April 2014: Rachel Rezos

As most of the United States patiently awaits Spring, EasyCare dealers out West are starting to enjoying “hair in the air weather” brought on by longer days and warmer temps. EasyCare’s April 2014 Dealer of the Month lands us in a sunny state with our spotlight shining brightly on hoof care practitioner Rachel Rezos of Martinez, CA. Rachel joined EasyCare's dealer network in April of 2010 making this her fourth year anniversary as a mover and shaker with EasyCare.

Rachel’s story is a familiar one. Her interest was piqued in 2007 by trimmer and EasyCare dealer Marylynne Nicholson. Through their interaction Rachel became interested in the trade. Yet another example that mentoring  matters, Rachel is grateful to Marylynne for giving her a career that she loves. "Mary invited me to join her on her rounds and I apprenticed with her for two years. These days I am trimming about 170 horses. Sometimes I think perhaps it's time to stop taking new clients but I admit I'm just not good at saying 'no'. I simply love to help people and horses."

An EasyCare dealership has helped Rachel to provide options for her clients and make barefoot living easy on the horse and their humans. Rachel currently stocks the most popular sizes in the Glove and Epic and says the Glove is a customer favorite. As for Rachel, if she had to choose, the Glove takes all. She is excited about the new EasyShoe line and believes this is a great new tool for achieving healthier hooves. Rachel feels this product will have an especially strong appeal to those that understand the drawbacks of fixed metal shoeing but are unable to go without twenty-four hour protection.

Rachel is truly passionate about helping problem hooves improve and particularly enjoys connecting with troubled horses. She says, “I get a charge out of the 'conversation' that I have with them as I do my work. Many of them lift their feet with only a look or gentle stoke down their leg. I challenge myself to see how soft I can ask and have them respond and I feel their appreciation." She recalls watching a 20 year old Quarter Horse with navicular stride out and land heel first in his Epics with Comfort Pads. The horse had been landing toe first in steel shoes but after two strides in the boots and pads he relaxed and totally changed gait, moving properly most likely for the first time in years.

Horses dominate Rachel’s life as they are both her livelihood and favorite hobby. She loves natural horsemanship, attending clinics as often as possible and is passionate about connecting and communicating with horses. When Rachel can drag herself away from horses she spends time with her husband enjoying comedy, sci-fi, cooking and enjoying great food. Rachel currently owns a draft cross, PMU gelding and Azteca mare. She loves to hit the trails whenever possible and is currently a member of the Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners.

The foundation of Rachel's success are these key concepts: listening closely to both the animals and their guardians, the love of learning and patience. Words of wisdom indeed!

March 2014: Horseshoe Mart

Congratulations to Selina Galick, Owner of Horseshoe Mart, EasyCare’s Dealer of the Month for March. Horseshoe Mart, located in Santa Rosa, California, and has become one of EasyCare's most successful retail stores with a banner year in 2013.

Horseshoe Mart’s website, boasts, “We carry the Easyboot line for the horse owner. We also have everything you need to shoe your horse. We are a full-service farrier supplier.” Horseshoe Mart has been serving customers for 25 years.

Horseshoe Mart has been carrying EasyCare products for over twelve years.They carry the Back Country, Trail, Glove, Transition and the Rx. They can also do fittings. While the Glove is their best seller, Selina says that the Back Country is her favorite boot.

She feels that part of Horseshoe Mart's success is attributed to making the store very convenient for the Hoof Care Practitioners by having a large inventory so that they always have the products they need on hand. Selina also makes a concerted effort to help educate the horse owners. She works individually with people and also co-sponsors clinics with Linda Cowles, a well-known Hoof Care Practitioner. She continues to look forward to the Tevis Cup every year as this is her favorite event.

Selina has been a horse owner, who has been involved in the equine business for years and really strives to promote healthy hooves and the use of hoof boots. Currently, she owns two mules and they are both barefoot.

When asked how she felt the hoof boot industry has changed, she said, “Fifteen years ago, there weren’t many hoof boot choices. Today, there is a hoof boot for every horse, every hoof, every riding discipline and every therapeutic application resulting in more and more healthy hooves.” As to where she sees the barefoot industry going, she states, “The end is not even visible. The barefoot industry continues to grow and I’m hanging on to the “tigers” tail!”

Her favorite hoof boot story? Selina was working with a Hoof Care Practitioner on a Thoroughbred with enormous hooves. She said that you could almost see the smile on this horse’s face, he was so happy. "And, now he has big, strong, beautiful hooves.”

Visit Horseshoe Mart in Santa Rosa or go on her website. Selina possess a vast knowledge of horses, hooves and how to keep your horse’s feet healthy and in good shape. With her cartoon horses and her great sense of humor, you can bet you will leave with a smile!

The Extra Degree for Dealers in 2014

As we ride into the new year, our minds are filled with New Year’s resolutions, new goals, hopes and dreams. The mere fact that 2014 is the “Year of The Horse” has things off to an excellent start but have you stopped to think what will give your business that extra degree of edge in 2014? Well if you haven't now is the time!

Will it be:

Effort: The majority of our dealership continue to experience strong growth and the demand for skilled hoof care professionals continues to rise sharply. 2014 will find many hoof care providers with more business than they can juggle. Regardless, success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Ensure you are maximizing your opportunities that extra degree.

Relationships: The growing awareness and popularity of alternative hoof care ushered in a group of  very ambitious new dealers this past year. Do you know someone who is interested in becoming a dealer? We greatly value your referrals and our dealer referral program is still in effect. The extra degree philosophy agrees that by helping others you also help yourself.

Pricing: Who doesn't want buying power? EasyCare will offer dealer specials throughout 2014 so please make sure to take advantage of these opportunities to increase your bottom line. We also have specials catered to hoof care professionals.

Selection: Your customers are looking to you for the best and latest in hoof care technology and we thank you for choosing EasyCare. In addition to our already extensive selection of products, the Easyboot Transition hoof boot was released this past November and the much anticipated launch of the EasyShoe is right around the corner. Be sure to keep an eye on your email for when EasyShoe preorders can be placed.  

Clearly there are many more elements than what is mentioned above. The video below speaks of attitude, kindness, belief, focus and perseverance. I hope you find it inspirational and motivating. The second half of the clip is a bonus for those who manage others. The extra degree, is an interesting concept. What will set your business apart from the crowd in 2014? One extra degree makes all the difference...

November 2013: Solely Equine

November finds us with cooler days, changing leaves and wild and wooly horses. November also brings Thanksgiving. A time to reflect and be thankful for friends, family and our hoof care professionals!

This month's EasyCare's dealer spotlight has landed in Arlington, WA, the home of hoof care professional Laura Rice of Solely Equine. Laura is a relatively new dealer teaming up with EasyCare for her booting needs in 2012. Her business savvy, skill and attention to detail keeps her in high demand and going full throttle maintaining around 300 head of barefoot horses.

Laura Rice of Solely Equine feeing right at home.

As many in the hoof care field will tell you, you don't choose hoof care rather it seems to choose you. Laura had no intention of becoming a full time trimmer but destiny had other plans. Her cousin introduced her to natural hoof care and the journey began with six of her own horses, an old rasp, a spent knife and a few trimming tips from her farrier. Attending a Horse Expo she learned from a trimmer presenting about Pete Ramey and dove into learning all that she could. Laura who was working full time never considered trimming as a vocation but rather a means to maintain her own herd. Again destiny called. It has been six years in the making but Laura has worked her way out of the office and out into the field as a full time trimmer.

There is nothing like a good referral and Solely Equine was built on word of mouth advertising. Happy horses equal happy clients and the rest takes care of itself. End of story. Part of the happy horse/ happy client equation is having a good working range of hoof boots with her at all times. Doing so enables her to meet her customers hoof care protection needs on the spot and her customers take notice. Punctuality is also a priority and her customers appreciate that they can set their watch by her timeliness. Laura treats each horse as it it were her own and her horse handling skills win her big kudos with her clients. Employing natural horsemanship methods makes her job easier and the horses happier. She humbly admits some of the most rewarding experiences as a trimmer is trimming the un-trim-able. Staying calm with uncanny patience goes far with these horses and they respond. Laura admits it is not easy but the job will be done in calm manner that is respectful to the horse.

Laura loves that hoof boots keep evolving and that EasyCare is making boots increasingly durable and easier to use. She feels this continued evolution is encouraging a greater number of horse owners to make the move to natural hoof care. Laura has been using the Easyboot Epics for about seven years but these days the Easyboot Glove is her favorite and best selling boot. She also stocks the Easyboot Glove Back Country and the Easyboot Trail. She sees the barefoot industry growing leaps and bounds and has several vets in her area that are acknowledging the benefits and results horses are achieving barefoot. She says horse owners are definitely becoming more informed. Owners are researching their options and educating themselves on hooves, barefoot hoof care and diet and how all tie in with accomplishing healthy hooves and a healthy horse.

We all love success stories and Laura shares one of her best. A previously foundered mare came to her with shoes and pads all the way around. The owner was looking for options and wanted to give natural hoof care a try. Laura was called, pulled the shoes and set the horse up in boots. The plan was boots for turnout and riding, then gradually used just for riding. Things were going well but the owner thought about moving back to shoes. The owner had other horses being shod and when approaching her farrier about shoeing the mare he refused, saying the horse's feet had never look better. He advised the owner to keep doing what she was doing and so it went. Recently Laura received a call from this owner saying she was on her way home from from a weekend riding trip with the mare. Outfitted with Back Country boots on the front and Gloves behind, the owner was thrilled with how comfortable the horse was moving and that the mare was feeling like a whole new horse. Mission accomplished! 

Laura is a member of  Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners and you can find her at solelyequine.com and on Facebook.

EasyCare is thankful for all of our amazing dealers and customers across the world.  We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

October 2013: Double LL Tack & Feed

Double LL Tack & Feed in Coats, North Carolina, was started in 1980 by Leroy and Lynda Byrd. The Byrds had been operating a horse boarding business in addition to breeding and raising Arabians and were often asked where people could purchase quality tack for their horses. Seeing the need for such a store, Leroy and Lynda opened the Double LL Stables Tack Shop in a 144 square foot building. What started out as a side venture has expanded over the years into a full time, full service tack and feed store. The business name has subsequently been changed to Double LL Tack & Feed, since they no longer board or raise horses.

Double LL Tack & Feed is still family owned and is now managed by their son, Jim Byrd and their daughter, Vicky Schiller. Although Leroy and Lynda have retired, they are both still active in several aspects of the business.

Left to right: Lynda & Leroy Byrd, Cindy (the Double LL Mascot),
Cody & Duke (Vicky's horses wearing Trails), daughter, Vicky Schiller and son, Jim Byrd.

The business consists of a 5,000 square foot building housing quality tack, equine health supplies, gift items, boots and so much more.

In addition, there is an 8,400 square foot warehouse to store the various brands of quality equine and companion feeds.

Double LL Tack & Feed's mission is to provide customers with excellent customer service in a well-maintained environment and a friendly, down-home atmosphere. Their goal is to supply quality products, feeds and services that their customers need to make themselves and their animals healthy and successful.


Double LL Tack has been carrying EasyCare Hoof Boots and products since the year 2000. They currently stock the Easyboot Glove, the Glove Back Country, the Easyboot Trail, the Epic, the Rx Therapy boot and the Soaker. Vicky states that the Easyboot Glove is their most popular boot.

When we asked Vicky how she felt the hoof boot industry had changed since she became involved, she responded, "Dramatically! In our area, hoof boots were only something that you carried in your saddle bag as a spare to get you by in case your horse lost a shoe. Now, the hoof boot has surpassed that mindset and our customers are looking for the perfect boot for their horses and their riding discipline."

Vicky and her brother, Jim, attribute the success of Double LL Tack to "listening to the customer." "We don't claim to know it all and we can't carry it all, but we do listen to our customers for feedback and suggestions on all types of products for our store. We ask our customers, who specialize in specific equine activities, advice on certain tack/equipment that we need to carry in the store. Our goal is to carry durable, quality equipment needed in those activities."

Vicky told us that their best marketing strategy was just as simple as having a website created for the store. And, now with social media, Facebook has been their next smartest marketing strategy. They get to freely share all types of information with their customers. She says that their goal is to educate, entertain and inform their customers about Double LL Tack & Feed and the current trends in the equine industry.

Double LL Tack & Feed provides different types of events for their customers throughout the year. They have had Coggins/Vaccination Clinics, Veterinary Informational Clinics, Canine/Feline Rabies Clinics, Horse Training Demonstrations and Equine Nutritional Clinics.

Vicky says that they have two events that they look forward to each year. They host a Nu 2 U Tack Sale in March, where customers set up (for free) and sell their used tack items. This allows the sellers to clean out their tack rooms and get rid of unused items and allows the buyers to get good deals on some used tack. Their other favorite event is their Customer Appreciation Day, which is always held the first Saturday of October since the business was started in 1980 by her parents.

Vicky and her brother, Jim, both have experience in customer service and sales. They have both been around horses for a long time, as their parents boarded horses while they were growing up. Vicky owns two horses: Cody, a 16 year-old Arabian and Duke, an 11 year-old Morgan. Both horses are currently using the Easyboot Trail. Vicky says she is just a casual rider so the Easyboot Trail fits her needs due to ease of application and room for hoof growth. She has been using the Trails for about a year and says that, so far, the Trail is her favorite boot. However, she feels that she may be getting ready to try the new Glove Back Country.

What is their most memorable hoof boot success story? Vicky says that recently, two ladies brought their horses to the store. One of the ladies wanted to get her horse fitted for boots, while the other lady just brought her horse along for the ride. While fitting boots for the first lady, Jim discovered that the second lady had been discouraged from boots in the past because she could never achieve a good fit and often lost boots when riding. Once Jim successfully fitted the first horse with boots, the second customer decided that she would let Jim attempt to fit her horse as well. They found a great fit for her horse with the Easyboot Gloves. She purchased the Gloves that day!

Vicky sees that the barefoot industry is gaining interest in their area. She feels that the consumer seems to be more receptive to the idea of maintaining the integrity of the hoof. Also, farriers in the area are also more positive in their views on barefoot trimming and the use of protective hoof boots. She said that some of the farriers have recommended boots instead of shoes based on the needs of the hoof and have sent customers to Double LL for boots.

You can visit EasyCare's Dealer of the Month, Double LL Tack & Feed in Coats, North Carolina or on their website at www.doublelltack.com. While you are there, sign up for their Newsletter and visit them on Facebook.

September 2013: Bare Feet by Katy

She needs no introduction, her truck says it all: it's Bare Feet by Katy. EasyCare's featured dealer for September 2013 is passionate, dedicated and, yes, fun. It's business with a smile when your natural hoof care practitioner is Katy Banks of Corbett, OR.

Katy became a certified farrier in 2000 and shifted her focus in 2005 to natural hoof care. She hit the ground running as an EasyCare dealer in 2008 and has been a fantastic addition to our hoof care practitioner dealer network. 

As a single mom, Katy recognized that what she really needed was a skill that could afford a flexible schedule and be used and taken virtually anywhere. Having spent her life with horses, the transition to a career in hoof care was a perfect fit. Being self employed allowed her the needed flexibility to be available for her children and still pursue a successful career helping horses. When Katy first started her venture, her daughters were only ages four and two so this was certainly no small undertaking. The girls, now teenagers, continue to keep things hopping at home for Katy. Add to the mix a clientele of 150 head of horses a month and you have one very busy lady.

When asked about her marketing and business strategies she says, "It's hard not to put the truck at the top of the list. The "big girl truck", as my mom calls it is recognized nearly everywhere in the NW Oregon and SW Washington area. The other key element I believe is my personal attention to my clients and their horses. Customer service must be a priority in my line of work. If my clients and their horses are happy then I've delivered on my end of the deal. I strive to be available to my clients and consider their needs a priority, always taking into consideration their input. After all, they really know their horses better than anyone. I ensure they have access to as many resources as possible to keep their horses happy and healthy. Part of that equation is keeping EasyCare hoof boots and accessories on hand. The Easyboot Glove and Back County are my most requested boot styles."

As far as advice, she recommends her fellow hoof care professionals maintain the highest level of communication possible with clients. Keep appointments and never, ever stop learning. She also encourages hoof care providers to think independently and to assess new ideas carefully. To the horse owner, she couldn't stress more the importance of working with your horses so that they can stand quietly and comfortably while being trimmed - your horse and hoof care provider will thank you.

As is often the case, taking the road less traveled hasn't been without a few bumps. Last fall, Katy received news she had developed an acoustic neuroma that would require cranial surgery. Things came to a screeching halt and there was a big question mark placed on a lot of things. Ultimately Katy came through it more determined than ever. Clients and friends stepped up to help her through the rough spots and Katy says she was completely overwhelmed by the love and support show she received. The surgery resulted in many challenges and has left Katy deaf in one ear, but her recovery and successful return to trimming is one to rival a Rocky movie.

When asked about her favorite hoof boot, she'll tell you she really doesn't have one but rather her "favorite" is the one the that fits and suits the horse best for his job at that given time. She is quick to mention however that her youngest daughter loves the Back Country for her gaited horse.

Katy has many great stories but the one most near and dear to her heart is of a paint mare with navicular that came into her possession. The horse had been shod with pads and wedges for the previous five years (she was 13 at the time). The shoes were pulled and after six months of diligent trimming the mare was pasture sound barefoot. This mare progressed from a size #0 wedge/bar horseshoe to a size #2 in a hoof boot and was able to be ridden on the trail in boots with pads. Katy adds that the whole experience was so satisfying and fun. "Watching her moving freely in the pasture with the other horses and being able to keep up on her own, well there is simply nothing like it." 

Thank you Bare Feet by Katy, it’s a pleasure having you as part of our amazing team of hoof care practitioner dealers.

August 2013: Olympia Farrier Supply

Congratulations to Olympia Farrier Supply of Olympia, Washington! When Max and Ken Floyd purchased Olympia Farrier Supply one year ago, they had no idea that EasyCare hoof boots would be such big sellers. Such big sellers, in fact, that Olympia Farrier Supply has been named EasyCare's Dealer of the Month for August.

The Floyds attribute the popularity of the boots, and the success of the store, to Max's full-service approach. Full service means that they will track down any tool a customer desires, but it also means they strive to serve both the barefoot trimmers and the farriers with equal commitment.

Equines in the Floyd Family, Bo and Tess with their pal, goat Ricky Bobby.

"We don't sell EasyCare hoof boots to a barefoot-only audience," says Max. "These days, farriers realize that hoof boots have a place in comprehensive hoof care. We sell hoof boots to those who shoe horses when they are dealing with a problem hoof and they need a temporary solution between shoeings. Or, when the farrier has a client who has decided to transition from shod to barefoot."

"We have a seasonal audience, too," Max also added. "Around here, a lot of people keep their horses barefoot in the winter because of the mud, then put shoes on again when summer rolls around. Having EasyCare hoof boots in stock means that they are able to give their horses a break from metal shoes and be able to enjoy their horse year-round." Currently, Max is the sole operator of Olympia Farrier Supply.

Ken has had two surgeries and has been unable to work. Ken hopes with the last surgery past, that he will be able to be more active in the growth of the business in the future. The picture below was taken before surgeries.

When the Floyds took over Olympia Farrier Supply, they increased the inventory to meet a growing demand for hoof boots. Today, you can walk into the store and find Gloves, Back Country boots and Epics for riding, plus the Easyboot Rx and the EasySoaker for hoof therapy. Having a large inventory of EasyCare hoof boots on hand contributes to their increase in sales. Olympia Farrier Supply stocks a large inventory of EasyCare hoof boots for the convenience of farriers and trimmers. And oftentimes, sales are a referral from a hoof care practitioner.

Farriers and trimmers have come to realize that Olympia Farrier Supply will go the extra mile to stock the inventory that they need. Customers know that if they need a product, the Floyds will track it down. In one case, Max went the extra mile by making an international phone call to order a hammer that was manufactured in Italy, but was found in England. Max also brings enthusiasm and passion to the business, making a hoof care professional's job much easier and more enjoyable.

The Floyds didn't start our as farrier supply experts. They got into the horse business because of their daughter, Madison.

That was seven years and many hooves ago and the Floyds have learned a lot along the way. One thing they have learned is there is more than one way to do hoof care. And they want to supply every farrier and trimmer, no matter their approach to caring for their customer's horses. The Floyd's approach to service is working very well! Visit them in Olympia, Washington or at www.olyfarrier.com.

Dee Reiter

easycare-customer-service-dee-reiter

Retail Account Rep

I am the Retail and New Dealer Account Rep for EasyCare. I will be happy to help you with ordering, selecting the most popular styles and sizes of EasyCare hoof boots to stock. Let me help you with suggestions on merchandising and provide training for you and your staff, at your convenience.

 

July 2013: Kim's Farrier Service

Celebrating ten years in the hoof care business, Kim's Farrier Service is EasyCare's July, 2013 dealer of the month. Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, Kim Burnop of Kim's Farrier Service celebrates a ten-year milestone this month as a hoof care professional. Kim covers Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina where she maintains a clientele of about 200 horses.

Opportunity knocks: Often one door closes and another opens. Such was the case when Kim found herself being laid off from her job in the Fall of 2002 which opened the door for a new career. As an avid horse enthusiast, Kim had always been intrigued by her farrier and the work done on her mare. Given this new opportunity, Kim jumped at the chance and enrolled in the Maryland Horseshoeing School and became a BWFA Certified Journeyman Farrier. Kim's Farrier Service was launched in July of 2003 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kim fitting the Easyboot Back Country.

Keys to success: Kim believes in the basics. Honesty, great customer service and providing top notch work are what make her business thrive. In fact, Kim still works for her very first client. I'll venture to say not many can claim they still work for their very first client ten years later.

EasyCare hoof boots: Kim has been an EasyCare dealer for six and a half years and keeps her truck well stocked with a range of EasyCare hoof boots, pads and accessories. Stocking mostly the Easyboot Glove, Back Country and Trail boots, one entire side of her truck is dedicated to EasyCare products and the needs of a barefoot horse. When it comes to booting clients, she provides a thorough evaluation, fitting not only the horse but also considering the owner's needs. Kim test rides the various boots herself before offering them to clients. This enables her to effectively advise customers based on experience. Special care is taken to answer questions and she assists with the application and removal of the boots to ensure the client has a solid understanding and ultimately a positive experience.

Look at all those boots.

Education: Kim attended EasyCare's three day seminar in 2007 and credits that experience really gave her a jump start with the booting aspect of her business. She is grateful for the work EasyCare does to constantly improve the products and for the dealer support which helps her keep on top of the latest tips and tricks.

Giving back: Kim has served on the board for the Southeastern Association of Trail Riders, the Virginia Paint Horse Club and is involved with the Tidewater Horse Council where she has given booting clinics. Kim and her horse, Summer Breeze, are a crowd favorite on Career Day were she visits several elementary schools each spring in Chesapeake.

Rewards: Kim says it is very satisfying to have the respect of other farriers and veterinarians who often refer their clients to her when traditional methods are not suiting the horse. She also recalls an older gelding that was lame from laminitis and  various corrective shoeing attempts. The horse was put in a pair of Old Mac's G2s and Comfort Pads and he became a new horse. The owner was amazed that something so simple could make such a big change and was elated that the horse could be ridden again.

Elementary school children enjoy Kim's visit on Career Day.

Fun: When Kim is not working on horses, she enjoys riding her American Paint Horse mare, My Circuit Burner, a.k.a. Summer Breeze, on weekend trail rides and camping trips.

The Future:  Kim foresees a steady increase in booted horses thanks to the continuing improvements in boot designs and materials. As hoof boots evolve and the public becomes more informed, Kim feels more horse owners and farriers alike will be open to the proven benefits of hoof boot use.

Kim's shirts say it all.

Congratulations to Kim's Farrier Service on a decade of trimmin,' shoein' and bootin' for the ride.

Debbie Schwiebert

easycare-vet-hcp-deaaler-accounts-manager-debbie-schwiebert

Vet Dealer & Hoof Care Practitioner Accounts

I manage the hoof care practitioner and veterinarian dealer accounts at EasyCare. An integral part of my job is to stay current in all areas of barefoot hoof care, which enables me to serve this vital group of EasyCare dealers at the next level.

 

June 2013: Hadley's

Congratulations to Hadley's, EasyCare's Dealer of the Month for June. Hadley's is located in Canon City, Colorado and they are very early in their EasyCare Dealership career. They just became an EasyCare Dealer on February 25, 2013, but they have taken EasyCare Hoof Boots to a whole new level.

When Shay-Lee Hadley first contacted us to become an EasyCare Dealer, we were somewhat concerned. How could our EasyCare products fit with a company that was now manufacturing banners, providing embroidery services and dealing with some equine products? But, they also manufacture Barrel Wraps, which are barrel covers that provide advertising for barrel racing events. This should have been a clue to us. After talking with Shay-Lee by phone, she was so enthusiastic, convincing and engaging, that we approved them.

When a dealer is approved by EasyCare, we encourage them to stock a few of each of our best selling boots. Shay-Lee would only order the Easyboot Rx and EasySoaker. Again, we were a little concerned. No need for concern - she and her husband, Jack, had it all under control.

We found out that they were bringing the EasySoaker and the Easyboot Rx to barrel racing events and were selling out of them at every event.

When they were on their way to BBR Finals in Oklahoma City, Shay-Lee called for an order of Rx boots and we were back ordered on size 3. We suggested bringing the Easyboot Trail. They enthusiastically brought the Trails with them and sold out of them the day before the event started. They called us and we did a direct ship of Trails right to the Oklahoma Fairgrounds. They had horses lined up at their booth waiting for fittings to buy the Easyboot Trail.


Jack doing fittings at the Oklahoma Fairgrounds.

A barrel horse sporting his Easyboot Trails.

And they sold out again! On their way home, Jack was driving and Shay-Lee called for seventy-two more Easyboot Trails that they had taken orders for on the last day of the finals.

It turns out that Hadley's have recognized a strong niche for hoof boots for barrel racers. Shay-Lee said that she had previously used a competitors boot on her horse and found that they were just too heavy and clunky. She did some investigation and liked the Easyboot Rx and then the Trails. These athletes are most often standing on cement floors in stalls for two or three days, waiting to go in for their 16 second run. What a better way to protect their legs and give them comfort than to have them wear EasyCare hoof boots with foam comfort pads. They also recognized that the Easyboot Trail gives these horses great traction when trailering.

Next the Hadley's are headed to NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) in Mississippi and after that they are off to Las Vegas. Let's see who can keep up with the Hadleys!

Bear Dog is Haldey's best EasyCare hoof boot promoter.

May 2013: Ernest Woodward

Movement: purely a moment in time, simple yet so complex.

Farrier and EasyCare dealer of the month, Ernest Woodward, knows movement is everything.

Ernest is passionate about movement and displays his talents for capturing it here.

You could say it was destiny. Growing up his stepfather was a veterinarian; his mother a dressage trainer. While in college, physics was his focus. As a farrier of 17 years, Ernest Woodward attributes his success to outside the box thinking and strives to push the envelope from the norm of farrier work and service. Ernest finds great interest in the challenge and detail needed in working with show horses and spends most of his time today dedicated to the needs of the dressage sport horse and therapeutic work.

Ernest joined the EasyCare dealer network in July of 2012, and says discovering the Easyboot Glove has changed everything. Previously, he felt there was not a boot on the market that could meet the demands of a competitive horse. Now he says he has that boot with the Easyboot Glove and can confidently recommend it to his sport horse clients. He also finds tremendous value in utilizing the Easyboot Rx and EasySoaker.

Tips for Success
Hoof care is a highly service based industry and Ernest feels whether you are a trimmer or farrier, professionals need to increase their connection with their clients and make more time to individualize each horse and client. A significant part of his business strategy is staying very involved in his realm of the horse community, from managing horse shows to serving on a local non-profit board. He spends thousands of dollars each year on research, time and tools, and fully utilizes social networking. The bottom line is simple - do great things for your clients and horses and make sure people are aware of what you are doing.

Rewards
One of Ernest's most rewarding experiences was recently teaching one of his clients from Canada to trim, enabling her to care for her own horse and maintain it barefoot when home. Ernest says, "To watch her not only take her competition horse barefoot, but to have the dedication to learn what was necessary to perpetuate her success was tremendously inspiring." He adds that his most memorable hoof boot experience was taking a horse from a $500 shoeing to barefoot and quickly seeing the results of a sounder horse and happier client. He does preface that it doesn't happen every time but when it does it is tremendously satisfying.

When we talk about the future of the barefoot competitive horse, Ernest feels the door has been kicked wide open for the dressage sport horse industry. He believes there are a lot of people that will have the courage to break conventional thought and try something new for their horse. Sometimes it may not be the right fit, but sometimes they might find a whole new direction for the horse.

Ernest resides in Cardiff-by-the Sea, California, with his wife and four-year old daughter while maintaining a practice of about 250 horses. He is also currently working closely with EasyCare on the EasyShoe project. Life is full for Ernest Woodward and we could not be more pleased to have him on the team!

To learn more about Ernest visit his Facebook page at Ernest Woodward - Farrier.