EasyCare is excited to feature B Barefoot as our December Dealer of the Month. Located in Pike, New Hampshire owner Jen Broughan joined the EasyCare team in 2013 and has been a strong advocate for the products.
As is the case with so many hoof care providers a special horse brought Jen into the folds of natural hoof care. Jen's mare was having lameness issues and when traditional metal shoes did not improve the situation, Jen opted to give barefoot a try. Her trimmer pulled the shoes and explained to Jen about hoof anatomy, angles and frog health. Things no other farrier had talked about. Once trimmed one would have never guessed that same mare had been limping just minutes before. Jen could hardly believe it despite seeing it with her own eyes. Needless to say she was hooked. But as fate played out Jen was told her trimmer would soon be moving. Panic set in as she could find no one to take her place. Receiving an encouraging, "You can learn to do it yourself" along with a rasp and Pete Ramey book from her trimmer, Jen embraced the challenge. And so it began, clinics, workshops, mentorship and reading everything she could as well as trimming her own horses set her on her path. Fast forward five years and Jen has a client base of just over 200 in central Vermont and Northern New Hampshire.
Jen believes providing hoof boots is an integral part of transitioning horses to barefoot and for many horses the needed protection while riding on hard, rocky terrain. Jen wanted to become an EasyCare dealer so that she could offer her clients the best selection of hoof boots on the market. She goes on to say becoming a dealer has helped her provide the tools she needs to keep client's horses comfortable and adds the website helped further her education in hoof care. Jen carries an inventory of the Easyboot Glove Back County, Gloves and Transitions. As well as a variety of accessories like Comfort Pads, studs and miscellaneous boot parts. She also is utilizing the new EasyShoe. Jen thinks the EasyShoe is incredible and the product has enabled her to help horses with founder, navicular, thin soles, abscesses and negative palmar angles. Jen says, the ability of the hoof to improve during a shoeing cycle is amazing. She recalls a client with an IR Morgan with chronic founder. No matter what they did diet, trim etc. without boots the horse was miserable. Her sole in front of the frog was bulging and never changed. With three cycles of EasyShoes at five week intervals, this horse actually gained concavity in front of the frog and can trot sound barefoot now! Needless to say Jen is excited to have this new tool to offer her clients. Her best sellers are the Back Country for the front feet and Gloves for the hinds. Her personal favorite is the Glove with its low profile and light weight. Jen says it just feels like part of the horse.
Jen speaks fondly of her job and says there isn't just "one most rewarding experience" but many. Seeing a horse give a huge release yawn, stand square on their newly trimmed feet or an owner telling her how happy they are with their horse's movement makes everyday very rewarding. However, Jen does have one very memorable hoof boot success story. The story of Brody the Thoroughbred. The story is best told by Brody's owner MaryJo.
"We are amazed at the incredible improvements natural trimming and Easyboots have made to the quality of life for our 24 year old Thoroughbred. Brody was constantly lame, suffered from abscesses and was generally uncomfortable. We thought there was nothing we could do for him until we were introduced to Jen. She explained the theory and how to properly fit and use hoof boots. Within six months of her trimming and the use of the Transition boots he was pain free. He has grown healthy hooves and no longer needs support wraps, ice and pain meds! Jen has truly given him a new lease on life. My 15 year old son Luke can enjoy riding his best friend again!"
Brody and Luke.
What does it take? Jen believes the top three things you need to be successful as a trimmer are: Passion for helping horses to be sound and healthy. Be committed to continuing education (with an open mind) and you must possess good communication skills. Jen believes in working smarter not harder and has created a sustainable schedule. She crosses one day a week off her calendar with no trims and tries to keep people in one area on the same schedule to minimize travel time. She connects with other trimmers to take clients that are far away. Trimming is very physical and Jen ensures her health with chiropractor and massage once a month. She tries to stretch every day and even has a car seat cover with heat, massage and magnets. For the book work side of things she uses Google Drive documents and spreadsheets and utilizes a smart phone for contacts.
Continuing education is a highlight for Jen. She loves the opportunity to learn more and connect with other farriers and horse owners. She also enjoys supporting her local animal rescue where she teams up with fellow trimmer Lisa Walker monthly to trim. They recognizes the challenges and hard work these volunteers encounter and both feel it's important to provide the help.
For Jen Broughan her hobby and passion in life is and always has been horses. She feels fortunate to have found a way to make a living doing something she loves. When not under a horse Jen and her husband enjoy working and riding their own four horses. To find out more about the exciting things Jen is doing and to see her work please visit her Facebook page at Bbarefoot Hoof Care.