August is here and the weather is not the only thing heating up as riders blaze across the country heading off to last adventures before summer's end. Hoof care professionals in much of the US are working double time in triple digits to meet the needs of our equine partners. Be it showing, racing, ranching or hitting the trails, these professionals have our backs and help keep our horses performing at their best.
Sabine with her two horses Romeo and Pumpkin.
This month we head to Simi Valley, California, to catch up with EasyCare dealer Sabine Halfhill of Sabine Halfhill Hoof Care. Sabine joined EasyCare's team of dealers in 2012 and has done smokin' well with our products from day one.
Sabine became interested in hoof care when her beloved Quarter Horse, Romeo, began to experience lameness issues. Traditional therapeutic shoeing was not working and Sabine was determined to find other options. As she began researching, she realized she knew absolutely nothing about the hoof; how it functioned or even what a healthy foot should look like. The more she read, the more she became fascinated with the subject and read everything she could get her hands on. As she began to trim her own horses, the passion took on a life of its own and Sabine decided to pursue a career in hoof care with training through Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners. Today she has a thriving business with about 120 horses in her practice.
One of the fist things Sabine did when she started her business was to become an EasyCare dealer. Having used the products herself for years on her own horses, she was very familiar with the product line. She also received excellent training in booting and fitting through her PHCP training. Sabine feels boots play a crucial role in successful barefoot transitions and will not pull shoes on a horse unless the owner is willing to buy boots to ensure the horse's comfort. The day the shoes are pulled, she fits the horse for boots. If the size she needs is not immediately available, she provides the horse with a pair of temporary loaner boots or instructs the owner to keep the horse off rocky terrain until their boots arrive.
Her stocked, go to products are the Easyboot Glove Back Country, Trail, Transition, Glove and EasyShoes. Her best seller and personal fave is the Back Country with her second best seller being the EasyShoe.
For Sabine the EasyShoe has been the missing link in her business. Preferring to keep horses barefoot whenever possible, she feels in some situations it simply may not be the best option for the horse. Today, shod horses that Sabine may have originally turned down, she now putting into EasyShoes. The shoe provides 24/7 protection that allows the horse's hoof to flex and expand with each step, absorb concussion and offers excellent support. Sabine has been impressed with the versatility of the shoe and has used them for a range of needs from thin soled horses to Navicular syndrome, chronic laminitis, ring bone and pedal osteitis.
Sabine's gluing set up. This girl doesn't fool around!
Sabine's handy work with the EasyShoe Performance
When asked what she believed to be the top three things needed to be a successful trimmer, she replied, "There is a quote from Dr. Kerry Ridgeway that really resonates with me, "The intrusion of dogma into any system creates a closing of the mind and reluctance to change in spite of new knowledge." I feel this is especially true with hoof care. One should always put the horse's well being and health first. Don't let your own ideology get in the way of that. Learn to be flexible and creative in your approach. There is no one size fits all method in hoof care. Be willing to be open to the the best solution for the horse." She goes on to say "Be prompt, organized and courteous. Show up to appointments on time, return phone calls and emails in a timely manner and try to keep your schedule on track so that horses don't fall behind schedule. Communication and follow up are huge. Keep the communication lines open with owners and follow up to see how the horse is doing or to see how the new hoof boots are working out. If there are any issues do the best you can to remedy the situation right away."
Like so many hoof care providers, handling business and growth can be challenging. Sabine works hard to pace herself as the job is both physically and mentally demanding. She strives for balance so that she will be able to give 100% to each horse while staying healthy and safe so that she can continue doing what she loves: helping horses.
Sabine is obviously passionate about horses and admits her life pretty much revolves around them. She has two horses of her own, one Quarter horse, the other a Shoshone Mustang. She is happily married to a man who is her best friend and shares her love for horses. When they are not caring for their equines, they are out on the trail together. Sabine also loves to travel, interior design, gardening and cooking. She is a member and student practitioner through Pacific Hoof Care Practitioners and has attended numerous clinics and farriers courses at her local college. Located in Simi Valley, CA, Sabine covers all of Ventura County and parts of LA County. For more about Sabine and her work please visit her website.
This gal is on fire for hoof care and a blazing success.