¿Are you a professional hoof trimmer or farrier? ¿Are your clients using hoofboots? ¿Are you always going to the easy way recommending integral boots?
If the answer to all this questions is «YES», then you’re in the right place. Keep on reading and you’ll realize why…
Don’t get me wrong! I totally understand your position. I have been trimming horses professionally since 2008, and more or less the 60% of my clients wear some kind of hoofboots. Sometimes, because of the owner & because of the hoof shape I also have to recommend some integral boots, but it’s ONLY because is the best option for that specific situation. I understand that horse owners can sometimes be complicated, that sometimes have limitations, and that facing problems with boots, means that you have to make an extra trip to the client’s house and that you have to spend an extra time without getting anything from it. I have also experienced that few times when I didn’t have my bootfitting skills in place. But those are NO reasons for always going to the easy way… Let me explain you 3 advantages of improving your bootfitting skills
1. Offer a better service for your client, the horse.
Let me ask you… how are you more comfortable? with clogs? That are big, cumply, uncomfortable and moves around your feet? Or with a minimalist shoes like the five fingers made by Vibram? If you haven’t tried both options, I challenge you to do so! The best way to understand something is by experiencing it.
If you want to give more comfort to a horse, allow full & free leg movement & biomechanics, promote a safer stride and diminish its risk of injury then you have to become literate about boots.
Too often I meet hoof professionals that doesn’t care about boots and do not understand the bad impact that they can have to the whole horse health when used wrong. Think it in that way… when you’re using a boot, you’re adding an extra layer around the hoof that can:
- Alter how the hoof mechanism performs
- Change the pivoting or breakover position and duration
- Generate sliding movements & shearing forces between both objects
- Create unwanted levers that adds extra tension to different soft tissues like ligaments & tendons and also to joints.
- Increase the lower limb acceleration overstretching the collateral ligaments of the lower limb’s joints.
As a professional you should be aware of all those aspects, and take decisions having them in mind. So… to minimize or avoid those negative things you should search in each case for…
- The lightest solution possible in an attempt to diminish the the lower limb acceleration forces.
- The best intimate union possible in an attempt to eliminate the sliding movements & shearing forces.
- The exact perimeter shape between the boot and the solar aspect of the hoof as an strategy to diminish the unwanted levers.
Also you have to have in mind other aspects like rubbing, transpiration around the coronary band, pressure over the lateral cartilages, fitting, durability…
If you have all those aspects in mind and make the right choice for every situation your clients will be happier, safer & will perform better. The owner will appreciate it and will recommend you to others.
2. Overtake other professionals in your area.
Which is your mindset? Do things just to get out of trouble or offer the best of you?
If you want to feel better daily and get home with a smile on your face, have a safer job, improve the whole market and also promote the horse welfare all the way around… then I recommend you to improve your boot fitting skills and give the best of you at any chance.
With this attitude and decision, you will be unbeatable and stand out above the rest of the professionals in your area, so you’ll be the first choice. And… why you wanna become the first choice? Well… there are a lot of benefits about it…
- You’ll be able to choose who you want to work with. So you’ll be able to only work with those who understands and appreciates your work, who have the same energy than you and with whom you’re comfortable with.
- You’ll be able to charge more, meaning that you can earn more money with the same amount of work or that you can keep earning the same working less.
This 2 desirable things are in your hands, they happen for the simple reason of adding value to your work and the only responsible for that is you… So! You decide!
3. Earn more money.
I already explained this before because it’s a mere consequence or the simple result of taking action and becoming a better professional. But I put it separately because money it’s a category for its own. Or isn’t not great to earn more?
So… don’t waste time and improve your fitting skills now. Learn all the factors that you should have in mind to take the best decision possible in each case and learn how to play around boots… trim them , shape them, transform them…
If you still don’t have it clear, let me finish this article with the next question…
what would you think if you met a farrier that nails the horseshoes without adapting them to the hoof previously? Exactly! So … why you don’t think the same if you’re doing it with the boots?