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Since some owners often want a part-time protective device for their horses, hoof boots continue to grow in popularity. But who should provide the boots, fit and adjust them?
Larkin Greene maintains farriers who don’t somehow get involved with boots are missing a profit-building opportunity. The Vettec staffer from Sacramento, Calif., told attendees at a How-To Clinic at last winter’s International Hoof-Care Summit that building a profit center around boots starts with understanding how and why they work and learning to make needed modifications.
The first step is to separate boots from the barefoot movement.
“It’s understandable for many farriers to have a hostile reaction to the barefoot movement, but don’t answer ignorance with hostility,” he says. “There’s ignorance on every side of what we do with the equine foot, but answering it with hostility will cost you customers.
“We’re in the business of customer service, and hostility is often born out of ignorance. But even when it’s not, that’s the way it is viewed and you will never win with a hostile attitude.”
As the horse culture changes, Greene advises farriers to adapt to the needs of each customer.
“There are a lot of horse people today who need more education and they’re going to get it from their friends, trainer and the Internet,” he says. “As a hoof-care specialist, you should provide as much education as possible, but you’ve got to deliver it in a calm manner. This sometimes takes time, but it’s the way…