Whinny Warmers from Sox for Horses to the rescue....
In warm weather, a horse annoyed by biting flies on its legs can take off at a lively trot for the far side of the pasture to escape the pests. But if those same legs are exposed to winter’s bitter chill, while suffering from the pain of arthritis or the crippling effects of poor circulation, it can stop them in their tracks and leave them suffering as if frozen to the ground.
Raymond Petterson, president of the American manufacturing company, Sox For Horses, Inc., recounts the many calls he receives from rescue groups, describing equine victims so malnourished that a blanket for warmth isn’t an indulgence; it’s mission critical to survival. Just as important, the rescues say, are his Whinny Warmers® for keeping legs warm and dry. “While the lucky ones are regaining nourishment, their bodies have no muscle mass or energy to provide warmth. That is where our Whinny Warmers have come to their rescue.”
For aging equines already fortunate enough to have a forever home, Petterson says, “A lot of owners love their horses to their final days. They want to help their friend be happy and comfortable for as long as their horse is willing to keep going. If you can warm the legs -- and the rest of the body -- such ‘frozen’ animals will soon feel – and act -- like horses again.”
Whinny Warmers are durable, extra long, thick socks designed to work in harmony with the anatomy of the equine leg. “These are not just ‘tube socks’ for horses. The inside of our Sox are lined with the same amazing antimicrobial yarn used to make our Summer Whinnys. In every season, Sox For Horses can offer a complete barrier, protecting legs from frigid temperatures or flies, and consequently, allowing sores, wounds and injuries to heal while encouraging optimum circulation.
“Our journey began with a horse that stood glued to the ground, unable to move when her legs got cold. I couldn’t allow her to continue with arthritic pain, but she communicated such an unwavering spirit to live, that I was compelled to find a way to help her be happy, warm and the horse she wanted to be.
“Whinny Warmers became a major part of her winter clothing and she clearly demonstrated that she liked them. She would wait by the barn at night for me to put them on her. She would stand untied and carefully raise her feet so that I could put them on. She participated in the process! That told me that the whole concept of warming a horse’s legs was valid, and meaningful to horses. It wasn’t just a crazy idea. Though that little mare has passed away, she had eight more winters of warmth, comfort and a happy life, and I know in my heart it was in large part because she was finally warm.”
More Than Socks: The Warmth of Friendship
Coco and Dash are improbable mascots for a company producing athletic socks for equines. But ask Petterson and he’ll tell you he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Petterson took pity on a long-eared little jennet without an options and pregnant. It wasn’t the first time a cast-off had captured his heart: Evie, an aged Quarter Horse mare whose arthritis originally inspired the launch of his socks and company had also been a rescue. She also came carrying a foal that was born 9 months later. That colt, Tembrooks Yahoo, is the face of Summer Whinnys today. The jennet was the second ‘two-fer’ he’d brought to the Florida family farm.
In August 2012, the donkey jennet, dubbed Coco, foaled a long-eared chocolate-coated colt named Dash. Chronicling their progress on Facebook, mother and son have built a growing family of friends as Petterson has recounted their homeopathic care, Dash’s introduction to groundwork, and Coco’s slowly building trust.
“Take a survey of your riding friends and chances are their BFF (best friend forever) is their horse. Or donkey,” smiled Petterson. “It’s not hard to figure out why. They never aspire to be anything more than they are. They are honest. They don’t lie. They won’t cheat on you and they appreciate affection, by being openly affectionate in return or being a great trail companion on those days when you are sorting out your own life.
“A horse can accept all of your faults and listen to everything you have to tell them. They are there in the morning and evening with a whinny that makes your whole day. Such a friendship at times seems to go both ways. A ruined day can become a great one, spent on a great ride that is a partnership of give, take, and reward.”
Petterson listens daily to customers who call their equine their BFF, and want to make their four-legged friends more comfortable. Many thank him for designing socks that horses can wear. “I wondered why no one thought of this before. Maybe people did and did not take the next step. I had no choice but to pursue it.” Petterson’s oldest BFF, Evie, suffered greatly from arthritis. “ I couldn’t bear to see her standing there in the winter in pain. It made sense to find a way to warm her legs up.” And so he did.
Whinny Warmers® have come a long way since that original idea. They are made from a thick, warm, wool blend yarn and lined on the inside with the same antimicrobial yarn used for Summer Whinnys™, Petterson’s fly protection socks worn by horses all over the world. Whinny Warmers® have shape and form that move with joints and helps socks stay put on the legs of horses that need warmth in order to live more comfortably with arthritis, or circulation-impairing conditions such as laminitis, founder or IR Cushings otherwise known as Equine Metabolic Syndrome.
Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your BFF? Make it Whinny Warmers®. As snows fly and temperatures drop, the warmth of friendship – and Whinny Warmers Socks for Horses – will keep legs warm and cozy. Socks also come in Mini sizes, perfect for smaller equines (and young long ears like Dash), too.
For more information about Whinny Warmers® or Summer Whinnys™ visit www.whinnywarmers.com or call Sox For Horses, Inc. for personalized attention, (850) 907-5724. They love to talk to people who love their best equine friends. Sox For Horses, Inc. actively supports equine and animal rescue missions and donates socks to help rescued equines live more comfortably.
Sox For Horses, Inc., and their complete horse socks line of Summer Whinnys™ and winter Whinny Warmers® are Made In America. Have a question? Feel free to call (850) 907-5724 and let’s discuss how Sox For Horses can help your horse. For more information, visit www.whinnywarmers.com .