Sandi Augustine is the one-woman powerhouse (who still gets help from friends and family!) behind the Stud Muffins® brand of horse treats. Here in her own words is the story of how she started making The Ultimate Horse Treat…..
“I first started making horse treats in October of 1997. I was managing a barn of 36 horses and wanted to make the horses a treat for Halloween. I didn’t have much spare time, having little or no help with the barn chores. I did spend the weekends and the couple of hours I had off in the afternoons trying to perfect a recipe. I had inquired several recipes from friends at the barn and books but none suited the purpose that I was looking for. I had one recipe that I liked but still didn’t come out with the consistency that I was looking for. So one rainy afternoon I enlisted the help of my friend Michelle and we concocted up a formula that was more to my pleasing.
Over the next few days more friends and family came to lend a hand because the overall preparation to make these horse treats was quite a complicated and gooey procedure. With the kitchen buzzing with activity I took the first one over to the barn to see if all our effort was well spent. The first person I saw there was Kim and her horse Mowgli. I asked Kim if I could give him one and before she could even answer Mowgli was trying to get the treat out of my hand. He ate it immediately and was looking for more. After giving the rest of the horses a sample and each one responding so positively with whinnies, nickers and all the commotion in their stalls trying to get my attention for more, it was back to the kitchen to make more because Halloween was soon approaching.
A few days before Halloween I attached little decorated bags to all the stalls so the owners could treat their horses when they came to ride. After the first day I was back in the kitchen making more because it seemed the horses couldn’t get enough of them. As one owner fed their horse the treats the other horses in the barn would hear the scrunch of the bag and whinnie and nicker hoping to get another tasty bite.
After Halloween was over, plans for Christmas treats were well into the making. The treats were decorated in cello bags with red and green ribbon and were ready to go to the horses at the barn. One day while I was showing Kim my Christmas treats she said that she would take some to the tack store she works at called The Dog & Pony in Ladner, B.C. and sell them for me. I made her up a few packs and gave them to her to sell, not thinking that anything would come of it. Much to my surprise Kim came to me after just a couple of days and put in a order for more because they had sold out.
At this time we thought that if we were going to sell them, we would have to come up with a name, which was not an easy task. We had spent many hours trying. One day my friend Steve walked in the door, noticed the frustration on my face as I toiled over names and he said to me “I don’t know why you just don’t call them Stud Muffins” and from that moment on “Stud Muffins” was the popular choice.
To make a long story short, after Christmas I quit my barn job and worked full time on Stud Muffins. “Stud Muffins” are still 100% hand made, and because of this our family and friends still help out on a regular basis. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them all because if it was not for them, your horses would not be enjoying The Ultimate Horse Treat! I sincerely hope that everyone who buys Stud Muffins notices the extra time and effort we take to make sure you are giving your horses the very best!”
Owner, STUD MUFFINS