Every summer, horse owners everywhere gear up for fly season.
They buy masks, sheets, sprays, roll-on repellents…you name it. Pest control can get costly, but it’s all part of being a responsible horse owner. What if you could find a more cost-effective method of fly control? Raymond Petterson, the creator of Sox for Horses, has a solution.
“The initial idea started years ago with our Whinny Warmers,” he told Horse Family. “I had an old mare that was badly arthritic. She had come from a slaughter sale and despite her arthritis, she had a lot of heart to keep on living.”
Hoping to find a way to make the mare more comfortable in her older years, Petterson started experimenting with various solutions during the winter months. He soon discovered that putting “socks” on her legs began to slowly but surely make a difference.
“The farrier saw improvement and said to me, ‘Whatever it is that you’re doing, just keep doing it.’ And that’s when we started looking into creating the Whinny Warmers for not just our own horses, but for others as well.”
Not long after the idea for Whinny Warmers came to mind, Petterson realized that the same concept could help horses during the summer, assisting in the prevention of stomping and hoof damage. He then added Summer Whinnys to his product line. Unlike other fly boots, his socks did not have Velcro or snaps on them which could present liabilities out in the pasture.
“Our socks will slip right off if the horse gets caught on something,” Petterson said.
The Sox for Horses brand has undergone a few changes since they initially hit the market in 2008. Petterson spent a lot of time talking to people and researching ways to make the product better, with a redesign occurring in early 2010 with the Summer Whinnys. The newly designed Whinny Warmers were then released and now offer much warmer yarns.
“I haven’t seen a bug bite get through them yet,” said Petterson, who uses them on his own horses. He also added that there is a distinctive difference between the summer and winter products; the Whinny Warmers (winter socks) should not be used in temperatures above 50 degrees, as they hold a lot of heat in and can cause problems when worn in warm weather. Horse socks can also be easily cleaned by tossing them in the washing machine and dryer along with your other barn clothes.
This post was originally published on July 20, 2011 and updated on November 15, 2020.