It is 16 degrees out this morning, with the remnants of our snow making it look and feel colder, and the very mushy ground is now rock hard. Water tubs had to be broken, and it's the kind of morning when I fret about Salina and her arthritic knees, which can get stiff and sore in the cold.
I wondered this past fall why someone hadn't come up with something to keep horse legs warm - and then I discovered that someone had.
Whinny Warmers are what I call "leg warmers for horses." I ordered two pair for Salina back before Christmas, hoping they would work, but not expecting much. There are a lot of "miracle" products out there that don't stand up to equine use.
When they arrived, I was instantly thrilled with the quality. They are soft and well-made, and when we put them on, Salina accepted them immediately. Surprisingly, they stay up easily without being tight or restrictive. They make a noticeable difference in Salina's comfort in the cold, they wash and dry beautifully, and the cost was very reasonable. What more could I ask for in an equine product?
There is more. The owner of Whinny Warmers saw a photo here of Salina wearing the warmers, and noted that I had mentioned the company and recommended them to anyone seeking socks for horses.
He emailed to say that he would like to donate Whinny Warmers to the rescue of my choice.
I sent out a couple of emails to two of my favorite rescues, the NC USERL and Primrose Donkey Sanctuary.
I heard back from our local USERL quickly, and Whinny Warmers were sent within two days to every single horse they have in their care right now who might benefit from extra warmth on the legs.
Yesterday, I received an email from Sheila at Primrose Donkey Sanctuary, telling me that she has been busy and was just now getting to my email, but that she has two donkeys who could use the Whinnies: a mammoth donkey (Tabolinsky) and a large standard gelding, 35 to 40 yrs. old (Amos) who has a hairline fracture in the left front pastern. Amos protects and guides Patsy - a 14 yr. old jennet - who is totally blind and he is her eyes. They are trying to keep him going as long as they can and think the leg warmers will help.
Mr. Petterson had already donated so many Whinny Warmers I was hesitant to ask for more. But the two donkeys in need at Primrose touched my heart, so I sent the email on. Mr. Petterson emailed overnight to ask for the address so he can put the Whinnies in the mail.
I want to say another big THANK YOU to the Pettersons for their generosity and for the Whinny Warmers, a great product for equines.
They also have a product called Summer Sox which protect equine legs from flies - I'll be trying those this year too, and will report on the results.
And finally, for anyone here who reads Sheaffer's blog, Primrose is where TJ, the infamous mini mule, lives. Sheila passed on an update and said that TJ will accept treats but is still wary of hands. She says she can tell that he wants her to touch him - and that she will give him all the time he needs to learn to trust humans again.
I'd like to ask that if you have healthy, beloved equines, give them a hug today. And then find a rescue and send them a donation and a thank you for all they do.