A Boutique Experience

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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 email@marystack.com

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.

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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!

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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

5 Reasons to Attend Mary’s Tent Sale

Mary’s annual Tent Sale turns 30!  Every February, we host an amazing 3-day sale that has become THE event of the year! The store is scoured, rearranged and a huge, (120 feet long by 40 feet wide!) tent is set up to squeeze in thousands of sale and clearance items.

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  1. The Deals!

Mary’s Tent Sale has discounts store-wide to help make room for new styles and items! From fly spray to bridles, items are red-tagged everywhere you look! Literally months in advance the Mary’s team plans to find you deals so great, it’ll make you dizzy! While seasonal items like apparel and blankets, will also be at markdown pricing, Sunday there will be select extra discounts. in a few chosen departments to save even more. And don’t forget, Saturday is Double Bucket Saturday – each family that spends $100 or more will get two free buckets on their way out (while supplies last).

2. The Prizes!

Each year, Mary’s offers grand prizes for you to win! Last year Mary’s gave out 5 Grand Prizes; this year we have 8!

Three $500 Ariat shopping sprees, a Kensington $500 shopping spree, a Romfh outfit a Charles Owen helmet and a 1K Bling helmet!

That’s not your only chance to win! Each Tent Sale customer receives a ‘scratcher’ card for chance to spin the Prize Wheel and win an instant prize! There are 250 winning tickets which will be handed out over the weekend with prizes including a set of Veredus carbon gel horse boots, an Ovation schooling outfit and Tech stirrups!

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Don’t forget your FREE bucket with purchase**!!  Double buckets on Saturday! (while supplies last)

3. Fabulous Vendors and Reps

Manufacturer representatives fly in from all over the country (and the world) to come to the Mary’s Tent Sale and educate customers on their products that Mary’s carries. It’s a wonderful opportunity to compare product and brands to determine what will work best for you and your horse. Come armed with questions! Some may even have samples or extra coupons to share with you!

4. Free Food!

Shopping builds up your appetite and Lunch is on us! This year, you can look forward to Pegasus Rising Horse Rescue behind the grill, preparing hot dogs, and serving up some refreshing cold beverages.

5. It’s like a party!

We have so many loyal customers who come from far and wide (some even planning vacations around our sale) to join us for the weekend. Barn buddies, neighbors and trainers… It’s fun to watch so many old friends reunite under one roof! There’s a very special vibe that goes along with the crescendo of voices exclaiming, “Oh my goodness! Hiiiiiiiiiii! How are yooooooou?!”

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Be sure to clear your calendars

This year’s Tent Sale dates are:

  • Friday, February 17th, 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday, February 18th, 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Sunday, February 19th, 9:00am-4:00pm

*Mary’s will be CLOSED Thursday, February 16, to prepare for the sale.

FREE PARKING is located next door, at Del Mar Horse Park. Shuttle service will be provided by Mary’s for your convenience.

** First 200 customers Friday or while supplies last, limit 1 per household. Minimum purchase requirements for Saturday Double Buckets. Also while supplies last.

Five Steps for Emergency Preparedness

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With wildfire season now classified as year round here in Southern California, Mary’s recommends that you be prepared for any and all emergencies — whether you own pets or horses.

  • Along with your regular vaccination schedule, you may want to have your pets and horses micro-chipped if they aren’t already. Micro-chipping can increase the chances of being reunited with your lost companion, should you ever be separated. In most cases, horses can also be freeze branded with a unique identification mark that will be visible to the naked eye, unlike a microchip which must be scanned. Have recent photos of your horse and pets to send to shelters or rescues to help locate them after the emergency if they do become lost or separated from you.

 

  • Always have evacuation plans in place and posted at your barn so everyone knows what to do when disaster strikes. Who is in charge of moving the horses? Who is in charge of stocking and hooking up the trailers? Where will the horses be transported? What route will be taken? If Plan A isn’t possible, what is Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and so forth? Have emergency contact numbers clearly outlined in your plans.

 

  • If you own a horse or livestock trailer, be sure that the trailer has regular safety checks, whether it is used consistently or stored. In the event of an evacuation, you want your trailer to be in safe, reliable condition to transport your animals to safety. Along with safety checks, your trailer should be stocked with plenty of spare halters, lead ropes, hay nets, buckets, water, and Hydration Hay. Mixed with water, hydration hay swells up into generous portions of Grass and Alfalfa hay that will ensure your horse receives some hydration if they’re not drinking water.072016_second_banner_blog

 

  • It’s also a good idea to also keep in your trailer an equine (and human) first aid kit, along with tubes of calming paste and electrolytes, both in powder form to encourage your horse to drink unpalatable water and in paste form if your horse is too stressed to drink water. If you own pets, be sure to have plenty of days’ worth of food and water stored in your vehicle and any medication if needed.

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  • If evacuation isn’t possible, it’s not recommended to keep your horses cooped up in a barn or even in a pen if a fire is dangerously near. Put your contact info, such as your phone number, directly on your horse. You can use a waterproof paint marker on your horse’s hooves or use spray paint or Shapley’s Touch Up Coat Spray on your horse’s coat to leave your phone number so it is visible even at a distance. The key is to use a product that will stay on the horse’s coat. In the event of a dire emergency, it is more important that the contact info stays on your horse until rescue. If – in a worst case scenario you have to release your horses because evacuation is impossible – remove halters from your horse, unless it is specifically designed to breakaway, such as a safety halter, and then set your horses loose. As dangerous as this seems, your horse will have a better chance of surviving the disaster given the freedom to move away from the danger.

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You can find all the products needed to keep you prepared at Mary’s Tack & Feed in Del Mar, CA. Or visit us online at www.marystack.com or call Toll Free 1-800-551-MARY.

 

How to Care for Leather Tack

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Whether you just purchased a new saddle or bridle from Mary’s or you need to revitalize older tack that has seen better days, here are a few tips and techniques for proper maintenance and care of your leather tack. Regular inspection and cleaning ensures your horse tack and equipment will not accumulate dirt and grime that will weaken the leather and can compromise safety. It also keeps your leather goods looking good and lasting for years and years.

New Tack:

We always recommend that you follow the specific manufacturer’s guidelines for caring for your new tack. The harness leather used for western headstalls does not need the same care and ingredients as does the baby soft French calfskin on a Butet saddle. The leather’s needs can change depending on the tanning process and the finish used on the final product. Purchasing the manufacturer’s branded leather care products is recommended, as the care products are usually blended specifically for that brand’s leather needs. Keep in mind that some manufacturer’s warranties become void if you do not use the appropriate recommended products.

If you are unsure of the brand of tack or if you just want generalized care that will suit most brands, we recommend following these steps.

  1. Disassemble the bridle or take stirrup leathers off saddle.
  2. Using a dry rag or towel, gently wipe away any moisture or dust that may have accumulated on the surface and within crevices in the leather.
  3. Take a damp sponge and rub into a quality glycerin saddle soap, such as Fiebings Glycerin Soap or Stubben Glycerine Soap. Apply the soapy sponge to the leather and work up a light lather. Rinse well and wipe away excess.
  4. If you don’t like Glycerine soaps, as they do tend to leave a layer of glycerin on the surface of the leather, you can use a pH balanced cleaner, such as Lexol Leather Cleaner or Stubben Leather Soap.
  5. Apply a conditioner, such as Oakwood Leather Conditioner or Effax Leather Balsam, to the leather using a sponge or cloth.

 

Oiling Tack:

  1. Assess if leather is dry and whether it needs to be oiled. Always oil sparingly and start with 1 light coat. Apply additional coats of oil only if needed; over-oiling can damage the stitching and cause your tack to fail or fall apart.
  2. If the leather needs oiling, place the tack outside in the sunlight for about 5-10 mins to help warm the leather and open the pores. This ensures even absorption of the oil.
  3. Use an oil purposed for leather use, such as Neatsfoot Oil or Hydrophane Leather Dressing, and apply using a small brush or soft cloth to the undersides of the leather. Do not apply to the finished side of the tack, as the finish will not allow proper absorption and the oil will just end up on you or your breeches the next time you ride. Do not apply too much oil to your saddle’s knee rolls, seat, or panels, as the oil can start to absorb into the padding materials under the leather.
  4. Tips: If you are oiling to darken tack, use Hydrophane Leather Darkening Oil. If you need to oil light tack and do not want any color change, use Lexol Neatsfoot Non-Darkening Formula.

 

Revitalizing Old/Neglected Tack:

 

Calfskin or Premium Leather:

Most manufacturers do not recommend cleaning calfskin tack very often. Only clean if needed, and use a calfskin specific cleaner such as, Beval Savon Akene Soap, or a cream based soap, such as Effax Leather Cream Soap. Use a high quality calfskin specific conditioner such as Beval Akene Conditioner or CWD Conditioner. Oil very sparingly!

 

Non-Leather Tack:

  1. Remove bit and stirrup irons and allow to soak in a bucket of soapy water. (Dish soap is fine to use here – but not too much!)
  2. Scrub with a sponge or small stiff brush to remove any grime or build-up.
  3. Rinse with clean water and dry with a towel or rag.
  4. You can use a metal polish like Peek on your irons, but only use Herm Sprenger Diamond Bit Paste on your bits (it’s going in your horse’s mouth after all!)
  5. Keep some Horse Armour Bit Wipes in your tack trunk to quickly clean your bit after you ride. The wipes also leave a nice flavor that your horse will enjoy!

 

A few more tips:

  • Don’t leave your saddle or tack out in the sun for long periods of time. Put it in the shade or put it away in the tack room or tack trunk.
  • Don’t leave your saddle or tack out in the rain. A few rains drops won’t hurt if it starts sprinkling during your class at a show, but the less exposure to water, the better for your tack.
  • Don’t ride in jeans in an English saddle. The seams of your jeans can cause excessive wear and tear on your saddle’s seat and the stitching.
  • Don’t use household cleaners on your saddle. Most cleaners are not designed for leather and can do some damage.
  • Don’t keep or lay the girth across the seat of your saddle. The dirt and sweat from the girth can cause the stitching at the seat to weaken or come apart.
  • Keep a dust cover on your saddle when not in use.

 

Proper care and maintenance of leather is well worth your time and effort. You will prolong the life and safe use of your tack and it will look better and feel better, too.

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