Category Archives: Product Deals & Discounts

The Fledgling Foxhunter’s Riding Accident

Redefining the Riding Accident

In nearly 25 years of riding and numerous unplanned dismounts; I can cite only 4 incidents in which I was actually hurt beyond just shaking it off and moving on. Up until just last year I never understood that there really can just be a riding “accident”. I had always just thought a fall was a fall, regardless of what the ultimate cause was. My two most recent experiences redefined the term “riding accident” for me. I now refer to a riding accident as one of which neither you, nor your horse has any control over the ultimate outcome. The lack of control fundamentally changed the way I feel about riding. It is not just the rather rude introduction to fear on a level that I am not particularly familiar with, but also one of enlightenment in better understanding that a riding accident really can happen at any time for any reason.

A learning experience

In both occasions two well trained and obedient horses, which had been in regular work suddenly wiped out while working at the canter.  Last year’s fall was with my then 6 year old horse. I never had falling while competing in the dressage phase on my radar. My anxiety always surrounded the possibility of a fall out on cross country. It was a great example for rule book roulette. It turns out that in USEA eventing dressage you can choose to continue if your horse falls (EV136.1.d). The fall was dramatic but it was on grass and I did not take a direct hit to my head.  I was scared more so than hurt and worried more that my horse may have suffered any injury than myself. In the next few rides I felt anxiety to canter on a 20 meter circle and was hyper aware that my horse just did not seem quite right. He underwent a full lameness evaluation with the veterinarian and we came up with a plan based on his individual needs which included corrective shoeing, a change in primary discipline and additional therapies to help him gain strength in areas where he was lacking.

A bad fall

I have never had anxiety on hunting mornings, the way that I had experienced anxiety running cross country. Just three weeks ago I suffered another fall at the canter.  I had been learning some of the ins and outs of Whipping-in for foxhunting and wanted to train my aged mare as a backup should my primary horse be unable to hunt. The hounds hit a line and we were cantering down a trail keeping an ideal position along with them. The trail was hard packed dry dirt. There was a very gentle curve but I did not notice any roots, rocks or other obstructions that would raise any sort of concern. My horse was balanced and comfortable when out of nowhere Continue reading The Fledgling Foxhunter’s Riding Accident

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 on the creation of a Breyer Horse
Sketch from 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

Clipping Horses in Winter Months

When Should You Clip Your Horse?

Big Dee's Tack & Vet SuppliesWinter horse care does present certain challenges: from feeding properly and ensuring proper intake of water for your horse, to simply completing common barn chores that seem so much more difficult when it’s only 10 degrees outside.  One area that can be neglected is preparing your horse for exercise in these frigid temperatures.

In northeast Ohio, temperature change occurs gradually over the fall months, so most of our horses are able to naturally acclimate to the cold.  Most horses grow thicker coats which will help trap air and insulate them from the cold.  However, not all horses can grow nice, thick coats, and sometimes, those coats actually work to make our horses colder.

Big Dee's | Clippers & BladesIf you are exercising your horse, in any discipline, during the winter months, you should consider clipping your horse.  There are a variety of clipping styles to choose from, including trace clipping, blanket clipping, hunter clips, and a full body clip.  While shortening your horse’s coat during the winter months seems counter-productive at first, the advantage is in the cool down period after exercise.  According to Marcia Hathaway, PhD and Krishona Martinson, PhD, both from the University of Minnesota, horses should be exercised and turned out winter months to prevent stocking up.  However, leaving hot, sweaty horses in a cold barn can very easily lead to illness.  Clipping a horse drastically shortens drying time after exercise, or in the event that a horse gets wet during turnout.  Check out the Lister Star, Lister Liberty (with portable power pack) or Oster Clipmaster for some heavy duty clippers that have the power needed for body clipping.  Remember to keep your clipper blades cool and well lubricated while clipping.  Plan on purchasing an extra blade or two and make sure your horse’s coat is clean before you start.

Big Dee's CoolersWhile clipping your horse will help reduce drying time after exercise, consider purchasing a cooler as well if you do not already have one.  Covering a hot, sweaty (or just wet) horse with a cooler will help keep it warm while it dries, and a cooler will also help wick moisture away from the horse and shorten drying time even further.  Clipped horses, and horses with short coats will require blanketing as well.  Blanketing horses begins early for some people.  In fact, once the night temperatures start to fall below 60 degrees, some of us start the blanketing process.  Always be sure that if you are turning your horse out, your horse has a sheet or blanket designed to be wind, water, and weather resistant.  Using a stable blanket for turnout will only lead to a soaked blanket and horse – so keep the stable blankets for inside the stable!

Dr. Hathaway and Dr. Martinson also state that “…blanketing a horse is necessary to reduce the effects of cold or inclement weather when:

  • There is no shelter available during turnout periods and the temperatures drop below 5°F, or the wind chill is below 5°F
  • There is a chance the horse will become wet (not usually a problem with snow, but much more of a problem with rain, ice, and/or freezing rain)
  • The horse has had its winter coat clipped
  • The horse is very young or very old
  • The horse has not been acclimated to the cold (i.e. recently relocated from a southern climate)
  • The horse has a body condition score of 3 or less”.

View full article here.

Check out the variety of coolers, stable blankets, and weather resistant turn out blankets we have at Big Dee’s.  I am sure we will be able to find a combination that will help keep your horse warm and dry all winter long.

Do joint supplements have you feeling disjointed?

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


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!

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 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

My Road to Rio – Stewarding

Lisa’s Rio Olympic Experience

Finally! After an unusually extended absence I am pleased to be back working with Big Dee’s! I spent a 3 week tour of duty as the Deputy Chief Steward for Dressage in the Equestrian events at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The news of the successes of the three US teams I am sure you already know, but the back story of the stewarding team that covered the Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage events is a view few see or experience.

As an FEI (International Federation for Equestrian Sports) Steward you must be an “International Representative” (although it is impossible to not at least quietly pull for the success of your nation’s athletes). You work on a large team – at this event about 50 stewards from all over the world.

My Road to Rio - Lisa at Big Dee's

As  an FEI Steward (licensed in Dressage), my competition job was to assist with the first running sport (Eventing) to ensure that the dressage test equipment check was run properly and according to FEI rules. For the Dressage, to serve as the inspector of equipment after every ride in each of the three classes.

Road to Rio - Lisa from Big Dee's experience
For every portion of each of the three Events (Show jumping, Eventing and Dressage) teams of Stewards handled the logistics of horse inspections, schooling arena schedules and competition days. This made for MANY photo ops. Here, the Stewarding team for the first Eventing horse inspection marks the successful completion and a job well done with a group shot in the main competition stadium.

Road to Rio - Lisa from Big Dee's experience
Although technically held during Brazil’s winter, the daily highs ranged from a cool upper 60s to a challenging upper 90s. A cool breeze or still humid air added a bit of a challenge to our casual vs “Show Days Field of Play” blazers dress code! This 6:30 AM photo of the center warm-up pad signaled the beginning of a hot and humid work day.

Road to Rio - Lisa from Big Dee's Experience
Here I directed the groom to the Steward behind me for the Eventing Dressage equipment check. Each horse is given a quick examination to; confirm that the bit is legal, there are no injuries to the mouth or sides from the spurs, the horse was not wearing ear plugs for noise reduction and that the rider’s spurs did not wound the horse nor exceed 4 cm in length. The Steward in the foreground worked with the rider – offering water or electrolyte water.  Then escorted him (or her)  through a mandatory “mixed zone” where media from around the world had their photo opportunity with the riders and perhaps an answer to a quick question or two!

At every arena and phase of competition a Veterinarian and a Farrier were stationed near the stewards to ensure that at all times the welfare of the horses was considered and if necessary, immediately addressed.

Be sure to check back for the next blog installment from “My Road to Rio”!

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 –! 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

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



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!

New Giveaway Starting!


Big Dee’s Giveaway! Oster Turbo A5 2-Speed Clipper offers faster blade speeds and wider blade sweeps, along with better airflow and less noise during grooming. Virtually unbreakable, these clippers glide through thick, coarse hair easily, managing over 4,000 strokes per minute. Its detachable blade system provides incredible versatility as well.

Product Details:
Turbo powered for higher strokes per minute
Up to 4000 SPM
Powerful Universal motor

See below to enter!

Rafflecopter giveaway

Webinar Series – Trailer Safety



Big Dee’s Webinar Series
Dale from DLMR Trailers in Chardon, OH, spoke during Big Dee’s Anniversary Event about horse trailer safety. Dale has been in business repairing trucks and trailers for over 30 years and has noticed the biggest trailer failures are seen in tires, brakes and lights. Bearings need cleaned and packed every 5,000 miles, tires need to be changed regularly to avoid cracks and loss of tread and light failure is normally due to a bad ground to a bulb, not a bad bulb.

Driving Safety Checklist
– Always have spray on lubricant for hinges, door latches and more.
– Check your safety chains, the S-hook without a clasp is illegal. Make sure the chains are several inches off of the road and are criss-crossed (so if the ball comes off it is caught by the chains).
– Check your breakaway switch, it is essential that is functions properly.
– The battery should be replaced every two to three years.
– Spray the seven wire plug with WD40, if you see white and green corroding on the plug – you’re probably not getting a good connection.
– Check to make sure your lights are working by hitting the hazard switch, if both are flashing, you have both turn signal lights and brake lights since they are connected.
– 90% of tire failure is from people running them too full of air. Start out 10 lbs below what the tire recommends and adjust air pressure based on the payload of weight. If a trailer is stored outside, get a tire cover to protect it from the elements.
– Check your spare tire, an emergency is the worst time to find out it doesn’t have air or is rotted through.
– Adjust the trailer brakes every time you get in your trailer, the amount will change based on the weight getting pulled.

Bearing Emergency
If you hear noise coming from one of your tires/wheels, STOP your vehicle. If you burn up a bearing, you have to buy a whole new axle, ranging in the upper hundreds. If you need to take off a tire in an emergency and don’t have a trailer aid try to find a wooden log to prop it up.

Trailer Flooring
Between aluminum, wood and plastic composite, aluminum is the most common that Dale at DLMR Trailers replaces. Check and remove mats from the floor of your trailer and clean the floor two or three times a year. Ultimately, wood flooring is considered best because it lets the moisture dry up from the undercarriage and from having slight gaps between each board for excess moisture to drip through.

Laws and Regulations
Pay attention to laws and regulations for your state and nationwide. Keep in mind how much you haul, it is recommended to not pull your truck and trailer at capacity every haul. It’s better to never pull full weight and ease the burden on both truck and trailer. Pulling 26,000 lbs or more requires a CDL license. It’s better to err on the side of caution and have your trailer inspected by a professional to avoid letting any damage worsen and avoid hefty fines.