A healthy horse treat that even fussy eaters would love. This is the reputation that Kelcie’s Horse Treats, a brand producing quality, all-natural goodies for horses since June 2019, has established in the equestrian market. Husband-and-wife duo Kevin Nairne and Mary Elizabeth’s passion for horses made it possible to create such a unique and outstanding product—one that packs flavor, nutrition, and convenience all in a single serving.
“Treating your horse is a great way to add something nutritional to their diet, as well as a bonding experience between horse and rider. Like anything else though, moderation is key, and choosing an all-natural ingredient treat is important. A treat should be used as a reward or for bonding and should not be used as an alternative to good quality feed,” Kevin says about the importance of giving these delicious rewards to our four-legged field companions.
Having been exposed to horses at a young age, Mary Elizabeth understands the needs of these magnificent beasts. Taking this passion from her mom and with Laura Kraut, Olympic and World Equestrian Games Show Jumping gold medallist, as her sister, she has managed, trained, and produced many successful horses and riders throughout her career.
Meanwhile, her husband came from the corporate arena, with a 30-year background in sales and marketing. Working for two different industries, the couple would often be separated by their careers. That is until they identified an opportunity to introduce a high-quality product aimed at the sport horse market—and Kelcie’s Horse Treats was born. Kevin and Mary Elizabeth merged their talents and worked on this exciting venture together.
Named after their Norwich Terrier/Corgi crossbreed dog, the brand was initially labeled as Kelcie’s Cookies. Later on, they dropped the cookie in favor of horse treats.
They sought help and consulted with knowledgeable riders, grooms, and owners, like Laura and her partner, two-time Olympic Gold Medallist Nick Skelton. Having taken the input and recommendations from these trusted individuals, they came up with the ultimate horse treat after a rigorous 12-month research.
Kelcie’s Horse Treats’ pioneer product, the Kelcie’s Pumpkin Spice, is made from 15 all-natural ingredients, all personally developed by the owners. It contains the main ingredient pumpkin, known for its digestive qualities, as well as other tasty and nutritious delights.
Anise has a sweet odor and flavor that horses love and a great tonic for their stomach. Bananas are known for their rich source of potassium and also contain folate, magnesium, dietary fiber, and several other important vitamins and minerals. Turmeric is used to support a healthy immune system and respiratory system and maintains natural anti-inflammatory mechanisms such as joint stiffness and soft tissue swelling. These are just among the ingredients of Kelcie’s secret recipe.
“Once the recipe was developed, we had to make sure the horses would like the product,” Kevin tells POLO LADY. “We also factored in the ideal size and aroma of the treat. It also needed to be hard so it would not crumble in the pocket.”
So the owners set out to test the product intensively not just with their horses, but also in other barns in Wellington, Florida. “The feedback from the tests was amazing,” the proud owner shares. “The horses adored the treat and were asking for more. We also identified that fussy eaters were also eating Kelcie’s and, because of the low sugar content, they are also safe for horses with Cushing’s disease.”
When they first launched at the Upperville Horse Show in Middleburg, Virginia, it became an instant hit.
So much so that countless horse owners have raved about Kelcie’s—not just through word of mouth, but also online. The ‘Take the Kelcie’s Challenge’ also popped up, where customers were asked to take a sample bag and try Kelcie’s with their horses. “They come back excited that their fussy eater loves the product, and we acquire a new and happy customer,” Kevin gushes.
The owners describe Kelcie’s as a small company with big ambitions. While running a business has its own set of challenges, the couple continues to invest in building a reputable brand that cares for its market. “We are both passionate about our involvement in the industry,” Kevin adds. “Creating a business that provides quality products to our fellow equestrians is what keeps us motivated.”
Kevin and Mary Elizabeth have no plans on stopping with just one yummy treat for horses, although at present, they are concentrating on getting Kelcie’s Pumpkin Spice out to a wider audience. In the future, expect two or three more products that the power couple have already in mind.
“Mary Elizabeth and I set out to develop the ‘Ultimate Horse Treat for the Happy, Healthy Horse.’ We achieved that goal and there are thousands of horses and owners across the country who agree with us,” Kevin further muses. And those who have tried are proof—there’s no reason to not grab a bag and feed your horse with a good treat that’s high quality and a good value for money. Check out Kelcie’s today!
To know more about Kelcie’s Horse Treats, visit kelcies.com.
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.