Trailer Safety Tips

When you own or lease a horse eventually you’ll find it necessary to haul them. Whether for a trail ride, horse show, vet clinic, or just plain old moving, that horse will need to get on a horse trailer of some kind. Hauling horses can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some things to keep in mind.



You’ll want to inspect the wear and tear on your truck and trailer on a regular basis. For planned trips, taking the time a week before you go to make sure your tires have adequate pressure. That your lights all work, your brakes work and your hitch is in good repair. Be sure to check every nook and cranny of your rig for rust and rot. Rust and rot will put long term damage on your vehicle and put you and others in the way of danger.


Most people don’t realize but being organized is a key piece to being safe. Knowing where everything is from safety ties, your first aid kit  to your grooming supplies , will help you keep your cool in high stress situations. Not only that, in the case where someone else is helping you out it makes things easier on them. Having a place for your things will keep walkways and doorways clear of obstruction, so tripping and falling accidents don’t occur.



There are so many products on the market to help your horse have a safe haul, from shipping boots to protect the legs , to shipping caps to protect the noggin . You can’t expect your horse to be okay with any of these items the moment you plan to ship them. In fact, sometimes these items can cause more stress if your horse isn’t used to them. Taking adequate time prior to hauling to socialize your horse to such products will go a long way in reducing travel anxiety for human and equine.

Hauling doesn’t need to be a scary experience! Still have questions about trailering your horse?  Stop by or call! Many of us are seasoned haulers and will be more than happy to make suggestions on what products have worked best for us and may work for you.

Mare and Foal Nutrition

Toshiba Digital Camera

A healthy diet for the average horse includes access to good quality forage, unlimited supply of fresh clean water and dietary supplementation when need be. When in foal, a mare is eating for two. By giving your mare everything she needs to birth a happy and healthy foal, you ensure your foal has everything they need to start off on the right hoof.
The first step to developing a balanced feeding program for your mare is to assess her body condition.  Inspect her ribs, flank,neck, withers, spine, tail head and behind her shoulder for excess or lack of fat so you know where to begin.

Correct Ratio of calcium to phosphorous
If your mare’s diet is high in alfalfa hay, you’ll need to balance the calcium and phosphorus in it. Typically, alfalfa’s calcium to phosphorous ratio can be as high as 10:1. A mare in foal’s total diet should contain at least .4% calcium to .3% phosphorous. A mineral balancer like Adeptus Augment can provide crucial nutrients that may be lacking in hay without overfeeding fortified grain. If your mare is over 15 she may require additional calcium during gestation and lactation as older horses are less efficient in absorbing those same nutrients.

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Increased protein
Broodmares should be started on a rising plane of nutrition with the emphasis being on increasing crude protein (along with vitamins and trace minerals). In early gestation, protein intake should be about 1.4% of the mare’s body weight and increase slowly to 3% by the time she is lactating. Halfway through the second trimester the foal’s growth really takes off! Protein helps feed fetal tissue growth and will ensure your foal will reach their full potential. If your mare is over 15 she may require additional protein during gestation and lactation as older horses are less efficient in absorbing it.

Alfalfa for increased milk production
Good quality leafy hay is important for all horses, but after foaling it’s vital in making sure mare and foal have adequate nutrition. While lactating, many mares have the nutritional requirements of hardworking performance horses.  The average mare produces 3% of her body weight in milk per day after foaling. Because of this, nutrition should be on a rising plane to support her increasing milk production. A mare can only eat so much hay so you may supplement the increased feeding needs with a commercial concentrate designed for broodmares specifically.

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You can always call the friendly staff at Mary’s with your questions and for suggestions (858) 755-2015.  Our knowledgeable cashiers & feed guys will be happy to help you design a good feed program for your broodmare and foal.  We offer many different concentrated grain formulas specifically blended to meet their needs.  As well as the high quality forage they require.  Don’t forget to bring in pictures!  We love seeing all of those mare & foal pics.  Always consult your veterinarian or equine reproduction specialist about your mare’s needs.

For more information regarding Broodmare nutrition refer to the following: Management of Broodmares, Mare Nutrition, Feeding Mares and Foals

A Boutique Experience


Last Thursday, Mary’s Tack and Feed hosted it’s third ‘Sip N Shop’. The first ‘Sip N Shop’ was held in December of 2016. Good turnout and a great time had by all, inspired a second get-together the following week with plans for one a season! If you missed out last week we highly encourage you to keep your eyes open for the next one and pencil it into your calendars. Unsure what the fuss is all about? Here are some compelling reasons why you should attend:

New Products! –  A rounder at the front of the store lay bare hours before ‘Sip N Shop’ began. At 5pm Mary’s employees unveiled the products destined for that rounder – Equestrian apparel brand Joules’ new spring line. Bold Navy and Stripes, Adorable floral and horse prints adorned the items for women and girls.

Check out the rest of Mary’s Spring Apparel available now

#SupportLocalMade – There is something electrifying about meeting local artisans and exploring new products. Three booths were set out for designer-proprietors of local accessory vendors: Cassiano Designs, Mane Jane and SeamReap, so they could introduce themselves and their products to ‘Sip N Shop’ attendees.

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Seam Reap available at Mary’s

A Time to Unwind –  After a long day at work, ‘Sip N Shop’ offers a refuge from waiting in traffic. Friendly Mary’s staff offered delectable crackers, cheeses, and a welcoming spread of veggies. You could relax into the atmosphere, see friends old and new, browse current Mary’s offerings with wine, beer or refreshing water in hand. It’s also a great time to visit with Mary’s Employees as buyers, managers and cashiers are in attendance.

Be sure to visit our website and sign up for the Mary’s email newsletter to keep up to date on Mary’s Tack and Feed future events.

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Mane Jane available at Mary’s

If there is a vendor you’d love to see and talk to at a future ‘Sip N Shop’, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment with your feedback and suggestions on the blog, drop us a message on Facebook or email us at

Maximizing Limited Saddle Time

Has the recent weather kept you from riding as often as you’d like? Maybe you just can’t get to the barn due to puddles, mud and more puddles? Instead of letting the lack of saddle time get you down here are some ways to maximize growth and learning when not in the saddle.

Staying Fit
Riding, for many of us, is our main form of exercise. Less riding can mean loss of stamina and overall fitness — but it doesn’t have to!  No gym is required, just motivation to strap on a pair of running shoes and hit the sidewalks or the beach. (Running in sand is a great way to build up endurance). For those who can, joining a gym can be a great motivator for exercising. Many gyms offer fun classes like yoga, spin, cross-fit, Zumba and kickboxing. If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised and you have health issues or concerns, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first.


Your friend’s can help motivate you!

Staying Limber
Downtime from the saddle can be a time to regain and improve flexibility. A physical therapist, yoga instructor, or physical fitness trainer can help you build a regimen of stretching, strength training, massage, or other alternative therapies you may need to get back into tip-top shape. Stretching has the added positive effects of increasing body awareness which translates to increased awareness in the saddle. As rider’s we’ve probably have had falls and riding related injuries. Many of us are stoic and will work through minor aches and pains when we shouldn’t. We all know someone who pushes themselves more than they should. Staying flexible can help us heal faster and more completely. Remember if you don’t use your flexibility you’ll lose your flexibility!


Learning from varied sources
Lack of saddle time does not necessarily equal lack of time learning. You can commit yourself to going down and watching local rated and unrated horse shows in person or online. So many competitions are available to watch either on premium channels for a fee or for free on YouTube, regardless if they are happening today or in the past (and of course you can visualize your show rides of the future). There may also be clinics happening in your area that you can go audit. Mary’s Tack and Feed hosts events and seminars The local library, tack store or book store are great sources of knowledge with plenty of riding and horse care books and DVD’s that can be checked out or purchased. If your schedule allows it and your trainer approves, auditing barn mates and friend’s lessons is a great auditory and visual learning tool.

Limited saddle time doesn’t mean you need to backslide on your progress. By finding the right balance between fitness, flexibility and continued learning