WTS Blog News

RIP Mouse 3/10/89-1/29/18

Mouse Tennessee Walker

It's really starting to appear that we need to write more blog posts!  The last three, including this one, all relates to death.  While death is never easy to accept, we all must navigate through it at some point (probably several times) throughout our lives.  Whether it is a loved human or a loved animal... it's all very difficult.  

We, here at Warmblood Tack Store, bought Mouse, (a large 16.2hh Tennessee Walker.. yes, that's right!), in 2001 to be a "calm companion" for the horse ("Storm") that became our mascot.  Mouse was very curious and always gentle.. not afraid of a thing (just make sure you'd turn his head to let him see the car approaching from behind).  Mouse was diagnosed as insulin resistant many years ago and it then turned into Cushing's.  While Mouse was on Prascend for the past 6-7 years, it wasn't Cushing's that took him.  It was severe arthritis in either the stifle or perhaps his spine.  To this day, we still are not sure if he had a trauma that happened overnight or really what actually transpired ... one morning we went out to the pasture and he simply couldn't get up.  All we know is that Pentosan worked wonders for years, but then we turned to Previcox (Equioxx for horses) for chronic pain.  He's had many ups & downs over the past several years, but this weekend things got much worse where he didn't have much control over his hind end.  It was finally time... and he told me so.  

Hug your babies.. because you never know when that day will come.



In Memory of Philippa Humphreys

Today, the news of Philippa Humphreys was publicized.  As I write this blog post, I think about different professional eventing competitions the I've attended and think about the people and animals that have been hurt, or worse, killed.  Philippa was from England and was an international event rider.  While Philippa was from abroad, she lived only miles from Warmblood Tack Store, where she owned and operated PH Eventing, in Rockford, Michigan.  Philippa was well known in the community and was part of the West Michigan "family".  Just the other day, I was talking with a fellow equestrian and Philippa's name came up.  It's hard to believe that she is now gone.

According to reports, Philippa was thrown from her horse, Rich N Famous, at fence 16 at a cross-country time trial at Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event in Allentown, NJ, on Saturday, May 14, 2016.  Sadly, the 33-yr old leaves behind a 6-month old child (Millie) and her husband (Peter).  Rich N Famous was apparently not hurt in the fall.

I didn't know Philippa personally but knew of her.  And while I do not ride in the levels in which she competed, it still hits every equestrian very hard when a tragedy like this happens.  The good news (if there is any) ... is I'm sure she died doing what she loved.  And frankly, it would be an acceptable way for me to die too.  We can always argue if it's better to know you're dying and have the time to say 'good bye' to loved ones, or to die quickly and unexpectedly.  Personally, I wouldn't want the long, drawn-out painful disease that lasted for several months or even years that I've seen many people endure.  It is a way that I would want to go to meet my God.. on the back of my horse.

We are so very sorry about this tragic event and ask that you also keep Philippa's family in your thoughts and prayers.  

There has been a fundraiser page set up to help for Millie's college education at YouCaring.com.  


Our "Golden" Retriever Employee - Denver

Yesterday we said goodbye to one of our "Golden" employees! Our rescued Golden Retriever, "Denver", crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you to Heaven at Home Pet Hospice for their compassion and coming to our home to make the transition comfortable for everyone. Denver was in his 15th year of life and that is pretty good for a big old Golden. He had a lot of health issues, but at least his last two years with us (we rescued him in Feb 2014) were good ones. RIP Denver... Now you can run, lay down however you want, scratch yourself, and do all the things you haven't been able to do for years!

Rest in Peace Sophie


When many people were enjoying backyard barbecues, swimming and other family recreation over the recent long Labor Day weekend, we, here at Warmblood Tack Store, were saying "Goodbye" to our beautiful Percheron, Sophie. 

Sophie was a "husband horse"... she was sweet, gentle, loving, curious, beautiful and had a great sense of humor!  She had this big lower lip that would flop around loosely.. and when she trotted, well, she looked like one of those old wooden "dummies" that a ventriloquist would use in their act way back when.  When she drank water, she would move the water around and splash it all over with that big lower lip until she started sucking the water in ..... then, of course, she would stop drinking and walk up to you looking for love while still holding about a quart of water in her mouth.  As soon as she got near you, then she would "let it out" by rinsing her mouth out.. all over your boots.  The three years we had her we sure enjoyed her as did the other horses.  She went on many trail rides and was very well taken care of her last few years on Earth.

Sophie has had several bouts of colic in the past three years, but the one over Labor Day weekend was different.. nothing was helping and surgery wasn't an option.  Although we reside in Michigan, we would have been about 2+ hours away from Michigan State University where they perform surgeries on a routine basis.. but she wouldn't have made it.  She was in extreme pain and we did the best thing we could for her by eliminating the pain all together.  

Letting go of a beloved animal is such a difficult thing to do.  We were all very saddened by her departure as were the other horses.  Anyone that says horses "don't understand" are WRONG.  Our remaining horses were "off" and really knew she was gone.  Her boyfriend, Storm, rarely left the barn and would only pick at his hay for a couple of days (of course, this started to worry us as well!).  The horses would call for her and kept looking over where she had laid in the grass when the vet was here.  The horses knew she was gone, but they missed her and wanted her back. 

Today, it's now over two weeks since her death and the remaining horses are back to normal (whatever that is with the remaining jokers in the herd), but we are still missing her every single day.  Sophie was a model for Warmblood Tack Store's draft products and she did a lot to promote the heavy breeds... she will always be remembered with fond memories!  Rest in Peace Sophie.... until we meet again.


Can You Predict An Hoof Abscess?

If we could predict when your horse would develop a hoof abscess, we'd be MILLIONAIRES!  Unfortunately.. we never know when it will arrive.  And...if you own horses long enough, it's not "if".. it is "when" a hoof abscess will develop.  Our Percheron Cross is 16 years old and we've had him since he was just a 3-yr old.  In 12 years, he has never had a hoof problem.  Fast forward to 2015.. he had an abscess in May and now another one in August.  Why does this happen... nothing has changed?

There are different theories on why an abscess rears its ugly head.. maybe from a bruise, laminitis, shoeing difficulties, navicular, contraction of heels, weather pattern changes or other reasons.  Many times, you have no idea it is coming until you go out to get your horse and notice he's limping and very "ouchy" on one leg!  

After our recent vet call, it was determined he had an abscess in a hoof.. probably from a rock that bruised his sole.. and then festered.  While our veterinarian was able to locate the abscess and initiate the draining of the infection, we needed to protect the hoof from further infection caused by dirt, manure, etc.  Vetrap and duck tape can be used to hold a poultice in and protect the hoof and encourage healing, but a hoof boot might be much easier!

As you know, when you have a big horse it can be difficult to find the tack and gear that you need in the right size (we suspect that is why you are reading this blog and on our website!). This truth goes for "emergency products" as well (maybe even more so)!  When you need a therapeutic boot for your large draft cross or draft horse, you simply cannot get it quickly (if you can even find it).  We believe it is an item that big horse owners should always have on hand.. so WHEN you need it, you have it!

We have developed a list of "emergency horse gear" that owners of large horses should consider having on hand because you never know when you might need it:

 We hope you don't need this "emergency horse gear"... but if you do, you'll be equipped to handle the situation. 

Percheron Love

Need a little smile?  Here is a cute little video that was taken this Spring when Sophie (Percheron) realizes that her fearless leader and boyfriend (Storm).. has "left the pasture".  See what she does!


New Blog!

Hello!  We are happy to announce that Warmblood Tack Store now has a blog!  We will periodically update this blog with company news, new vendors, product reviews & comparisons, and other pertinent information our customers may find helpful.

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