‘Treat’ your Horse to one of our 4 Favorite Horse Treats!

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Horse treats are a staple at the barn. Many of us use treats and cookies as a training tool, reward or as an edible way of saying “I love you.”

Evolving from sugar cubes and lumps, to the healthier option of apples and carrots, today’s horse treat selections offer a vast array of fun flavors, nutritious options, and (most importantly) ease and convenience.

Here are 4 of Mary’s best-selling horse treats and the inspiration behind the brands!

 

Mrs. Pastures has been a best-seller at Mary’s for many years! Natural, crunchy cookies that are the perfect size to stash in pockets and proudly made in the USA! Mrs. Pasture’s cookie recipe was developed back in 1986, when the company owner wanted to create the perfect cookie for her horse, Poncho. Mary’s Tack and Feed was the first California customer for Mrs. Pastures! Back then, only the 8oz cookie bag was available. Now, Mrs. Pastures is available in many sizes to fit any size barn!

Co-owner, Stephanie, still has green Tent Sale bucket from when she was in high school. “I’m not going to date myself, but that was forever ago!”

California Chrome and his favorite horse treats!

California Chrome and his favorite horse treats!

Ace, a newly rescued NSH of Stephanie and her husband, enjoying his custom made Mrs. Pasture’s horse cookie!

Ace, a newly rescued NSH of Stephanie and her husband, enjoying his custom made Mrs. Pasture’s horse cookie!

When you walk into Mary’s, it’s the first thing you smell (well, besides the leather)-the sweet scent of Haystack Wildberry Delight Horse Treats wafting in the air. As modest as the white, paper bags are… inside lives beautiful, sun-cured alfalfa hay pellets infused with cranberries and wildberry juice. Wildberry Delights are made in Oregon, fresh from the hay fields. Horses goes nuts for them!

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Paddock Cakes treats stand apart from many horse treats. With their iconic red label and candy-topped cookies taunting you from within the jar, seeing all the flavors is the horsey equivalent of walking into Willy Wonka’s factory. Paddock Cakes’ baker, Linda, originally created her treats for her horses, Diamond and Cody. Settling for nothing but the best, Linda uses only high-quality, fresh and natural ingredients. Each batch of Paddock Cakes cookies is baked the same way she cooks for her family- with “LUV” and care.

“I added a touch of candy because my grandmother always told me, “Never go to the barn without a little sugar in your pocket.””

Paddock Cakes also offer Corral Cookies for owners wanting the tasty, wholesome goodness Paddock Cakes has to offer, but without the candy.

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When Cheryl’s horse, Apache, developed some dental and health issues, she was on the lookout for a soft and healthy horse treat. With the use of her animal health pharmaceutical background, A to Z Horse Treats was born! Made with human-grade ingredients in the USA, they can proudly boast their treats are low-carb and low sugar.

The Original recipe serves function as an excellent “pill popper” to ensure even the pickiest equine receives their medication. The Blonde Bits of Health recipe is uniquely made with agave and cinnamon, which acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.

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Mary’ Tack and Feed offers many other quality treats for every horse and every budget! See our online selection at www.marystackandfeed.com or visit our store and drool over our selection!

New Year’s Resolutions…For Your Horse

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Pssst…. Attention all equines! Yes, this blog is for YOU!

The New Year is here and your human counterparts are going to be busy trying to reinvent themselves. Things may even get a little nutty. So, we’ve come up with some resolutions you can make for yourself and tips on how to stick with them!

 

GET IN SHAPE… I mean, don’t…

Many of your humans will resolve to lose weight or get in better shape after the New Year. This resolution, as popular as it is, usually fizzles out in a month. Poor, human.

How can you help? Gain weight so they look better by comparison!

A trick to this is to convince everyone you haven’t eaten and are on the brink of starvation. It’s all in the eyes. ANY person who walks by, give them a sorrowful look and reach out to their pockets. The treats within may end up in your feeder, instead of that other horse. You’ll pack on the pounds faster than you think!

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TAKE UP YOGA

If you do have to work on your physique, consider yoga. Good for the body, mind and soul. A basic move you can start with is Upward Hoof. Lay down on the ground and reach all four hooves up to the sky. It might take a couple attempts, but keep rolling over until you accomplish the move. This is especially invigorating after a bath.

Another move is Tree Salute. Firmly plant all feet and slowly lean forward and stretch your neck up toward a tree branch. Then stretch your lips out. Eat some leaves. Ignore anyone who yells at you- you are in “the zone.”

 

QUIT CRIBBING

Aside from being a nuisance to others, cribbing is an unhealthy habit that can cause many long-term issues. Cessation products like cribbing collars, stall toys that can give distraction and natural remedies can help be a part of your quitting support team.

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EAT OUT MORE OFTEN

Get to know your local flavors by partaking in roadside buffets. You’ve seen them while walking by on the trail, especially during the spring. Fresh, flowering herbs can bring such delight to an equine pallet. Take advantage of a loose rein and reach for a snack.

You can also check in with what your neighbor is dining on. Their grain has to be better than what you have.

 

TRAVEL MORE

Resolve your fear of travel and take the brave leap into that shiny, metal, moving box! It is not a monster trying to eat you… give it a good kick and see for yourself… see? Give it another kick, for good measure. Told you so. Trailering in comfortable gear can help ease travel stress. Consider splurging on a shipping halter and boots to aid in your relaxation… and protect yourself from any “trust kicks” along the journey.

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If you have any questions about products that can help make your New Year’s resolutions stick, have your human call the friendly staff at Mary’s Tack and Feed at (800)551-MARY. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you achieve your goals!

The 4 Best Things about Holiday Barn Parties

The 4 Best Things about Holiday Barn Parties!

Are you attending a holiday barn party this weekend?

Whether you are all gathering around a picnic table at the ranch… or a fellow barn buddy has volunteered to be Hostess-with-the-Mostest… or it’s a full-blown catered event (lucky!)… Here are 4 fun things to make the most of your barn party!

1. PEOPLE FEED

Check with your host if there’s a particular dish you can bring- dessert, veggie, etc.  Horsey-themed hors d’oeuvres and dessert recipes can be found all over on the internet… but it’s really fun to show off your own five-star recipe. Especially to “Debbie.” She might bring home more ribbons than you… but she will never top your Blue Cheese Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs. Ever.

Not into that whole cooking thing? A bottle of wine with an equine related name or label is a great alternative! And would be very much appreciated!

 

2. ATTIRE

There are those friends that we only see while at the barn: Sunglasses, ball caps, helmets and slathered in sunscreen. If it weren’t for social media, you probably couldn’t pick them out of a police line-up. Holiday barn parties are a fun way to show how you “clean up nice.”  It’s also fun to wear some of your fancier horse-themed outfits and jewelry from Mary’s Tack and Feed 😉

3. GAMES

Trivia about each guest can make for an interesting evening… I mean, you didn’t even know how some of these people looked without sunglasses until now! Each guest can tell the host some fun facts about themselves, which will anonymously be asked to the crowd for guessing. If you own a horse, you own a few good stories.

4. GIFTS

Is it a Secret Santa? White Elephant? Gift games are a great way to spread holiday cheer, even before the party starts!

If there is a cap of how much to spend don’t be afraid to meet it! A really cool gift can make someone’s night, especially if they’re on Santa’s naughty list. This may be their only chance at a decent gift (except for a lump of coal)! A highly coveted present will get “stolen” during a game and ensue lots of laughter! And maybe a little revenge.

Keep it horsey-themed. You ARE at a barn party after all! Try to keep the gifts gender-neutral, too. If you are overwhelmed and can’t decide, a gift geared for the horse will always win, so try some fancy horse treats.

You can even sneak a gift receipt in with your gift. We all know if you bring a horse-sized Rambo Newmarket Halter as a gift, the only Cob-sized horse is going to receive it.

 

 

Stop by Mary’s Tack and Feed for your party gifts and hosting décor!

Merry Christmas!

No-Stirrup November, Part II- Return of the Irons

stirrup_part2-1Yay! You did it! No-Stirrup November is just about over and we bet you can’t wait to get your beloved irons back!

We’re sure your body has rediscovered its appreciation for stirrups… but have you? We got to wondering about how and when stirrups came about. Who do we have to thank for this amazing invention? So, here’s what we found out…

The first stirrup was designed as more of a mounting stirrup- a single leather strap with a loop at the end- around 1000 BC. From this, a riding stirrup evolved, but was only designed to support the big toe of each foot. It wasn’t a popular design, given you had to be barefoot in a cold climate.

The Chinese are recognized for providing the first full-foot stirrup during the 4th century. The style spread throughout Asia and hit Europe by the 8th century.

The stirrup changed warfare forever. Mounted warriors had the freedom to use both hands for weapons while keeping their balance. The stirrup has been accredited as one of the biggest influences in civilization, after the invention of the wheel. And the ice cream cone…

Today’s stirrup technology has come a long way from the standard fillis iron. Riders now get to choose from many types of irons in lightweight metals, ergonomic designs and improved foot beds. Did you know there are stirrups designed to help keep your heels down, improve your leg position and reduce pain and pressure in your knees and hips? We’ve chosen a few favorites to share with you.

stirrup_part2-5Stubben’s Maxi Grip stirrup irons are lightweight with a sleek design. Pyramid-shaped points provide an extra grippy foot bed for added security and balance. They are also slightly angled to help keep your leg in an ideal position. A little traditional, a little modern.

stirrup_part2-6MDC S Classic Non-Flex Stirrup Iron’s top of the stirrup slot is turned like an S while the lower portion of the slot faces forward which keeps the iron at a 45 degree angle. The benefit of this design improves your leg position and alleviates stress on your joints (hips and knees)… all while keeping the appearance of a classic fillis iron. Look good… feel good…

stirrup_part2-7Herm Sprenger Bow Balance stirrup irons flex and move with your foot to when engaging your lower leg. The “bowed” arch allows the stirrup to rest at a 90 degree angle and can help relieve stress on your joints. The rubber foot bed acts as a shock absorber. The moveable grip helps your ankle to flex and heel to drop.

stirrup_part2-8Even trail riders can join the party with Tucker Trail Glide Stirrups! Trail Glide stirrups are lightweight and feature a unique “cone” for the saddle fender. The cone’s angle keeps you balanced in the saddle and reduces knee and ankle fatigue. Plus, they have a thick cushion on the foot bed for added comfort! You might want to clear your schedule after purchasing these stirrups- you’ll be spending a lot more time in the saddle!

 

Now that you have endured a whole month of No-Stirrup November, why not reward yourself with a pair of new, fancy irons from Mary’s Tack and Feed?

For one of the nation’s best selections of irons and leathers, visit our Mary’s website or call our friendly and knowledgeable staff at (800) 551-MARY. We are to here to answer all your questions!

Clipping Tips from Mary’s Tack and Feed

Photo by Amanda Greene

Photo by Amanda Greene

Shorter days, cooler weather and fuzzy ponies have arrived! Mary’s is here to help. Here are 4 clipping tips to get you started:

1) Pre-Clip Beauty Care

Before you clip, your horse’s coat needs to be clean! Give your horse a good scrub and lather with a quality horse shampoo. Dirt and grime will dull your clipper blades more quickly. EQyss shampoos or Vetrolin Bath are great at removing dirt and nourishing your horse’s skin.

Give a good spray over of Showsheen or Calm Coat Pre Clip spray. This can help the clippers glide through the horse’s hair easily, reducing wear on your blades and those unsightly ‘lines’ in the coat.

Have somewhere to be? Shapley’s Light Oil is the perfect product to use for entering the show ring after a fresh clip. Shapley’s Light Oil smooths the hair and reduces the appearance of blunt, cut edges and provides a beautiful shine!

 

2) Styles of clips

The type of clip you decide to give your horse can depend on a number of factors. Two important considerations are your climate and your horse’s activity level.

Trace clips are popular because the coat is trimmed along the neck, chest and belly of the horse. This is where the horse tends to sweat most during activity. The horse will stay cooler during exercise and the remaining hair dries quickly. This cut can help keep your horse comfortable during the changing of seasons.

The full Monty. Nothing can be more gratifying than clipping. It. All. Off. Usually preformed for the show horse as the seasons start to turn, the full body clip erases the slightest hint of the shaggy winter coat. What’s left is a gleaming encore of your summer horse. If you choose to commit to the task- BE PREPARED! Have your horse’s blankets and day sheets ready BEFORE you clip.

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3) Which clipper & blades do you need?

Do you plan to only tidy up whiskers and a bridle path? Clippers labeled as “Trimmers” are small, lightweight, quiet and very cost effective. Perhaps you’d also like to clip your horse’s legs, too. A single-speed clipper will have the added strength to much through the thicker hair.

Now let’s say your horse has some woolly mammoth DNA or you have more serious body clipping plans. A two-speed clipper can give you the lower RPMs for thicker/tougher cuts and a higher gear to help speed through body clips.

What’s with all those blade numbers?

The larger the number, the closer (shorter) the cut. For example, #T-84 & #10 blades are commonly used for body clipping and are usually included with the clipper you purchase. A #40 blade is surgical, down to the skin. Some people will use a #7 for body clipping and a #15 for fetlock and bridle paths. It’s all a matter of preference… but a #10 is a good start.

Most classic clipper blades are made from steel. Ceramic blades are made with a steel lower and a ceramic upper blade. Ceramic blades differ in function by staying 70% cooler that other blades. Ceramic blades also stay sharp 5 times longer than traditional blades. You care for and use ceramic blades the same way you would a classic steel blade.

4) Proper care and maintenance

Most clipper sets contain a small brush and a tube of clipper oil in the package when you purchase them. These items are just as important as the clipper itself. A large percentage of clipper repair shops can trace problems and damage back to the lack of proper lubrication. Use the clipper brush (or a toothbrush, if you’ve already lost yours) to remove hair and dirt. Add a few drops of clipper oil, such as Andis Clipper Oil, along the blade and sides. Let the clipper run to spread the oil around. Turn the clipper off and wipe off any excess oil.

Cool Care is a phenomenal product that kills 5 metaphorical birds with one stone! Cool Care acts as a Coolant (instantly cools the blade temperature), cleaner, rust inhibitor (Rust can begin in just 24 hours!), light lubricant (to be used in addition to clipper oil) and broad spectrum disinfectant.

Give your clipper blades a quick spray during your clipping session to the blades and a good spray when you have finished, to clean and protect your blades.

For more information and answers about which clippers will work for you, visit us in store or call (800)551-MARY and speak with our friendly staff! We’ll have the clipper supplies you need, and can answer just about any question you may have!

No-Stirrup November: 5 Reasons to Do It and How Mary’s Can Make it Better!

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“Drop your stirrups!” Ugh… one of the things we dread hearing from our trainer… but there are benefits to riding without stirrups, so take it like a champ and remember all these positive reasons why:

  1. Develop your seat. Finding a deep, secure and balanced seat will result in better communication with your horse.
  2. Improve your core strength. You’ll engage more of the muscles in your back, abdomen and legs. With these strengthened muscles, you will not rely so much on your stirrups… when you get them back.
  3. Improve your balance and posture. And your confidence! Practice does make perfect and the more you ride without your stirrups, the easier it will become.
  4. Because George Morris said so.
  5. It gives you a reason to pamper yourself! Hellooooooo, Spa Day!!! A massage will be music to your ears, especially after your first lesson. Awakening Body Lotion is a great everyday body lotion and perfect for an at home special massage treat!

How Mary’s can make it better!

Get a Grip!

Mary’s carries many helpful items that can get you through your initial sans stirrup riding sessions:

  • Full-seat breeches are a great option to help give you an extra grip in the saddle while you build up your skills.
  • You can also tackify what you already have!

We hope you’re as excited for No Stirrup November as we are! Give us a call if you’ve got any questions 800.551.MARY (6279), we’re always here to help.

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5 Easy Hoof Care Tips

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There is an old saying that we have all heard, “No hoof, no horse,” and it couldn’t be truer when it comes to the health of your horses hooves. Here is a list of tips and products to consider helping your horse put its best foot forward.

1. Basic hoof care is the foundation for healthy hooves.

  • Keep the stall clean and dry. Add shavings or absorbent bedding to help keep it dry and reduce the chances of thrush.
  • Pick your horse’s hooves every day, before and after riding or exercising.
  • Schedule timely appointments with your farrier. Be nice to them. Maybe get them a gift certificate for a massage for Christmas.

2. Quality hay, feed, and supplements can keep your horse happy and healthy, from the inside out, from his fuzzy nose down to his “toes.” If you need to boost your horses’ feed program with a hoof supplement, Mary’s has a quality selection to choose from. Tried and true- Farrier’s Formula has been trusted and proven for over 30 years. Farrier’s Formula promotes fast and strong hoof growth, provides proper nutrition to strengthen and thicken the hoof wall and the connective tissues. Another option is Farrier’s Equine Matrix which has taken a nutritional twist on supplements! The unique proprietary blend of medicinal mushrooms supports connective tissues and cellular health with naturally occurring biotin and Vitamin D2.

3. Thrush– it happens to the best of us. If thrush does rear its ugly head, Mary’s has a vast selection of topical thrush treatments to choose from. In a world of liquid thrush treatments, No Thrush stands out with its “dry” approach to eliminating thrush. No Thrush powder contains naturally occurring mineral salts that attacks bacteria, without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. Moisture-bonding specialized clays draw out any moisture, deep within the frog and sole, destroying the happy breeding ground that bacteria thrives in.

4. It is wise to keep a first aid kit in your tack room or trunk- be sure to include products to treat a hoof abscess. Some basic products to keep on hand are:

Another handy-dandy item you should add to your kit is the Hoof Wraps Equine Soaker. Soaking a hoof is frustrating. If wrestling your horse’s hoof into a bucket of water doesn’t drive you bonkers, then standing there watching and waiting forever will. With the Hoof Wraps Soaker, you simply pull the boot over your horse’s hoof, add a soaking solution of your choice, strap that bad boy on and viola! Freedom!

5. Using a hoof conditioner is great way to keeping your horse’s hooves looking beautiful. Sound Hoof Conditioner is a customer favorite for providing moisture, suppleness and a show ring shine. Made with all-natural, non-toxic ingredients, Sound Hoof Conditioner is formulated with essential vitamins and nutrients. Plus, it’s the best smelling hoof conditioner in the world!

Give Mary’s a call or stop by the store, our team would love to help you and your horse!

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