Category Archives: Team Big Dee’s

Moving Up: Part I – Jessica R.

 Hackamore Farms Horse Trial – Part I: Schooling Day


It has been 7 years since the last time I competed at the Beginner Novice show level with my full Clydesdale mare “Honey”. It seemed a bit fitting and nostalgic to finally re-enter this show division on her son Paladin. Paladin is a 5 year old Clydesdale x Saddlebred gelding who was purpose-bred to be my new event horse. After Paladins completion at the Winona Horse Trial in the Starter 2’ division, I felt like we were ready to move up into the Beginner Novice, 2’7” division.  The move up would not offer any change in the difficulty of the dressage test. Also since we had been Continue reading Moving Up: Part I – Jessica R.

One Step at a Time: Jessica R.

The 30th Running of the 2015 Winona Horse Trials.

In the past 13 years I’ve had many competitive streaks in eventing at the Beginner Novice level in our local Northeast Ohio Mini Trial Series. It has always been a very well known goal of mine to compete at a recognized event, but sadly I have never had the ideal opportunity to try. Whether due to health, family, finances or issues getting my full draft mare fit enough to submit an entry, there has always been something that kept me from taking that plunge into recognized eventing. After years of pondering what sort of draft cross I wanted, I decided upon breeding my mare to make a Georgian Grande. After 11 months of waiting queue the birth of my #dreamhorse Paladin. After years of dedicated prep, training to build his confidence and tons of shows to acclimate him to what I love to do, Paladin is now 5 and no longer a “baby, it’s officially time to get busy.

I’ve never been one to just enter a show unprepared, this particular show was much earlier in the season than I would have preferred, but, I figured it was just the incentive I needed to get busy after a long winter off, my horses are kept at home and I do not have an arena to ride through the winter in. After posting entry to the Starter division we got right onto a regular training schedule. The week of the event Paladin suffered a Kick to his shoulder that left him standing in the stall for four days, but the vet Continue reading One Step at a Time: Jessica R.

Expanding Horizons: Jessica R. for Team Big Dee’s

Up & Over Double Points Hunter show at Buckeye Horse Park, June 20th & 21st, 201510246688_10205730420957612_6759050269869428867_n

When someone asks what discipline I best associate myself with, my first answer would be as an eventer. My answer as to what comes in 2nd is fast becoming the hunters. My first true and lasting experience with hunters was just last year when Paladin was 4. After his first two mini-trials, with less than ideal dressage scores, I wanted to give him some time to mature mentally. He really enjoyed the jumping phases and I decided that I wanted to find more opportunities to build his confidence over fences than just a stadium round here and there at the mini trials. I firmly believe that building a safe and reliable horse over fences, takes consistent steps to build confidence and trust through the lower heights.  I figured that showing in the hunters would allow both of us to gain experience together and expand our horizons. I found the added difficulty of attempting to present a horse with a relaxed and steady way of going particularly challenging. Trying to ride like I know what I am doing is even more so, especially since historically my only goal in jumping was what I call the 3 S’s ((Stay on (rider), Stay up (rails) and Stay Sane (horse)). Last year we enjoyed showing in the cross-rails and 18” divisions, the lower heights really allowed us to get a feel for the ring and to better understand proper striding.

The Up & Over Hunter Jumper Association is an ideal fit for us. With shows scheduled around northeast ohio nearly every weekend of the summer, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and show at any height.  Even though I still would not consider myself a “hunter”, I thoroughly enjoy the relaxed pace of the shows, the challenge of memorizing courses (without the aid of numbered fences) and meeting new friends. My attempts to ride “like a hunter” are generally futile Continue reading Expanding Horizons: Jessica R. for Team Big Dee’s

Employee Review of Back On Track Mesh Sheet

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

Big Dee’s Marketing Assistant & Customer Service Rep, Jen Ahwash, says her favorite products would have to be anything made by Back on Track.

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7862C – Ceramic Mesh Sheet by Back on Track

“My Irish Draught/Arabian mare has always been fairly tense and nervous.  She was always the horse that spooked at everything and carried a lot of tension in her whole body so when we warmed up, especially at shows, it took me a long time to get her to relax and move more freely.  I mainly do eventing so a long warm up before dressage is not a good thing when you either have cross country or stadium to do later in the day. I bought the Back On Track mesh sheet and started using it and gradually built up the time she was wearing it.

It made a huge difference and cut our warm up time in half! I could trailer her in it, leave it on her overnight, or put it on her while I braided her.  She would start out so much more relaxed and looser through her body.  It made such a difference that I bought the t-shirt for myself.  We went from having good tests to having great tests with a lot of low scores. Our jumping improved because she was more relaxed and able to use her body and become much more adjustable.  The price is well worth it because you can use it for years and years and use it on other horses as well.”