People have asked me why the name, and how to pronounce it. It’s a combination of Clint, and peppermints, and it just seemed right. It’s spelled ClintRMints, but pronounced ‘Clint-er-mints’.
Who does not like to give their horses treats after a job well done, or maybe even as a bribe to have that good ride?
The Start of Something Special
Years ago I went horse shopping with my trainer in Florida, and found my dream horse Clint. He was a Dutch Warmblood, just a wonderful guy, and was way more talented than I was in the hunter ring. But who cares? We had a great time together, and I learned a great deal from him.
Of course, I spoiled him. He deserved it. The usual carrots, apples, peppermints and everything he loved. I was on the web – now, this was years ago, no Pinterest, Etsy, barely any online shopping, and found a recipe for ‘horse treats’. I gave them a try, and of course, Clint, being a food driven horse, loved all of them. I modified the recipe over and over, making them easier to make, and more attractive. I gave them freely to other horses at our barn, at Christmas they each got a bag tied to their stall. (Recommendation: don’t put them too close to the opening, and make sure they are not in any packaging that horses might eat and hurt themselves.) People asked me for the recipe, and they tried them and loved them.
Then, a friend of mine said “Hey Sue, please give me the recipe or sell them to me”. A lightbulb went on. Why not? I already had another small business, so was not afraid to try. What’s the worst that could happen? I spent the next 6 months or so refining my recipe to make sure I could get consistent results, figuring out packaging, labeling, plus all the legalese I needed to make sure I had all the business concerns handled. I had one tack shop interested in selling them, and approached another local shop. The second shop sold out the small first order in two days, so I was thrilled.
From there it was a matter of how I grow my business and keep up with the demand that I had at the same time. People asked for larger and different sizes, and I found new sources for many elements. We went from mixing in dishpans to mixing in cement mixers, from buying single gallons of molasses to multiple 5 gallon buckets at a time, from plastic containers delivered in boxes to pallets of containers.
We love to support our local riding community here in Michigan with treats at all levels, from schooling shows, to sponsorship of different associations, to the AAA levels at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. So much fun seeing the ClintRMint logo on the jumbotron in the Grand Prix ring!
We love to support small businesses like we are, so we sell directly to tack shops and feed stores. Of course we sell online, but you won’t see us on Amazon, or Dover or Smartpack at this time. But maybe before we know it!
Soon, having just one flavor of ClintRMints was not enough. A customer bought some at a horse show and then contacted me asking if they could be made without peppermints for her Fresian Ivan. So we did, just for her at the beginning, but then at the Michigan Horse Expo, we received more requests for no peppermints. So another friend suggested ‘Naked Ivans’ as a name, since they were without peppermints. Ivan is featured on the label, shyly hiding behind a bush, with his pasture friend Paintbrush.
This past year, we wanted to bring out even more flavors. Apples and carrots are perfect. We did a lot of testing, baking many batches that tasted great, but just did not work for us. The horses at the barn loved the experiments, the successes and failures. One of the hardest tasks was to name them. We wanted to continue the theme of honoring our favorite horses, so Appy Jacks were named for Leo the appaloosa and his buddy Jack, a paint, school horses extraordinaire. Cabby Carrots were named for Cabby, another kind school horse, and he’s with his buddy Laslow. Our very first horse, Raleigh, joined Clint on the label for ClintRMint Originals.
Honoring Clint's Memory
Sadly, a couple years ago, Clint crossed the Rainbow Bridge at the age of 24 due to a freak accident. But he loved his life and ClintRMint horse treats are his legacy. And we loved him for the horse he was.