Flex Hoof Boots have been designed and manufactured by a Finnish barefoot trimmer couple Jiri and Satu Vainikka. They have been trimming horses since 2004 and eventually, they started to educate horse owners for a barefoot trim. By 2016 they had almost 800 students and it was time to open an online clinic for basic trim for horse owners. It has been a success, there are more than 100 students by 2019. That is a lot on a Finnish scale. At some point during their journey as trimmers, they started to sell hoof boots too. They did import boots from China for many years, at some point, environmental issues started to weigh too much, and they didn’t want to do it anymore.
This is how they tell abut their early stages of manufacturing Flex Hoof Boots:
We have years of experience in holistic hoof and horse care and using the different brands on boots, as well as the fitting and selling them to our customers. We started importing hoof boots from China to Finland in 2007.
The idea of making our own boots was first launched years ago when the market had not yet boots for small ponies available. We asked these small boots for so long from our co-workers, but no one took us seriously. We wanted to do something about it, after all, there were two small furry friends in our own paddock who needed the boots!! That is the reason why we started this journey, design boots specifically for small ponies. Our miniature ponies, Pim-Ahti and Poks-Ahti, have been working as Flex Hoof Boot testers since the beginning.
The most important aspect for us was to make the boots in Finland. The well being of the environment is very important to us, so the less we import goods from China and countries like that, the better.
Because design work is very time-consuming, it all took a huge amount of time. The whole journey has been extremely interesting, sometimes overwhelming, and you really have to be a madman to get involved something like this, you have to have a lot of passion and of course a knowledge too. We are talking of endless hours, days and months without a paycheck. I think that is called passion. A passion is so deep and strong that you are ready to put all in. Of course, we could not do it without each other.
Actual design work started in 2011 and years went by, small boots started to appear in the market, but that did not stop us. We knew we are creating boots that are the best and we did it. The feedback we have received is just wonderful!
In 2017, we finally launched FlexPony boots. Unfortunately, regardless of us, there were huge problems with the factory and our years of work went to waste. We lost our factory and the story of the pony boots ended before it even properly started. It was a disaster.
Fortunately, there were some good people that we got to know during these years and quite quickly after the disaster, we started working with horse boots.
Finally, in fall 2018, we were ready to launch the first model for Flex Hoof Boots collection: FlexHorse boots.
We were so happy and so proud of our “baby”!!
What a journey! And now it will just begin…
Now, year 2020 we have 6 sizes and 2 models: FlexPony and FlexHorse.
We wanted our boots to meet the following features:
– light, sleek and comfortable for the horse and the owner to use
– allows the correct biomechanical function for the hoof
– offers a good grip in many surfaces
– allows adding studs
– comfortable and easy to use with long-lasting fastenings
– disturbs the movement of the horse as little as possible
– offers comfortable natural break over to the hoof
– flexible skin that moves with the hoof
– easy to clean, do not absorb water
– offers a holistic way to improve the health of the horse’s hooves
Flex Hoof Boots are that and much more: classy and comfortable hoof boots MADE IN FINLAND!