September 2021

How natural hoof expansion can affect your Scoot Boot business

There are many reasons why a horse owner decides to take metal shoes off their horse and go barefoot. From ongoing health issues such as navicular, white line, abscesses, thrush and much more.

Read David Wallace’s barefoot transition and share it with your customers considering going barefoot.

Transitioning to barefoot is not as simple as removing the shoes and sizing straight into Scoots. Once the hoof is released from the constraints of the metal shoe it is natural for it to expand. Hoof issues like thin walls can take up to 6 months to grow out. It can be difficult for customers to see their horse completely barefoot, and the urge to re-shoe in this long process can be overwhelming. With the hoof wall expanding and possible thin hoof growing out, the hooves may not yet be suitable for Scoot Boots, or they may outgrow their Scoot size within a few months.

In our April Newsletter we also talked about how the weather can result in the expansion and contraction of hooves and how the use of Anti Slip Shims and Scoot Pads can help with the fit.

An idea to convert hesitant enquiries into sales

Your customer may be hesitant to pay full price for a pair of Scoots that they know their horse will grow out of in a few months. Sizing them with a second hand pair of Scoots can be a great option to alleviate your customers' stress during the barefoot transition and to start building a trusting relationship. Depending on the wear of the Scoots, once the horse has outgrown them you could offer your customer a discount on a new pair when they trade in their second-hand pair.

Keeping these traded in boots allows you to offer a trial Scoot service for a fee. Customers love to try before they buy, let’s be honest we all do. You can add this to the list of services you offer on our stockist locator. Customers will genuinely appreciate having the ability to check their horses' comfort and the usability of our product before they commit. You can use the trial fee to assure customer loyalty for your efforts. The fee can be used as an incentive to purchase Scoot Boots from you. Once the customer has returned the Scoots to you, the fee can be deducted from their order. If the customer chooses not to order Scoot Boots, you have the option of refunding their fee. You will have a better idea from your customers’ feedback as to why they chose not to purchase, and how to help the customer further.

We have converted our sizing photos to better illustrate what we require for remote fitting. We have also created a pdf for you to easily share with your customers click here to access your copy

Working with the customer’s trimmer to improve your sales

We know not all our stockists are barefoot trimmers or farriers. We love the variety of equine experts we have all over the world offering Scoots to the barefoot horse!

Like us at Scoot HQ you may be sizing horses that you are not trimming. In our interactions with customers we always consider the three people working together for the horse’s benefit, the horse owner/customer, their trimmer/hoof expert and us the Scoot Boot experts. Respecting the journey the customer has been on with their trimmer/farrier is of course important. Sizing a horse for Scoots and achieving an excellent fit, it can be upsetting to later be contacted by the customer with a complaint that the Scoots are now too small! Once you have ruled out the hoof has finished expanding from transitioning to barefoot, and the weather conditions aren’t affecting the hooves, then what else has changed? Has the customer moved? Maybe their trimmer or farrier has retired? Whatever the reason, they may have a new trimmer/farrier. Like any professional, each trimmer/farrier has their own technique. Customers may not realise this. Hoof care is specialized and the customer may not have considered that this may be why the Scoots are no longer fitting. Ask your customer who their new trimmer/farrier is and perhaps give them a call. If you have open and friendly dialogue with the new trimmer/farrier, they are likely to appreciate the background information you can give them on the horses hoof journey. It will also give you a great opportunity to learn more about the new trimmer/farriers work with the horse. Your customer is likely to appreciate knowing that changing the trim style may be the reason the fit issue has occurred. This will allow them to have more input on the trimming of their horse’s hooves and assist with building a good relationship with the individuals caring for their horse’s wellbeing.