Our story

Flex Boot logo about us page

One small step for a pony,
one giant leap towards balanced hoof care!

Flex Hoof Boots About Brand information

Our hoof boots are designed with the horse's welfare as a priority, and with a genuine commitment to environmentally friendly business practices.

We promote a horse-centric, science-based approach to being and doing with your horse; we believe a partnership between a human and a horse should be built on kindness and empathy.

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Horse welfare is our priority

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This mentality extends to the use of hoof boots too; Flex Hoof Boots work best when hoof care is viewed as part of holistic horse management, and the owner actively participates in ensuring their horse's hooves stay in the best possible condition at all times.

Scroll down to read more about the Flex Boots' story!

The Flex Hoof Boot

VISION, MISSION & VALUES

Flex Boot vision mission values
Flex Boot logo our vision

Vision

To see horse owners around the world help their own horses to greater hoof health. Through holistic horse care education, we empower owners to take an active role in their horse's hoof care. We help equestrians to understand what their own horse's healthy hoof should look like, and how they can achieve and maintain it.

Flex Boot logo our mission

Mission

Promote holistic horse welfare practices that are species-specific and based in science. We do this by offering horse owners the tools to learn what great hoof care entails, and how they can play an active role in it. This is done through our hoof care online courses and by manufacturing and selling Flex Hoof Boots.

Flex Boot logo our values

Values

In all that we do, we want to  advocate holistic wellbeing for both horses and humans.

Our green values are a factor in decision making, both in our business practices and personal lives. We want all our actions to be as environmentally friendly as possible and this shows in how we designed the boot, all the way to how we package it.

Flex Hoof Boots holistic hoof care for horse owners hoof trimming online course

Great hoof care is our passion: for us, the priority is to take care of the horse’s mind, body and hooves, and then add hoof boots into the mix. We would love it if every horse owner in the world took an active approach to their horse’s hoof care, and we believe that it’s something that everybody can learn to do. This is why we have been teaching holistic hoof care for well over 10 years now!

Flex Boots barefoot hoof trimming course

More than just hoof boots -

We also provide hoof care education to horse owners

Flex Boots blog post when is hoof due a trim

The Flex Boot creators, Satu and Jiri Vainikka, are experts in hoof care. They have studied barefoot trimming extensively and worked as professional, full time barefoot trimmers for over 15 years before designing Flex Hoof Boots. In their time as barefoot trimmers, they helped thousands of horses and owners, in Finland and across Europe.

Driven by the desire to help horses even more, they started to teach hoof care to horse owners in 2010, first as face-to-face courses at their home farm, then in 2016 the teaching moved online. This enabled the students to revisit the course material again and again - something that a face-to-face course cannot offer - and it was soon evident that people learnt much more effectively when they were able to repeat sections of the course whenever they needed.

In 2021, Satu and Jiri teamed up with Minna Sarkkinen, a long-standing hoof care professional based in Australia, to create a new and improved hoof care course for all horse owners around the world. Holistic Hoof Care for Horse Owners is an online course that teaches the fundamentals of good hoof management, aimed at everyone interested in hooves.

The course is available in Finnish and English, and covers the most important factors affecting hoof health, such as how to manage the horse as a species and its living habitat; hoof anatomy and function; how to use trimming tools; doing a fundamental hoof trim; and how and when to offer additional hoof protection in the form of hoof boots. This course will equip all horse owners with the required knowledge and confidence to take a more hands-on approach to their horse’s hoof health.

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Our people

FLEX HOOF BOOT TEAM

Flex Boot Team

We are a relatively small company with a really great international team that works hard to help horses all around the world: Flex Boots are designed, manufactured and shipped from Finland, our fitting expert Minna lives in Australia, and our social media marketing is done by Riikka in England. Although we are spread across the globe, we are all Finns and share the Finnish personality trait known as "sisu": a determination to see things through regardless of the cost and never giving up!

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Satu Vainikka

Founder,
Business Director

 

Satu runs the business side of Flex Boots, including finances and wholesale accounts management. She is also involved with the Flex product development alongside Jiri.

Satu and Jiri have three horses and three ponies at home, so their free time is spent doing all the typical horse management chores (yes, that includes poo picking!).

Jiri Vainikka founder owner of Flex Boots

Jiri Vainikka

Founder,
Product Development Director

 

Jiri is in charge of the Flex Boot design and product development.

 

In addition he is the jack-of-all-trades for Flex: he oversees product transport between the factory and warehouse and the operations of the warehouse, ensuring everything runs as it should. As a result, Jiri is always on the go!

Minna Sarkkinen flex hoof boots customer service

Minna Sarkkinen

Customer Service Manager,
Flex Boot Australia Distributor

Minna is a hoof care professional with over 10 years' experience trimming barefoot horses in Australia.

She handles all Flex Boot fitting enquiries that are emailed to us. Her knowledge of hooves and boot fitting is second to none, so our customers get top quality advice when they contact us.

Flex Hoof Boots best hoof boots

Kati Loivamaa

Logistics Manager

 

Kati been with Flex Hoof Boots since autumn 2020 and is an integral part of the team; she’s in charge of our stock and ensures that all wholesale orders are shipped out accurately and timely.

 

In addition to her work with Flex Boots, Kati runs a full livery yard of ten horses, and takes care of her own two horses too.

Hoof boots for western horses Flex Boots

Riikka Kemppainen

Marketing Manager

 

Riikka joined the Flex Team in the beginning of 2021, to handle Flex Boot social media accounts and digital marketing aspects.

When she’s not on the computer drumming up social media content, her two young western horses and three cats keep her busy!

Flex Hoof Boot ambassadors best hoof boots for horses and ponies

Flex Hoof Boot Ambassadors

We have some amazing equestrians in our ambassador team! You can read about them here.

 

We are currently not taking on new ambassadors, but follow our social media to get notified of when the new ambassador search launches. 

Where we started and where are we now

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

Flex Boot logo our journey story
Flex Boot founders Satu and Jiri Vainikka with their two miniature Shetland ponies

Flex Boots are designed by a Finnish barefoot trimmer couple Satu and Jiri Vainikka. They have been trimming barefoot horses and ponies since 2004 and are pioneers of barefoot trimming in Finland. At first they retailed and fitted various other hoof boot brands on their customers' horses and ponies, and then with their expert knowledge of holistic hoof care, they designed a hoof boot that promotes greater hoof health on horses. Flex Boots are designed with the horse’s welfare as a priority, that is why things like weekly maintenance trims and fulfilling horses’ species-specific basic needs are so highly advocated by us.

Flex Hoof boots for horse pony barefoot

We started small - literally!

The couple first started by designing a hoof boot for small ponies, because at the time it was impossible to find boots to fit their Shetland ponies Pim-Ahti and Poks-Ahti. From there the Flex Boot concept grew, and 2018 saw the launch of Flex Hoof Boots for horses.

 

Now, the Flex Hoof Boot brand comprises 13 boot sizes to fit ponies and horses, the smallest being 80mm wide and the largest fitting hooves that are up to 155mm wide.

Flex Hoof boots horse pony boot barefoot

Flex Boots’ product range also includes ten standard gaiter colours and five strap colour options for you to personalise your boots with, and a range of pads and accessories to help your horse feel its best when extra hoof protection is needed.

 

Flex Boots are manufactured in Finland, northern Europe; this is important for Jiri and Satu, because not only is it environmentally better to have them made close to home, this also enables them to keep a close eye on the quality of their products. Satu and Jiri are huge advocates of green living, reducing waste in personal and professional capacity, and overall making decisions that are beneficial to the environment. From the very beginning they made the commitment to only manufacture Flex Boots in a factory where working conditions for all the employees were humane, and everyone was paid a fair living wage. Sure, having hoof boots manufactured somewhere else might be much cheaper, but for Satu and Jiri, ethical production of the boots is more important than big profits. You can read more about our green values here.

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Looking back at the journey, Jiri and Satu describe it as wild! Driven by a relentless passion to create the most comfortable and best functioning hoof boot in the market, the couple pushed through countless hours, weeks, months, and years perfecting the boot design and functionality. Even when faced with setbacks, such as when they lost their first factory in the early days and didn’t have anyone to make the boots, they did not stop!

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It's been a wild journey so far!

As a result of their refusal to give up, Flex Boots are now taking over the barefoot horse world and fast becoming the go-to boot for equestrians in all disciplines, from carriage driving to happy hackers and competitive riders alike.

People who try Flex Hoof Boots quickly notice how great they are, and how much better their horse moves when wearing Flex Boots.

So join us on this journey to bring even greater hoof health to every barefoot horse in the world!