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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So because of the Coronavirus, I'm home all the time & I have plenty of time on my hands. I was thinking of making a horse treat business! So I have some questions for the equestrian public.


1.) Do you care if their cute or not? This is very important because it determines the recipe I use.
2.) How large would you want packets/orders to be? Would you want different sizes like Small, Medium, Large, or if they're decorated 4 pack, 6 pack, 8 pack, 10 pack? This is all very important.
3.) How much would you pay for each size?
4.) Shipped in bags or boxes? (With boxes the price goes up!)
5.) Are there any common ingredients you wouldn't want in them?
6.) Are there any ingredients you would want in them?
7.) What is your favorite current brand for horse treats? Why?
8.) What is your least favorite? Why?
9.) Would you want Sugar Free treats as an option?
10.) Do you think you would buy treats from my business if I made one?
 

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So because of the Coronavirus, I'm home all the time & I have plenty of time on my hands. I was thinking of making a horse treat business! So I have some questions for the equestrian public.
Not a horse-owner myself, but I have worked with horses in the past. Until relatively recently, I was even a volunteer stable-hand in a ((Admittedly)) small stable therapeutic riding stable. I also own three dogs and enjoy buying homemade treats for them, since most people seem to view horses as pets nowadays, I reckon that the same principal applies.

1.) Do you care if their cute or not? This is very important because it determines the recipe I use.
Nope. Cuteness is typically the last thing on my mind when it comes to buying my dogs homemade treats, I mostly focus on the ingredients and the pricing.

Obviously my dogs and the various horses that I have worked with don't/didn't care about how "cute" their treats are, they just want/ed to eat them!

2.) How large would you want packets/orders to be? Would you want different sizes like Small, Medium, Large, or if they're decorated 4 pack, 6 pack, 8 pack, 10 pack? This is all very important.
I wouldn't get locked into only offering a single size if I were you. When people try out new things for their pets, typically they only buy a small offering at first. To see if it's something that works for them and their pet. If it does, then they'll go back for more and want larger offerings available.

If anything, I prefer to buy my dogs homemade treats by the pound. Given how horses are such large animals who are often houses with multiple members of their own kind, I reckon that going by poundage and not packs of # may be a better strategy for you.

3.) How much would you pay for each size?
I'm a cheapskate, I always love to get a good deal. I can buy my dogs a pound of homemade dog treats for five dollars. The stable I volunteered at preferred to feed apples and carrots to the horses for treats, but homemade treats were donated on occasion. These treats were typically donated in vast volumes.

Lol, one time a First Grade teacher came out and delivered a ten pound box of no-bake treats that her class had made! Apparently one of her students had attended the stable for several months for physical therapy purposes while recovering from a car accident. The class made us the treats as a thank you for helping their classmate get physically well enough to start attending school again!

4.) Shipped in bags or boxes? (With boxes the price goes up!)
Bags are cheaper as you just said. But if you're going to be shipping these treats, then you might have to go with boxes anyway.

5.) Are there any common ingredients you wouldn't want in them?
I would prefer not to see stuff like sugarcubes or peppermint candy in horse treats. In fact, I don't like to see any sugar in pet treats at all unless it comes from a natural source like molasses or honey or even applesauce.

Metabolic disorders are increasingly common in horses, so don't add to that by marketing super sweet and sugary treats to owners or stable managers. Stick to healthy items and natural ingredients.

6.) Are there any ingredients you would want in them?
Oats, flaxseed, carrots, apples, salt, peanut butter?, alfalfa pallets?, etc.

7.) What is your favorite current brand for horse treats? Why?
Not applicable.

8.) What is your least favorite? Why?
Not applicable.

9.) Would you want Sugar Free treats as an option?
Frankly most horse treats should be sugar free simply out of concern for horse health.

10.) Do you think you would buy treats from my business if I made one?
Sorry, but I wouldn't be able to do so. Unless I ate the treats myself or fed them to my dogs!
 

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So because of the Coronavirus, I'm home all the time & I have plenty of time on my hands. I was thinking of making a horse treat business! So I have some questions for the equestrian public.


1.) Do you care if their cute or not? This is very important because it determines the recipe I use.
2.) How large would you want packets/orders to be? Would you want different sizes like Small, Medium, Large, or if they're decorated 4 pack, 6 pack, 8 pack, 10 pack? This is all very important.
3.) How much would you pay for each size?
4.) Shipped in bags or boxes? (With boxes the price goes up!)
5.) Are there any common ingredients you wouldn't want in them?
6.) Are there any ingredients you would want in them?
7.) What is your favorite current brand for horse treats? Why?
8.) What is your least favorite? Why?
9.) Would you want Sugar Free treats as an option?
10.) Do you think you would buy treats from my business if I made one?
1. I don't care.
2. I would like different sizes
3. Depends on quality of product. I look for all-natural and low sugar.
4. I would like both options: I usually order a box for the first order and then refill it for subsequent orders.
5. Fake sugar.
6. All natural.
7. Mrs Pastures. All natural and low(ish) sugar. Horses go nuts for them.
8. N/A
9. Not if it mean that you would be putting fake sugar in there. If they were actually no sugar and no sugar substitutes, then yes.
10. I'm open to trying new treats. It just depends on whether your treats met my needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not a horse-owner myself, but I have worked with horses in the past. Until relatively recently, I was even a volunteer stable-hand in a ((Admittedly)) small stable therapeutic riding stable. I also own three dogs and enjoy buying homemade treats for them, since most people seem to view horses as pets nowadays, I reckon that the same principal applies.



Nope. Cuteness is typically the last thing on my mind when it comes to buying my dogs homemade treats, I mostly focus on the ingredients and the pricing.

Obviously my dogs and the various horses that I have worked with don't/didn't care about how "cute" their treats are, they just want/ed to eat them!



I wouldn't get locked into only offering a single size if I were you. When people try out new things for their pets, typically they only buy a small offering at first. To see if it's something that works for them and their pet. If it does, then they'll go back for more and want larger offerings available.

If anything, I prefer to buy my dogs homemade treats by the pound. Given how horses are such large animals who are often houses with multiple members of their own kind, I reckon that going by poundage and not packs of # may be a better strategy for you.



I'm a cheapskate, I always love to get a good deal. I can buy my dogs a pound of homemade dog treats for five dollars. The stable I volunteered at preferred to feed apples and carrots to the horses for treats, but homemade treats were donated on occasion. These treats were typically donated in vast volumes.

Lol, one time a First Grade teacher came out and delivered a ten pound box of no-bake treats that her class had made! Apparently one of her students had attended the stable for several months for physical therapy purposes while recovering from a car accident. The class made us the treats as a thank you for helping their classmate get physically well enough to start attending school again!



Bags are cheaper as you just said. But if you're going to be shipping these treats, then you might have to go with boxes anyway.



I would prefer not to see stuff like sugarcubes or peppermint candy in horse treats. In fact, I don't like to see any sugar in pet treats at all unless it comes from a natural source like molasses or honey or even applesauce.

Metabolic disorders are increasingly common in horses, so don't add to that by marketing super sweet and sugary treats to owners or stable managers. Stick to healthy items and natural ingredients.



Oats, flaxseed, carrots, apples, salt, peanut butter?, alfalfa pallets?, etc.



Not applicable.



Not applicable.



Frankly most horse treats should be sugar free simply out of concern for horse health.



Sorry, but I wouldn't be able to do so. Unless I ate the treats myself or fed them to my dogs!

Thanks for your reply! This is very helpful! The current recipe I use, the sweetness comes from Molasses and Applesauce & the treats likely will have no added sugar other than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1. I don't care.
2. I would like different sizes
3. Depends on quality of product. I look for all-natural and low sugar.
4. I would like both options: I usually order a box for the first order and then refill it for subsequent orders.
5. Fake sugar.
6. All natural.
7. Mrs Pastures. All natural and low(ish) sugar. Horses go nuts for them.
8. N/A
9. Not if it mean that you would be putting fake sugar in there. If they were actually no sugar and no sugar substitutes, then yes.
10. I'm open to trying new treats. It just depends on whether your treats met my needs.
Thanks, this is very helpful! I think the "added" sugar will only be from Molasses and Applesauce.
 

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Look at Etsy and Snaks5thAvenchew - there are sooo many horse treat companies you could make a model off of, but be warned, it's a hard business to sell treats unless you have a huge social media presence or are at horse shows.

Unless, of course, you want to do this more for your horses and a few others, then by all means!

JSYK - the cute kind of treats are labor intensive. I made a couple hundred for my friend's treat company in a day and I was exhausted after it and the kitchen was a right mess.

I personally have Snaks and Pampered Pony treats in my trunks and horses love them. Cute but with very few ingredients made in small batches. Amazing quality and customer service with both. Snaks has stuck their neck out to make me happy many many times and I adore the entire staff and company.
I also use German Minty Muffins as a quick reward or snack.

You should do some basic math and see what it will cost you to make an order and then price your treats accordingly.
 

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Another question for you guys- would you want to be able to choose if you got shipped a box or bag? For example get a box the first time and just fill it up with bags?

If you are going to ship you will need a box.
Treats shipped in just a bag will break and be crumbs upon delivery.


So when you do a box, you also must do filler so the snacks don't move excessively and break too so make sure you figure enough for the shipping cost of box and filler needed plus actual cost of delivery.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you are going to ship you will need a box.
Treats shipped in just a bag will break and be crumbs upon delivery.


So when you do a box, you also must do filler so the snacks don't move excessively and break too so make sure you figure enough for the shipping cost of box and filler needed plus actual cost of delivery.
:runninghorse2:...
Yes, I understand this!
 

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so because of the coronavirus, i'm home all the time & i have plenty of time on my hands. I was thinking of making a horse treat business! So i have some questions for the equestrian public.


1.) do you care if their cute or not? This is very important because it determines the recipe i use.
2.) how large would you want packets/orders to be? Would you want different sizes like small, medium, large, or if they're decorated 4 pack, 6 pack, 8 pack, 10 pack? This is all very important.
3.) how much would you pay for each size?
4.) shipped in bags or boxes? (with boxes the price goes up!)
5.) are there any common ingredients you wouldn't want in them?
6.) are there any ingredients you would want in them?
7.) what is your favorite current brand for horse treats? Why?
8.) what is your least favorite? Why?
9.) would you want sugar free treats as an option?
10.) do you think you would buy treats from my business if i made one?
yes!!!
 

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Hi Katy, good idea I reckon.

1.) Do you care if their cute or not? This is very important because it determines the recipe I use.
If the treats are 'cute'?? No, not at all, the horse doesn't care, so why should I? Although I realise some do, I can see kids liking to buy 'cute' things, like lolly dinosaurs, etc... And dog biscuits shaped like bones etc... they sell, tho no idea whether they sell because they're bone shaped.

2.) How large would you want packets/orders to be? Would you want different sizes like Small, Medium, Large, or if they're decorated 4 pack, 6 pack, 8 pack, 10 pack?
I use 'treats' for training a fair bit, not just for a special occasion thing, so I would not buy something like a 4-10 pack, unless it were a free/very cheap sample. And size of the treat - I use slices of carrot, rosehips, a pinch of pelleted feed or alfalfa chaff, etc. I wouldn't buy 'treats' that are very large, like the slice of cake size ones I've sometimes seen.

3.) How much would you pay for each size?
Depends what it is. As a couple kg of carrots is only a few $$ (altho dried carrot slices, so they're not icky to keep in your pocket would be worth paying for IMO - I get out the food dehydrator & do this when I can be bothered) and a bag of pelleted horse feed is negligible when you're only using a bum-bag sized amount at a time. So if it's 'just a treat' then not very much.

But a client of mine started making healthy 'treat' supplements - they were 'low carb/sugar' and had a 'complete' mineral mix in them, with fenugreek and liquorice for flavour(smelled so yummy!) and she had worked out with a nutritionist how many treats per day would be the right amount for x-sized horse. She would have sold them in bags that were a day's dose for an average horse & they were small enough that that was a heap of training sized treats, or a couple of mouthfuls worth for people who just wanted to give all at once. I'd have paid a reasonable amount for those, but she had no money & tried to 'crowd fund' her business off the ground, but it didn't work... so it never got off the ground past 'sample packs being given away.

4.) Shipped in bags or boxes? (With boxes the price goes up!)
Hate buying stuff in plastic if it can be avoided, but... As boxes would no doubt have to be sealed in plastic anyway, bags are probably less packaging & same amount of plastic.

5.) Are there any common ingredients you wouldn't want in them?
Grain, flour, sugar. As a hoofcare practitioner, perhaps I'm more conscious than some of IR/laminitis/obesity probs, but I only buy healthy, low carb feeds & that would go for treats too, as I use them more than on the rare occasion. Just like I wouldn't give my kids(or me) a whole bag of lollies regularly either.
6.) Are there any ingredients you would want in them?
See above my client's idea - thought that was a great idea. Maybe I should have a go, now you've got me thinking of it...

7.) What is your favorite current brand for horse treats? Why?
8.) What is your least favorite? Why?
N/a

9.) Would you want Sugar Free treats as an option?
10.) Do you think you would buy treats from my business if I made one?
See above. Tho I'm in Aus & you're probably not, so not likely... or that I'll be in competition with you if I do it!
 

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No sugar, no molasses. I wouldn't buy anything that included either of those ingredients. I make flax seed treats and they contain unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, flax seed and water. That's it. Horses love them. They don't need sugar (molasses is sugar in my view).

I don't care how cute they are, but I prefer small pieces so I can give them out sparingly.

You could consider special occasion treats, like a birthday "cake" (could just be the size of a large cookie).
 

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I wouldn't buy horse treats full of sugar there expensive for what they are. I use alfalfa cubes for treats just break them into prices..

Already have them on hand anyway and it's a 50 lb bag. Or I use the Timothy pellets also a 50 lb bag. Horses love both the pellets and cubes. They could careless, if they get cute cut ,out sugar filled treats.
 

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No sugar, no molasses. I wouldn't buy anything that included either of those ingredients. I make flax seed treats and they contain unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, flax seed and water. That's it. Horses love them. They don't need sugar (molasses is sugar in my view).

I don't care how cute they are, but I prefer small pieces so I can give them out sparingly.

You could consider special occasion treats, like a birthday "cake" (could just be the size of a large cookie).
For anyone who's making treats - Cinnamon tests. You can't have it in the system at recognized horse shows.
 

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For anyone who's making treats - Cinnamon tests. You can't have it in the system at recognized horse shows.
Why on earth would they not want horses to have cinnamon? It doesn't have any significant medicinal properties. I check Equestrian Canada rules, and nowhere do they mention it. Can you give a source? I mean, it's not a huge problem since I don't give treats to my horses on a regular basis, but still... it would be a weird thing to forbid.
 

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Why on earth would they not want horses to have cinnamon? It doesn't have any significant medicinal properties. I check Equestrian Canada rules, and nowhere do they mention it. Can you give a source? I mean, it's not a huge problem since I don't give treats to my horses on a regular basis, but still... it would be a weird thing to forbid.
It can burn when made into a paste and put on legs. A lot of bad people make things into pastes of sauces, smear them on legs and pole horses to make them jump more elaborate and not want to touch poles. Saucing is pretty normal in some barns, unfortunately. Ever see the free jumping horses clearing 1.50 by miles? Probably poled, sauced, or both.

https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/2Zp2C_YKs4s/drugs-medications-guidelines

It typically isn't the exact thing banned, but substances within a certain ingredient. Capsaicin and eugenol are the banned ones in cinnamon.

Things like lavender, CBD's, and even ingredients in normal ligaments can and will test if you have blood pulled.

Bad people make the good people have to be extra careful.
 

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It can burn when made into a paste and put on legs. A lot of bad people make things into pastes of sauces, smear them on legs and pole horses to make them jump more elaborate and not want to touch poles. Saucing is pretty normal in some barns, unfortunately. Ever see the free jumping horses clearing 1.50 by miles? Probably poled, sauced, or both.

https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/2Zp2C_YKs4s/drugs-medications-guidelines

It typically isn't the exact thing banned, but substances within a certain ingredient. Capsaicin and eugenol are the banned ones in cinnamon.

Things like lavender, CBD's, and even ingredients in normal ligaments can and will test if you have blood pulled.

Bad people make the good people have to be extra careful.
I had no idea! That's nuts.
 

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Here are my thoughts. Have fun!

1.) Do you care if they're [corrected for spelling] cute or not? This is very important because it determines the recipe I use.
-I like cute! I will always pay for cute. Any product should be attractive, but it doesn't have to be fancy. Put a picture of a pony on it and just take my money!
2.) How large would you want packets/orders to be? Would you want different sizes like Small, Medium, Large, or if they're decorated 4 pack, 6 pack, 8 pack, 10 pack? This is all very important.
-I guess that depends on the size of the treat. My mare is 15hh and a treat monster! I like to give her a nice, chewable mouthful. Consider your recipe as well - you want a baked good to be at the correct size for whatever recipe you're using so they bake properly. (If you know some of this stuff, you're ahead of the game!)
3.) How much would you pay for each size?
- Is this going to be on its own website? I usually buy enough to get free shipping. If it's on like a retail site with many products, I would buy just enough to try it, but if MareMare liked the treat...MORE PLEASE! But I wouldn't buy a big box if I didn't already know she would like it. And to buy a big box, it has to have some kind of predictable shelf life.
4.) Shipped in bags or boxes? (With boxes the price goes up!)
-Eco-friendly. If I receive goods in too much plastic I won't reorder. It's worth it to me to pay a couple extra shillings to feel good about a purchase.
5.) Are there any common ingredients you wouldn't want in them?
-No. She's a treat monster. I do not want anything over-processed. I do not want chemicals or additives. Potential allergens.
6.) Are there any ingredients you would want in them?
-Keep it lower sugar/recognizable ingredients and I'm happy!
7.) What is your favorite current brand for horse treats? Why?
-We had Stud Muffins for a while. MareMare loved those! Oh heck, who doesn't like grain rolled in molasses? She also approves of anything with peppermints. The German Muffins were a big hit! They were like the Stud Muffins, but had a big ole peppermint shoved in the center. So she would like more please? :D
8.) What is your least favorite? Why?
-I am not understanding of this question. All treats are good! (Ok ok, we do not like as mentioned above^^)
9.) Would you want Sugar Free treats as an option?
-Yes please!
10.) Do you think you would buy treats from my business if I made one?
- Well, I'm definitely curious! I'd be willing to try them. Or should I say MareMare will try them? :)

Sounds great, go get em! Our favorite treat is carrots. I also give her apples and bananas. Peppermints are a favorite, and I do get the sugar-free ones for MareMare. Of baked or created flavors, anything with grain or oats and molasses is always well received.
 
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