All posts by jena

Don’t Leave It To Beaver

If you are like most horse owners’ winter represents a big change in horse care, stabling and enjoyment of our equine friends. The dreaded four letter word, snow, is on the way for those horse owners living in colder climates, however winter signals change for all horses and owners. As we begin to stable more and turn out less horses boredom levels can rise. Farm buildings, stalls and even trees may take the brunt of this when horses begin to chew wood, crib or wind suck. There are differences to these behaviors but most horse owners agree they are not ideal behaviors. These equine beavers can destroy our stables and wreck havoc on their own health in the process. It is incumbent on us to help our horses through these behaviors and to save our own sanity!

This horse is chewing on a fence rain

Let’s look at the what

Cribbing in horse terms is the physical behavior of a horse latching on to a hard surface, arching the neck and sucking in air. As we investigate this stable vice we find the behavior could be associated to stomach ulcers and may develop into colic. Another related behavior, wind sucking, is the act of sucking in air without latching on to a hard surface.  Finally wood chewers can eat us out of stable and barn in no time causing unsightly barns and paddocks not to mention costly repairs.

The emotional why

These three behaviors are thought to be caused by boredom, frustration, habit and/or nutritional deficiencies. Boredom and frustration may be relieved by the numerous stall and paddock toys available. Equine animals in the wild were foragers. Horses are rudimentary animals and as such rely on routine.  For stabled horses, feeding small amounts of hay throughout the day can help them follow a natural routine in a less than natural life.  Slow hay feeders during turnout can also help with boredom but be sure to incorporate ample grazing and regular exercise. As for the elephant or equine beaver in the room pastes, sprays and wood chewing deterrent applications are available. But take heed they may make the problem worse.  When these remedies fail, capping stall doors fence posts and interior stall partitions with metal or mesh or stringing electric fence in the cribbing or chewing area can discourage this behavior and save our horses from indigesting wood splinters.

The physical why

Nutritional deficiencies or gastric ulcers can be the root cause. Be sure to discuss the situation with your veterinarian who will examine your horse and perform blood testing to identify any minerals lacking in the diet. If mineral deficiencies are the culprit supplements can be fed. Something as simple as a salt block can often help. If gastric ulcers are suspected many remedies are available to horse owners. Simply using a grazing muzzle could be the ticket to solving the issue.

Grazing Muzzles for horses

Can you manage the habit?

Managing horses with these behaviors can be challenging but not impossible. Regular exercise, turnout or hand walking and regular grooming may help with boredom. Working with your veterinarian, stable owner, trainer, other horse people and Big Dee’s can be insightful. Horses give us such enjoyment. They can be our friends and our therapists; wouldn’t you agree that they need the same from us in return.

Himalayan Rock Salt is great for horsesCheck out our website for a full line of equine products to help curb these behaviors.

Click here for Cribbing and Habit Control Solutions

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

Big Dee’s April 2017 $1000 Prize Pack Giveaway!

Big Dee's Tack and Vet - $1000 Giveaway

Everyone loves a great giveaway! This one includes all kinds of goodies for you and your horse!

The winner will receive the following ..

The winner will be drawn on May 1st and notified by email. No purchase necessary.

Good Luck!!

Click here to enter 

The importance of giving your horse electrolytes in the winter

Most of us horse owners recognize the value of electrolyte supplementation during the hot summer months.  After working one’s horse hard, or coming back from a long trail ride, or even bringing horses in on a hot day, we can see the sweat marks that indicate a horse may need electrolytes to replenish the lost salt and potassium.  However, electrolyte supplementation is at least equally important during the winter months.

Those of us who have access to an indoor arena are able to ride and work our horses year round.  During periods of hard work, regardless of temperature, horses will sweat and lose electrolytes.  By using a supplement such as Buckeye Nutrition’s Perform ‘N Win or Perfect Balance by Peak Performance, we can help our horses stay healthy by replacing valuable electrolytes lost.

Horse Electroloytes

A second reason to use electrolytes during the winter months is to encourage water consumption.  Many horses’ water consumption drops dramatically during the winter, and this can easily lead to impaction colic.  During the spring, summer, and fall, horses are able to graze and have access to fresh grass.  During the winter, when fresh grass is not available, horses have to rely on hay for their forage requirements.  The water content in grass is significantly higher, around 5 times higher, than that of hay.  Therefore, horses are able to ingest a good amount of their required water intake just by grazing on fresh grass.  Horses’ water consumption also declines when their water is cold.  So, during the winter, we have a situation where our horse is not getting water from forage, and is not inclined to drink as much from water troughs or buckets.  By adding a good, salt or sodium based electrolyte to their feed, we can help increase thirst, and improve water consumption, and hopefully avoid impaction colic issues.

When choosing an electrolyte, I tend to look for the ones that are low in dextrose or other sugars, and gravitate towards those that are sodium based.  If you have a horse with HYPP, you have to be careful about potassium intake, so look for an electrolyte that is specifically designed for horses with HYPP.

waterheater

Other ways to encourage water consumption include filling water buckets with warm water, or using heated buckets or water heaters if you are using a trough.  Ideal water temperature is around 40 degrees.  This year, I am making use of Eccotemp’s Horse Washer, which is a portable hot water on demand system.  I do not have access to hot water in my barn, and after a few years of lugging buckets of hot water down to the barn every morning and evening, I decided to make life a little easier on myself.  This system connects to my hydrant and to a propane tank.  I simply turn it on, and have instant hot or warm water to fill my water buckets with.

Combining these steps with electrolyte supplementation will hopefully lead to a healthy and happy horse this winter.  Most electrolytes can be added either to your horse’s feed or water.  If you add an electrolyte to water, you should also remember to put a second bucket of just plain water up as well.

Click here to shop a full selection fo Electrolytes

Click here to shop the Eccotemp Hot Water Horse Washer

This blog was written by Grant – one of Big Dee’s Showroom Managers

Breyer Horse Collecting

 

Breyer Horse Collecting

Every one of us has seen the shelves of Breyer Horses in the tack store. Many have bought  at least one of these model horses either for ourselves or for a young horse enthusiast. Some even classify themselves  as a collector. These life-like horses captivated me when I first began riding horses at age 9. I could not have a horse of my own, so I delighted in choosing my favorite Breyers that exemplified my dream horses. I made Christmas lists and saved up my own money to buy that beautiful model of Huckleberry Bey with his flowing mane and animated trot. My father built me a shelf where I displayed them all and kept them meticulously dusted. Breyer Horses hold a special place in my heart. To get these models to their finalized state it takes a lot of work by many people.

After a particular horse is decided on for a new Breyer mold, drawings and photographs  are used to create the perfect position. A wire armature is made to make the position three-dimensional and finalize the pose. Clay is sculpted overtop of the wire in order to make the cast. The sculpture can take around 3 months to complete all the intricate details. Breyer horses are cast in two halves and are hollow inside (with the exception of stablemates which are solid).  The halves are attached, sanded and cleaned. After that, each model is hand painted by multiple artists. Airbrushes are used for base colors and larger details. Small airbrushes and paint brushes help with detailing on eyes, hooves, brands and chestnuts. They are all packaged in a custom made box with information on the model.

Sketch from Breyerhorse.com on the creation of a Breyer Horse
Sketch from Breyerhorse.com on the creation of a Breyer Horse

Since there is so much that goes into each model and so many hands have added details to each horse, it is inevitable that there are differences. Each model is unique. There can be various differences that can cause an individual model to be worth more or more sought after. The quality of the paint job can vary from horse to horse. Collectors look for crisp markings, smooth paint job and no blending where separate colors touch. The eyes should be nicely detailed and glossy. In models that are coated in a glossy finish, collectors make sure it is an even coat with no embedded lint. Most of the models released by Breyer are a matte finish. A few special editions are glossy. Once in a while, a few individuals get sent out with the wrong finish. Sometimes models get changed slightly in the middle of their run, making the older one more rare and valuable.

Breyer Springtime Filly

Some models are created with the intention of variation. The Indian Pony, was released with various colorful painted symbols and some were done with a different base coat. More recently released was the AQHA 75th anniversary model. This model was released in 6 colors and some were more rare than others.  Still available at Big Dee’s is the Springtime filly, a cute red dun pinto filly, who was released in three patterns. This creates more sought after variations of models for collections.

Collectors usually have a theme to what they collect. Some focus on a certain mold (various paint jobs are given to the same mold), breed or color of horses. There are also collectors who participate in shows where they bring models they own, have created a scene with, or have painted or resculpted. These shows can be live or through photographs. Models can be repainted, repositioned, or re sculpted by artists. Other people are casual collectors and have only their favorites. A large amount of horse lovers have (or had when they are young) at least one Breyer horse. They are a wonderful introduction for kids to the world of horses.

Breyer 2016 Holiday Horse

Use this holiday season to gift a wonderful hobby and instill a love of all things equine!

Click here to shop all Breyer Horses and accessories

Do joint supplements have you feeling disjointed?

How do you pick the right joint supplement for your horse?

joint

As if knowing if and when your horse needs a joint supplement wasn’t hard enough, how about picking one out? With the sea of options out there it is easy to get overwhelmed. To make it easier on you, it is import to understand what ingredients will best suit your horses needs.

Your horse naturally produces joint nutrients that help protect, repair, and strengthen their joints. Though injury, age, genetics, or use may inhibit their ability to manufacture these agents on their own. There are 3 major components to a horse’s joint that provides optimal health for them to continue to take on the work load and remain mobile. They are HA (hyaluronic acid), chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine. I am sure, you have heard these tossed around the barn or vent with your vet.

So, what do they do? Hyaluronic Acid production in the joint is encouraged by Chondroitin Sulfate– these guys go hand-in-hand. Hyaluronic Acid prevents the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, which is important to warding off arthritis and keeping the joint stable. Glucosamine is your protector in your horses joint. It is important that there is enough Glucosamine in your horses joint to protect and help repair, and it is even thought to help produce new cartilage.

Having this information in your back pocket is key to siphoning out your choice on joint supplements. At Big Dee’s, joint supplements are our number one seller. Our customers understand the importance of keeping their horse’s joints healthy as well as keeping their horses pain free. Our top sellers are Acti-Flex by Cox Vet Labs, Cosequin ASU by Nutramax, and Mega-Flx Plus HA by Spectra.

What sets them apart?

Acti-Flex Horse Joint Supplement

Acti-Flex is available in an alfalfa based powder as well as a liquid. Which is great if you have a finicky that can work around powder. That being said, Acti-Flex is highly palatable and you can see a noticeable different in a few weeks!  The ingredient list on Acti-Flex is impressive too! This product contains per ounce, 8,000mg of Glucosamine, 4,000mg of Chondroitin Sulfate, and 125mg of HA. Also, and added benefit is the presence of MSM and Yucca for inflammation and pain.

Cosequin ASU

Cosequin ASU is also available is a concentrated powder. For an average horse you will need to administer 2 scoops daily for maintenance. Each scoop provides 14,000mg of Glucosamine, and 2,400mg of Chondroitin. Hyaluronic Acid is not present in this supplement, even still it is our 2nd best seller! This is a great product with die-hard fans that have seen great results on their horses.

Joint Supplements | Big Dee'sMega-Flx Plus HA is 3rd on our list of joint supplements and is available in liquid form. This product treats joints and sore muscles congruently. Another highly palatable formula, this product uses a proprietary antioxidant blend to promote greater joint resilience, minimize inflammation, improve mobility, helps to repair and remodel the tissue in the joint, and overall joint protection. Mega-Flx Plus HA contains 150mg per ounce of HA. This is another fan favorite as there is noticeable difference in the overall feel of the horses body and improved mobility.

If you’d like to research more options, check out our impressive selection of Joint Supplements!

Beautiful Equestrian Style

 

Ariat Markham Equestrian Style Collection

Equestrian Style – Get the look!

It’s fall, and we are falling in love with this seasons equestrian style! A look that will take you from the barn to a night out with your fellow barn girls! This outfit screams sophistication. Stepping out into the store you won’t be getting the usual, “what is she wearing?” glances, rather a “where can I get those boots?”  or “I need that jacket!”.  The style of this outfit will surely get you noticed on and off your horse! Let’s get into the pieces making up this ensemble.

Ariat Markham Quilted Ladies Jacket

Ariat Markham Quilted Ladies Jacket

Ariat Markham Quilted Ladies Jacket features an attractive quilting for a stylish yet functional appeal both in and out of the saddle. Wind and water resistant. Lightweight polyfill insulation. $119.95

Irideon Cooldown Icefil Long Sleeve Ladies Show Shirt

Irideon Cooldown Icefill Long Sleeve Ladies Show Shirt

Irideon Cooldown Icefil long sleeve ladies show shirt offers great performace features in a shirt designed to keep you cool, comfortable and looking great in the saddle. Moisture wicking. Lightweight mesh underarm. Exclusive equestrian patterns inside the cuffs and collar. $89.95

Ariat Waverly Ladies Country Boot

Ariat Waverly Ladies Country Boot

Ariat Waverly Ladies Country Boot offers true equestrian style in a chic and elegant boot which elastic side panels for easy fit. This classic boot is ideal with skirts and skinny jeans for a flattering country appearance. $279.95

Kerrits Cargo Kneepatch Ladies Breech

Kerrits Cargo Kneepatch Ladies Breech

Kerrits Cargo Kneepatch Ladies Breech offer classic style in a durable cutting edge fabric that is designed to withstand the elements while keeping you cozy and comfortable. Polartec Windpro exterior shell, brushed fleece interior. Wind and water resistant. Gripstretch suede kneepatch. $106.95

Uvex Suxxeed Active Helmet

Uvex Suxxeed Active Helmet

The Uvex Suxxeed Active Helmet meets the most stringent international safety requirements for personal protective equipment. The Uvex brand provides the ultimate in safety, function, fit and style. This model provides a traditional but unique look with a high-tech interior that works well for the show ring. $349.00

Click here to shop a huge selection of Apparel, Boots and Helmets

 

Should I Blanket My Horse?

Blanketing 101

The days are getting shorter and the weather is becoming colder. The two biggest questions we get at this time of year – “Should I blanket my horse?” and “Which blanket should I choose?”.

Big Dee's | Horse BlanketsQuestion #1: Should I blanket my horse?

Answer – Well, that’s a loaded question. Let us ask you a few first:

What kind of hair coat does your horse have? Does your horse grow hair easily?  The winter horse coat comes in at two different levels – one is a shorter layer for insulation, the next is a longer layer that protects the lower layer from rain, snow and wind.  We’ve all seen those horses that look like woolly mammoths – hair that is so thick you feel bad for the owner that has to shed it out in the spring. Other horses don’t grow as much – if your horse doesn’t have a thick, luxurious coat – he probably needs an extra layer to keep warm.

Do you body clip in the winter? If you show through the winter or you work your horse regularly and don’t want to dry out a long coat often – you may body clip your horse during the winter. Without that extra hair your horse will need to be blanketed. It’s always a good idea to make sure that your horse is dry before putting the blanket on.

What kind of shelter does your horse have?  While some of our horses stay in the barn during the winter there are many others that get to go out during the day or stay out 24/7. If your horse is one that stays out 24/7, is there a place that he can get away from the precipitation and blustery weather? A horses coat will most often grow in enough to keep them warm – but sometimes they don’t. Depending on the shelter and hair coat you may need an extra layer of warmth for your horse.

How old is your horse and are they in a good body condition? Aging seniors sometimes get chilled, even with thick coats. Staying attentive to their warmth and needs will alert you to whether or not they need an extra layer. Horses that may have compromised immune systems or are recovering from any medical conditions will need extra help staying warm until they are back to their healthy state. Keeping them warm with an appropriate blanket will help them recover faster and safer as well as ease your mind.

Now that you’ve thought about your horse’s coat, shelter, age and body condition – you may be wondering which blanket you should choose.

Big Dee's | Horse BlanketsQuestion #2 – Which blanket should I choose?

Answer – It really depends on your answers from above. If you have  a horse that doesn’t have a thick coat, is outside and you live in the cold Northern states – you probably need a heavyweight, as the temps get warmer going further south you may only need a midweight or simple sheet.

Big Dee’s Country Pride blankets come in a variety of outer-coverings and thicknesses as well as turnout or stable blanket styles.

Turnout Blankets
Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supplies | Turnout Blankets
1680 Denier Turnout Blankets  – These are the some of the toughest, most durable blankets that you can buy. These turnouts have a high tear resistance. They are DuPont Teflon coated for superior wind and water proofing. The material is also breathable.

Many of the 1680D turnouts come with an inner air mesh membrane for extreme breathability and to wick away moisture, like the Ice Shield. Some have detachable hoods like the Olympia and an attached hood like the Rainier. If you’re looking for a bit of extra protection without a full hood, there are also high neck options like the Vortex. Some also come with a double adjustable snap and buckle open front closure with Velcro assist to allow for maximum adjustment like the Arctic Shield. The 1680 Denier blankets come in a range of poly-fill insulation including Heavyweight, Midweight and Lightweight warmth.

Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supplies | Turnout Blankets

1200 Denier Turnout Blankets – Strong, heavy-duty ripstop material. 1200D is the density of the yarn used in the making of the outercovering. DuPont Teflon coated for superior wind and waterproofing. The material is also breathable.

Most of 1200D turnouts come with a smooth, nylon lining that helps to keep the horse’s hair slick and clean like the Glacier.  The Paladin offers an inner mesh membrane to wick away moisture as well as high neck coverage. New, fun patterns can be seen on the Vancouver and our signature classics like the Storm Pro and Snow Ridge are tried and true winter blankets that hold up against demanding winters. The 1200 Denier blankets come in a range of poly-fill insulation including Heavyweight, Midweight and Lightweight warmth.

Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supply | Turnout Blankets
600 Denier Turnout Blankets – Strong, ripstop material. 600D is half the density of the 1200D turnouts. Great for horses that aren’t extremely tough on their blankets. DuPont Teflon coated for superior wind and waterproofing. The material is also breathable.

The 600D turnouts come with a smooth, nylon lining that helps to keep the horse’s hair slick and clean. Miniature horse blankets are available in the 600D with a strong velcro bellyband. The Klondike features a fun new argyle pattern and the Nordic is a turnout favorite. Available weights include Heavyweight or sheet with no insulation.

Stable Blankets
Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supplies | Stable Blankets
1200 Denier Stable Blankets 
– One of the toughest stable blankets you can buy. Available in tight weave Cordura material or Polypropylene. Cordura material stable blankets like the Squall  come in a bellyband style that makes it easy to stay in place with secure velcro. Polypropylene material like the Highland are tough stable blankets that also have gussets for maximum freedom of movement. The Highland also comes in Miniature Horse sizes. Many weights are available ranging from Heavyweight to Lightweight.

Big Dee's Tack & Vet Supplies | Stable Blankets

420 Denier Stable Blankets – One of our most popular stable blanket options.  The Sentinel Channel Quilt is a favorite for it’s durability and quality. It has an open two buckle front for ease and convenience. The Diamond Quilt offers a strong and secure velcro bellyband. The Polarfleece Lined Sheet is a great choice to extra warmth.

Turnout & Rain Sheets
Big Dee's | Turnout Sheets

Turnout & Rain sheets are perfect for horses that need an extra for protection from the elements, but not the poly-fill for warmth. Our large selection found here offers every type of outdoor sheet you may need – from a rain sheet to protect horse and tack at a show to heavy-duty strength for horses that are tough on blankets.

Stable Sheets
Big Dee's | Stable Sheet

Stable sheets are great for keeping your horse protected and clean while in the barn, without the heavy fill and warmth of a stable blanket. We carry many options from cotton to nylon that can be found here.

Coolers & Anti-Sweats
Big Dee's | Cooler

Our large selection of Coolers & Anti-Sweat Sheets can be found here at Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies. Coolers serve a wide range from cooling out, keeping a horse warm by itself or under a blanket and other everyday uses.

Click here to view all of our horsewear selections

Hopefully this helped you decide which blanket you need. Please call our knowledgeable customer service staff if you have any questions – 800-321-2142 or email sales@bigdweb.com

International Helmet Awareness Day – Savings and Giveaways!

2016 International Helmet Awareness Day is September 17! International Helmet Awareness Day was started in 2010 by Riders4Helmets to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing properly fitteing, secured and certified helmets.

Did you know that there is an estimated 300,000 sports related traumatic brain injuries a year in the United States? The International Brain Injury Association states that “Brain Injury can cause many kinds of physical, cognitive, and behavioral/emotional impairments that may be either temporary or permanent. Impairments may range from subtle to severe. Brain injury may result in seizure disorders.”

Helmets will absorb impact to the head, provide cushioning to the skull and reduce jarring of the brain against the skull. It is important to remember that the rider should wear a helmet designed specifically for riding horses and that it has been properly fitted. An ill fitting helmet will not provide the needed protection.

Big Dee’s supports International Helmet Awareness Day! We will be offering 20% off on helmets from Ovation, One K, IRH, UVEX, KASK, GPA, Tipperary, Charles Owen and Troxel – Saturday, September 17th – sale prices will be valid both online www.bigdweb.com and at our store in Streetsboro, Ohio.

Click here to see our full line of helmets!

PLUS – Register for a chance to win a Troxel ES or One K Defender Helmet!helmet-giveaway1Click here to enter!

Happy Riding!

Stats provided by Riders4Helmets

Announcing our updated website!

Website Update

Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply is excited to announce the launch of a new, redesigned version of its new website –  www.bigdweb.com! Updated and new features include a cleaner look, easier way to shop products and enhanced navigation. New wish list features and a great new optimized design for mobile shopping customers!

 

“We are very proud of this new website. We know how busy everyone is and this site should make your shopping experience quick and easy”.

 

About Big Dee’s Tack and Vet Supply

Founded in 1976 by Dennis Osterholt (Big D). Big Dee’s started off selling standardbred racing equipment out of a small building in Northfield, Ohio. Outgrowing a few buildings, Big Dee’s currently resides in Streetsboro, Ohio and has a 17,500 sq ft showroom and 80,000 sq foot warehouse! Filled with thousands of items for the horse and rider in every discipline – you’ll be sure to find what you are looking for. Visit us at 9440 St. Rt. 14, Streetsboro Ohio or online www.bigdweb.com

Big Dee’s Featured on this week’s On The Road with Noble Outfitters!

rotating-banner-nobleoutfitter

 

Have you visited Big Dee’s in Streetsboro, Ohio? If not, now is your chance to get a look at our 17,500 square foot showroom and our 80,000 square foot warehouse!

Dan Costa, Noble Outfitters CEO, will visit with local horse enthusiast, pony clubber and entrepreneur, Lauren Mansky who makes and sells custom browbands and jewelry.

Dan will show you the massive showroom filled with every horse and pet product you can imagine.

Have you ever wondered how your order gets to you? Dan will walk you through the order picking process in our warehouse.

After all of that Dan needs breakfast! Watch as he samples Big Dee’s Belgium Waffles with local made, 100% pure Ohio Maple Syrup made at our marketing manager’s farm in Geauga County.

You’ll also get to meet Big Dee’s daughters – second generation owners Brenda Miavitz and Gail Linsley in a sit down one on one conversation!

Make sure to tune into RFD-TV on  Wednesday, May 11th at 9:30 PM, EST to watch!