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As you know, I have always had a passion for horses and finally, after years of riding everyone else’s, I bought my own horse, which turned into my own horses, plural. You all know how that goes. Well, I bought my first boredom buster and hung it in one of the stalls. That horse wouldn’t even look at it. I then gave it to another one of my horses who took one bite and popped it in half. I was really worried about her choking but luckily she didn’t.
Soon after that, while I was flying from Pittsburgh to L.A., I kept thinking about what the perfect boredom buster would be. By the time I arrived back home I had an idea about what I wanted this product to be like. It would have to be nutritious, tasty and hard enough to last more than a minute with a horse gnawing on it. So the formula was a ball of grain, which was going to be the same grain that I give my own horses. That way it would be packed with vitamins and minerals and contain the all-natural flavoring that is used in my grain.
The next step was for the ball to have its own hanger. After some thinking, I decided that the best hanger for the ball would be simple: just an embedded rope through the center of the ball (like soap on a rope, for those of us who are old enough to remember that!).
The next question was what I should use as a binder, to hold the grain together in a ball shape. My first thought was Super Glue. But then I realized that wasn’t going to work (but, hey, it’s the idea that counts right?). Thankfully, now enters my daughter, Christy. While driving down the road, I get a call from Christy who says three words; corn syrup solid. She explained that if you add water to this stuff and heat it on the stove, it will harden like candy. It did and I made my first Hangin’ Ball prototype!
Note: At the time I was developing the Hangin’ Ball, Christy was going to college. She ended up being a clinical pharmacist. While in school, she met David, her husband-to-be. David was in school studying to be an attorney. After graduation, David ended up as the legal advisor for Uncle Jimmy’s Brand Products LLC. So Uncle Jimmy’s is now a total family business!