This has been tricky one to write, as coming from a business that sells breathable boots, it would be conceived as bias.
I think it might help to clarify how HUSK started to understand what our intentions were from the start. Having left my role in the medical world to be with my children, I decided to start HUSK with more of a philanthropist view to cut through the industry with something authentic and beneficial. I didn’t intend on having a full time job on this to make a living, or to become a millionaire through this either. It was purely an idea to help horses that I wanted to get out there.
As you can imagine, we have, and still do push through the ever challenge of look over functionality. Not just look in relation to how pretty horses and ponies appear in their coloured, fanciful kit, but also whether a product ‘looks’ protective or breathable, as opposed to whether it actually is the case.
The rise of the internet is a perfect playground for obtuse advertising, using suggestive words and phrases, as well as images, that don’t tell the whole story, but enough to convince the buyer to purchase the item. And when the stories come from well known brands, a level of trust is there from the buyer, that the full truth is being told. Questions are not asked and assumptions are made, a much easier decision making process.
The rise of social media is a perfect playground for image marketing, where buyers are like magpies, being drawn in by pretty colours, fluff, and bling, as well as aspirational riders show casing the kit. There is nothing more satisfying than looking back at one’s horse looking shiny and clean, with matching kit that complements their horse’s colour, and to top it off if the rider’s attire matches the horse, then even better.
These decisions are quick ones, ones that don’t involve a great deal of thought, or responsibility, and to be honest, they feel good to make. Decisions about welfare, when it challenges the decisions that feel good to make, are not desirable. It’s like having the opportunity to buy a car that looks amazing, but not eco friendly, or one can’t fit the kids in the back, vs a car that is practical, but boring to look at, it’s much m ore fun buying the pretty one.
The question is, how important is the longevity of your horse? I mean, when horses break down, or don’t do what we want, the option is to sell or loan out, and buy a new one, but what if we could prevent this? By prioritising what is right for the horse in the long term. I’m not saying that buying HUSK boots is the only answer to longevity! There are many decisions we have to make, like simple things from cantering on hard ground when out on a hack with friends through feeling under pressure to do so as everyone else is doing it, to going to a competition when the horse doesn’t feel right but afraid to miss out, to decisions about what kit you use on your horse when everyone else has the latest fashion. And it might be that everyone else is going out looking fancy in their bling, and you feel a little plain in your functional kit, but it’s priorities that we need to think about. It’s about being confident in one’s decisions and that look is not everything. In fact in my humble opinion, focussing on ‘look’ is a good way to hide a lot of insecurities about oneself which need not to be hidden.
This era is about health, not look, it’s about prioritising the well being of those that we love so we have them for the long term.
So please when you make a decision, ask yourself what’s driving you to make it, and is it for the well being of your loved one, which is in this case your horse or pony………..