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The FormaHoof Hoof Care Journey

FormaHoof – The story so far…

Two years into a global pandemic – FormaHoof has continued its global expansion, relatively uninterrupted. We have crossed language barriers, shipped to over 50 countries across six continents and nearly tripled our customer base year on year, for one simple reason – passionate equestrians are looking for a true solution to hoof problems, not just a “band-aid”.

Horse owners, vets, farriers, and trimmers who took the leap of faith and trusted in FormaHoof were amply rewarded with measurable results, in remarkable, unprecedented timeframes.

But let’s look deeper at why this is the case, and the science and technology behind the tool that is ensuring the results.

What is the story behind our mould design?

At the expense or repetition, it is very important to emphasize that FormaHoof was designed from the ground up to do one thing very well; to mimic the natural biomechanics of a completely healthy hoof.

The engineers behind the design absorbed knowledge from equine hoof care practitioners (vets, farriers & podiatrists) which ultimately led to the concept that if you were to support a three-dimensional flexible structure such as a hoof, you needed an approach which matched its performance and real-world characteristics. A completely new concept which would combine advanced materials and usability along with an application process that is highly repeatable and efficient.

Alex talks with Bethany from the My Equestrian Style Podcast about the FormaHoof Moulding Design

Why is FormaHoof different?

Looking at how the market is currently shaped, the vast majority is made up of large traditional metal shoe manufacturers that are still producing products directly resembling early copper shoes first forged in 100 BC, and then a significantly smaller sub-market for alternatives (boots, glue-ons etc) which again are not particularly innovative for our times, because the Romans again produced the first “boots” or “Hipposandals” back in the BC days.

All these products have one thing in common. They try to tackle the three-dimensional problem we discussed previously, with a two-dimension approach, completely missing out on the opportunity and benefits that the extra dimension offers to the horse.

Two thousand years ago, this was the status quo because it was the cutting edge of the technology at the time, however today – with even teenagers designing and 3D printing products in their own homes, there is little excuse for living in a two-dimensional world.

When looking at existing hoof rehab treatments, we often see that they adopt a progressive approach, dealing with one issue, crack or problem etc at a time. This may work if the damage is superficial, but it leaves space for other issues to worsen in the meantime.

FormaHoof allows you to treat multiple problems at the same time with one innovative overall solution which can not only help to achieve healthier hooves but also allow muscles, tendons or ligaments to benefit from the adjusted hoof aliment.

Changing Mindsets – A challenge in the Equine world

Moving on to the hoof – natures’ perfectly designed appendage, it supports the strength and weight of the horse as it naturally flexes and moves to absorb strain and promote blood flow as it is part of any healthy vascular system. Anyone who has seen a cross section on the hoof recognises the very tight margin of error and skill required to successfully attach a shoe to the hoof.

The modern day life of horses has necessitated the usage of a hoof protection system, since more often than not they operate in environments which are outside what the natural hoof was designed for.

But the questions remain; Why are people still nailing on shoes? What advantage can a boot offer for rideability and hoof support when it is free to move around like a loose running shoe gathering dirt and contaminants along the way? Why would you use industrial adhesives to glue on a shoe, which poses the threat of damaging the hoof during removal (accidental or international)?

The answer to all questions above can be found in the unwillingness, in most cases of all parties in the decision-making process, to challenge the current status quo.

Step into the future – self-education and the courage to stand up for what you want

In our ecosystem, we see this every day, more and more owners are approaching us to directly discuss their concerns because they have found that their current hoof care practitioners are unwilling to adopt new tools or learn new skills and would rather continue doing what they have always been doing, over and over, with predictably grim results in some cases.

We try to be as close to customers and potential customers as it gets, our team is here to assist and help and we have a team of experts which will provide independent consultations for owners.
I would like to encourage horse owners and open-minded professionals to educate themselves and learn more about the possibilities FormaHoof provides to horses with our FREE Basic tutorials, interact with FormaHoof ‘users’ within the FormaHoof Experience Exchange Group.

The question about the cost

FormaHoof as of today, provides a unique solution at a very competitive price. However, there seem to be a number of professional hoof care providers out there looking to overcharge for FormaHoof applications.

This is disheartening to see, because horses are suffering in the name of profit, and we would like to encourage owners to do their homework after receiving large quotes, or to reach out to us to fact check.

We saw comments about owners being asked to pay 1,500-2,000 USD for application services on a single horse, which is completely unreasonable because the material cost going into a single application for 2 feet should not exceed 150 – 200 USD for a large horse. In comparison, consumables for several applications and a reusable mould, costs you 815 USD (719 EUR) which is bundled in our Essentials Kit.

Over the last two years, we have reduced prices twice which brings us into a competitive range with other alternative shoeing methods, even though FormaHoof as a product is not comparable to any of the 2-dimensional products on the market and will have a much higher impact and success rate in resolving a hoof related problem.

As an owner, you should consider purchasing your own materials and agree with your hoof care provider a charge for their trimming and application service.

Alexander Papantoniou<br> FormaHoof CEO

Alexander Papantoniou
FormaHoof CEO

As CEO of FormaHoof, Alexander holds an undergraduate degree in Economics & Law and is an Alum of the Stanford GSB. He has spent most of his career as a successful tech entrepreneur, based out of the Middle East.

He is a firm believer in creating passionate and driven teams, which led to the creation of the current FormaHoof executive organisation, all of whom have an equine background and a keen interest in improving equine welfare around the globe.

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