This month we head south to Florida were we jump in the truck with EasyCare Dealer of the month April Volling. April joined our dealer network in 2012 and each year continues to exemplify excellence in product knowledge and application. She resides in Micanopy, Florida located just south of Gainsville where she serves clients from Ocala to Alachua.
April Volling with 3yr old Dutch WB Glamdring, 13yr old Oldenburg Windsor.
As a horse crazy little girl, April took in all things horse. She attended the University of Florida in 2001 majoring in animal science with a focus on the equine industry. She joined the University of Florida Horseman's Association and through the group became involved with the Horse Protection Association of Florida. She quickly found her niche there and began volunteering to get her horse fix where she would care for the horses, ride and work with a natural horsemanship trainer. After graduating from college April met KC LaPierre and says she was hooked after her first class. A few short years later, she graduated from the Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry and began her journey as a professional hoof care provider. Today, she maintains a clientele of approximately 230 horses and still helps out at the rescue where there is now roughly 70 horses. Most of her business has come the old fashioned way, by word of mouth but she also has had the good fortune to work with some fantastic veterinarians. Now April only takes on new horses who have been vet referred.
April says becoming an EasyCare dealer has given her more tools to deal with hoof issues and enables her to offer her clients a range of hoof protection options. She consistently stocks the Easyboot Glove Back Country for her trail riding clients and attests to their staying power on the Florida trails. She also favors the EasyShoe Performance glue-on shoe, with which she has had great success.
When asked about her thoughts on the EasyShoe, she feels they are a great option for horses and quotes her vet, "A lame horse is an expensive horse." She feels the extra work and cost are a small price to establish and maintain a sound horse. They are perfect for our hot, humid and wet summer conditions. It is these very conditions that tend to create flat, thin-soled feet. It is just not always practical to keep a horse bare, especially a performance horse, and this is where the EasyShoe shines. April loves having these options and really has enjoyed the journey of learning how to apply the EasyShoe. Because you can rasp and mold the shoe, she feels the possibilities are endless. April can create balance and proper breakover while at the same time creating correct movement, protecting the hoof and encouraging proper growth.
What has helped April become such a success? She attributes patience, a passion for learning and organizational skills. Patience with the horse will always go a long way, she says. Giving them the benefit of the doubt and helping them be comfortable will allow you to get the work done and more than likely they will be more willing the next time you visit. Passion for learning: April feels like everyone has something to teach you, including the horses, as long as you are willing to listen. Keep an open mind: this allows you to remain creative and solve problems effectively. And finally, make a solid commitment to continued education. Hone your organizational skills: April acknowledges being organized, keeping notes, scheduling clients and stocking supplies can be challenging. She loves the QuickBooks app on her iPhone and iPad and can keep track of all her invoices, email them to clients and track expenses. She is not 100% digital yet but it is her goal to be so by the end of the year. She is diligent with record keeping so things don't get lost or forgotten and knocks out her to do list as soon as possible to prevent worry or being ill-prepared. She is a stickler for rescheduling clients before she leaves which allows her to schedule ahead of time avoiding overloaded work weeks and ensures clients stay on a consistent schedule.
When asked about where she see the future of hoof care, she acknowledges that things are definitely moving in a healthier direction. Products like EasyCare hoof boots and the EasyShoe help her keep her client's horses happy while developing a healthier hoof.
April enjoys her three horses which all have their own set of Back Country hoof boots for protecting soft feet from Florida's rock and root, riddled trails. She is passionate about dressage, natural horsemanship, trail riding and the beach.
April puts the finishing touches on a full set of EasyShoes.