories for the horse to use, but the microbial fermentation process (how horses digest hay) releases heat as a by-product.  Your horse receives a double benefit from hay – increased calories, and increased heat production just by eating it.

Stampede Alfalfa Cubes

For those of us who have their horses on their own property, increasing hay is relatively easy.  However, if you are boarding your horse, sometimes it can be difficult to convince barn owners to increase hay rations.  Luckily, there are several products that can be used to increase your horse’s forage intake.  Here at Big Dee’s we carry a line of forage products from Stampede, which include alfalfa cubes, timothy-alfalfa cubes, alfalfa pellets, and timothy pellets.  We also carry Kalmbach’s Forage Extender Pellets.  Another new, exciting product is Basic Equine Health’s Peak Performance Pellet, which is basically a “grain-less grain”.  It is a feed, but is completely alfalfa based, with no grain in it.  Additionally, it contains the proprietary Gut Health blend, an electrolyte, and a mixture of camelina and coconut oil, resulting in a high fat content.   All of these options are excellent ways to help your horse maintain weight this winter.

Horse supplements for gaining weight

Outside of increasing forage content, you can also increase your horse’s fat intake.  Fat is an excellent source of energy for horses, and, unlike increasing starches, does not result in a “hot” horse.   There are several different options to choose from when looking to increase fat intake.  First, do you want a liquid or a solid?  There are many oils on the market today that are high in fat to aid not only in weight gain, but also with skin and coat issues.  However, feeding oils this time of year can prove to be difficult if your barn is as cold as mine is.  Should you choose an oil as a fat source, I am available most days at Big Dee’s and will be happy to discuss the different options we have with you.  Should you determine that a solid is a better fit, you still have many options.  Products such as Cool Calories by Manna Pro and Ultimate Finish 100 by Buckeye Nutrition are both 100% fat, or as close as you can get to it.  Other options include Weight Builder, Gain Weight, and Ultimate Finish 40.  All of these products contain 40% fat, and 14% protein.  They are designed to aid in weight gain, and a healthy, glossy coat.

Buckeye Ultimate Finsh 25 Horse Feed

Another option is an extruded pellet.  The advantage of extrusion, is that the pellet is highly digestible, and the nutrients are more bio-available to your horse.  Most feed companies carry some type of extruded fat, and while there are slight differences between them, they all are around 25% or 26% fat, 14% protein, and are fortified with additional vitamins and minerals.  Feeding one of these products should result, not only in weight gain, but in a beautiful, shiny coat for your horse.  If you are looking for an excuse to try one of these products, check out Buckeye Nutrition’s Ultimate Finish 25 this month, as we well be running some fantastic specials on this product.

Please feel free to come find me at Big Dee’s to discuss any feeding or weight issues you may have with your horse.  There could also be other underlying factors in play if your horse is experiencing severe weight loss, and it is always wise to consult with your veterinarian if that is the case.

 

This article was written by Grant Ralston one of Big Dee’s Showroom Managers

Nutrition is Key to Horse Health

When I first bought my horse in March 2017 he was about 3 steps away from being featured on a Sarah McLachlan commercial. He had a dropped topline, 0 neck muscle, and about 100lbs+ skinnier than I wanted to see him be. He weight taped under 1000lbs…as a 16.2 hand Thoroughbred.  His coat was thin and patchy and ribs were starting to show. I don’t even have any before pictures of him without a blanket on because I was embarrassed for him.

So let’s investigate the cause. This one, luckily, was pretty clear- he needed some groceries and probably a good dewormer to help. Horse nutrition comes from three different sources. Number 1, feed– I’m pretty sure the grain he was on at the time was about $6 a bag of “livestock feed” and he got 1 lb. per feeding. Ouch. Number 2, turnout- barely any, and with about 8 other horses on an eaten down pasture in February. And number 3, hay- actually not that bad, but they only fed twice a day.

Let’s begin our slow process of weight gain and getting him nutritionally healthy.

It took me about 4 weeks to find him somewhere to live and arrange his transportation, so unfortunately at that point he probably dropped a little bit more. I actually have an Equine Studies degree, and honestly all of the school horses were fat and happy so it was never something went over in class on how to start to fix this particular weight problem. So I started off with what I had, I know previously he was healthy a different feed, but I wanted to add more than just grain to his diet for a little extra support. I was able to get  half container of Weight Builder by Farnam. Good place to start really, Weight Builder contains flax meal which is high in omega-3 fatty acids. I saw a difference pretty fast, he was completely in a different location by then,eating more hay and eating a 12% grain with 2 scoops of Weight Builder. Within about 2 weeks he had gained back about 30lbs.

I was coming to the end of my Weight Builder container and I began looking into other supplements. There are many options that all do separate things. I have seen many other supplements/feed choices before in horses to get them to gain weight and by many, I mean MANY. I didn’t want to overload him in calories. I wanted to build muscle and weight correctly and ease him back into work.  I didn’t want to up his grain by a lot due to risking stomach problems and colic. And I didn’t want to make him hot by adding the wrong type of calories; (sugars).

There are some great supplements out there that are going to help with weight gain. They are all really based on what you are wanting. Do you want to build muscle? Add calories? Add energy? Add protein? Help with your horse’s coat? So I went back to the drawing board. What is something he is going to eat, I mean, really eat and what is going to add safe calories? So I took a jump on a completely different supplement and tried Cocosoya Oil!  (It also comes in granules as well) Wow. He ate it. He loved it. And I was happy. Cocosoya has Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, soybean oil, and coconut oil, all without raising his sugars and at a budget friendly cost. Oh and fun fact, you can feed it to your dogs.  Fast forward into the summer time (about 2 months on Cocosoya) and he was a different horse. Weight taped at 1045lbs and had the shiniest coat in the barn. It’s amazing what good nutrition can do!

Proper nutrition for your horse is imperative

Weight supplements aren’t aren’t that difficult, although it feels that way while you’re overwhelmed with the many different options. But first, look at what your horse needs it for and what they are eating overall – then experiment. Maybe you just need a little more hay, or a little more grain? Then try out some weight building supplements. You never know what your horse is going to adjust to the best until you try.

 

This article was written by Laura Robertson, Big Dee’s Customer Care Representative

Salt sense and your horse

The holidays are over but I’d like to reflect on something that struck me as I sat around my family’s dinner table Christmas Day. Salt! As I looked around, my family was busily talking, laughing and salting their food. Knowing my family, I had two sets of salt shakers on the table which were in heavy use. I tried not to take this as a review of my cooking! The striking part of this is the importance of sodium in our diets and the diets of our horses. Cell and proper organ function are critically linked to the consumption of salt or sodium. It is the backbone of sustaining blood and body fluids that transport oxygen and nutrients contributing to cell, brain, nervous system and muscle processes. Salt gets a bad rap, but is important to all diets in moderation.

Horses need salt in their diet

Salt’s role in your horse’s body is like a super hero quietly going to work keeping all systems functioning and safe from the evils of deficiencies. The lack of adequate sodium could be compared to Superman’s kryptonite; cell processes and body function change and your horse will not be at its best. Our furry super heroes use their spidy-sense to instinctively know when their bodies are low on sodium and will search for it sometimes excessively licking our hands or chewing things.

Horse licking hand for salt

Large pressed salt blocks used to be the standard dotting shared pastures, but they were developed for the course tongues of cattle that may lick these blocks to get their daily allowance. Horses’ tongues are smoother and softer so salt should be offered free choice loose or crushed to augment their diet. Offer salt in a bucket under cover in a shed in the pasture or in your horses stall to help satisfy their need. Just be sure to keep it dry. Electrolyte supplementation could also be considered to avoid dehydration and increase your horses thirst response.

Sodium is central in regulating many bodily functions. During an average day of hanging out with their buddies in a paddock or in their stall, horses excrete sodium through urine and manure making toxicity uncommon. Sweating during a workout increases daily loss of electrolytes. Put in prospective, some horses weigh in at 1000 to 1500 pounds or more; their salt and water consumption need to reflect this. Check your feed label and ask the advice of your veterinarian about salt intake for your horse’s activity level. Be careful to always offer an adequate water supply. As with all things you need to strike a balance. Without this balance of salt and water consumption your horse may struggle to process sodium through their system properly.

Big Dee’s has a full line of products to help you meet your horse’s daily mineral requirements.

Shop Electrolytes

Shop Salt and Salt Holders

Shop Water Buckets

This article was written by Kathy Kilbane – Big Dee’s Web Products Specialist

Small Business Saturday – November 25th!

From the humble beginning at a local race track to our new location in Streetsboro, Ohio, Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supplies was founded in 1976 by Dennis Osterholt. Through the guidance of “Big D” the family approach to business continues and incorporates his two daughters Brenda and Gail. It is with a sense of pride that Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply now employs over 60 people. Most of our employees own horses or have horses in their backgrounds. Employees that share your interests give you a customer service experience that cannot be rivaled!

Big Dee's Then and now

In the United States, this Saturday, November 25th is Small Business Saturday. Last year all across the country shoppers came out in record crowds to share their support of small businesses just like ours. Shopping small helps foster a sense of the greater national community. In the spirit of the season help local family-owned companies like Big Dee’s by supporting your friends and neighbors and the local economy! At this special time of year Big Dee’s values your support in this effort to shop small!

Wonderful Big Dee Showroom Employees

What you’ll find at Big Dee’s in Streetsboro –

Happy Holidays!