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Horse Biscuits Are Chock Full’a Chia
Thanksgiving sweet potatoes inspired Mary Hartman’s journey to create healthy biscuits for horses. Her original idea, which was to mix chia seeds into potatoes, proved to be a bit messy, but it was the beginning of finding just the right blend. After more than a year of experimentation, research and setting up her kitchen and processing area to meet code, she began selling her patent-pending Chock Full’a Chia biscuits in 2017.
  “Feeding chia to horses is becoming a trend. It has high protein and the oil is easy to digest for horses. Chia is loaded with B vitamins and Omega 3s and is an amazing little seed,” Hartman says.
  Equine nutritionists say chia is anti-inflammatory, supporting healthy skin, hair and bone growth, and is a hydrophilic to help prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
  It is also expensive. So when Hartman tried to add it to her horse’s feed, much of the seed got wasted or ended up gummed up in the water bucket. By mixing chia with ingredients such as sweet potatoes, figs, blueberries and prickly pear, a horse gets the recommended 1/3-cup of chia daily in 3 biscuits without any waste.
  Through research, Hartman has developed seven variations that provide benefits for specific conditions. For example, Sea Biscuit includes Spirulina, a blue green algae that may reduce respiratory stressors, and Manuka honey, an antimicrobial biscuit with lots of flavor. She is also working on pelletizing Spirulina with defatted chia, as some horses don’t like the taste of Spirulina.
  Currently Hartman makes each biscuit by hand, compressing and shaping each in a mold, and then processing them.
  “Our customers vary from a 75-year-old with an elderly horse to Olympic riders who have done their own research and understand what you feed your horse matters,” Hartman says. “They see visible changes once they start feeding chia biscuits.”
  She sells the patent-pending biscuits through her Pure Form Equine website, starting at $22.95 for 45-count bags to $59.95 for 90-count bags. She also offers volume discounts and ships anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
  “There’s nothing like this in the world with chia,” Hartman says. “I love what I’m doing. It’s pretty fun.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mary Hartman, Rochester, Minn. (ph 507 358-3116; www.pureformequine.com; sales@pureformequine.com).

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3