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 of 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 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 alignment.
It seems to us that by putting the horses at the correct hoof angles, plus the increased blood flow in the hoof leads to faster recovery times,” said Francisco. “We also put one of our homebreds, Moonshine, in FormaHoof to help heal a tendon issue. Within 12 weeks not only did we see an improvement in the tendon, but we noticed she developed bigger shoulder muscles than she had prior.
Francisco Benardoni, Horse owner & Farm manager, Cotterel Polo Farms, Idao/USA
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 a 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 use of a hoof protection system, since more often than not they operate in environments which are outside that which 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 intentional)?
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.
FormaHoof has excellent online training modules which are accessible for owners and farriers alike. If you, as an owner, decide to go ahead with FormaHoof, make sure you give your farrier access to the training. FormaHoof is a real game-changer in the way that we can approach our rehabilitation plans, helping these wonderful equine athletes to live long and productive lives after racing and I’m so happy to be able to offer FormaHoof as a solution, not only to our clients but their horses as well.
Sven Targett, Farrier & FormaHoof Certified Applicator, Perth/Australia
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 have seen 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.
FormaHoof really is cost effective. Not just on the hoof, but less pain medication. Faster recovery. Both factor into the overall cost of recovery. Happier horse. And isn’t that what it’s all about. Find someone that will work WITH you for your horse. Those that are overcharging aren’t in it for the horse. Buy your own kit. That way you have it for future use. Can’t say enough good things about this product.
Andrea White, Horse Owner, Canada