Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes We Guess Wrong

Being a small horse supply business in a world of companies that could buy us out with the cash in the change drawer presents it own set of challenges from day to day.

Late last year we recieved an email from Farnam that their Red Cell equine supplement would be going up in price this spring. Red Cell is a "high visibility" product. It's hard to discount deeply because of its weight and the freight concerns that entails. It's also hard to mark up much, because everyone sells it and people tend to remember what they are having to pay.

So, based on what we were told, we adjusted our price as little as we felt was safe to prepare for the upcoming price increases. The last thing we wanted to do was sell 10 cases at last years price and then have to pay this year's price to fulfill the order.

Come to find out, it hasn't gone up noticeably and it doesn't look like it is going to for a while. So we are running it on sale even cheaper than we had it listed last year. We don't know how long it will last, but we hope it helps in the mean time.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crusade Against Equine Colic

Freedom Health, LLC, makers of SUCCEED® Digestive Conditioning Program®, has announced the introduction of a new awareness campaign: the Crusade Against Equine Colic™.

As a leading equine health product, SUCCEED supports greater education and awareness of important digestive health concerns like colic. Knowledge is power. This is particularly important with colic, as it is the number one medical killer of adult domestic horses. That fact has been well-established by veterinary science, but the root causes of colic are less well understood. 

Our goal is to save as many horses as possible from deadly and debilitating bouts of colic, though educating trainers, riders, farm managers … the people who care for horses every day. 

“We are proud to bring you the Colic Crusade, a movement to empower you with information to help you take charge and avoid colic,” says John Hall, president and CEO of Freedom Health. “Please share this with others, invite them to visit our new website, and share your experiences so that, together, we can vastly reduce the incidence of colic.”

Here’s how you can become a Crusader in the fight against equine colic:

The Crusade Against Equine Colic, presented by SUCCEED, is now live. Please join us as we campaign for better equine digestive health.


Our sales of poly lead ropes are fairly dismal. Probably not so dismal for the size business we are, but when we look at how many halters and other similar items we sell - they do not compare well.

We move an incredible number of nylon horse halters.

We even sell more more than our fair share of trailer ties and cross ties.

But we barely make our "volume quota" (which lets us get them at a good price) on nylon lead ropes.

It HAS to be a price issue. Most of our online competitors carry the imported versions. We opted to stick with ropes that were at least assembled in the USA (invidually, the snaps and rope are presumably both imported). This puts us at a competitive disadvantage.

But we will give it a try. We have lowered the price to see if it makes a difference.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This is the kind of stuff you run into when you have a business...

Well, we just found out why we do not have the new ShowSheen Detangler Gel.

The back story is that Absorbine started promoting this stuff back in December. We decided to hold off until late January to order when we really get into "new product" mode. We placed our order with the manufacturer representative as normal and scheduled our first shipment of the product for mid-February(theoretically when people would start thinking about scraping the winter crud off of their horses if we had a few nice days of weather).

So in anticpation of its arrival we put the product on the web site.

Then our shipment did not arrive.

Then we sold some (that we did not have on hand in case you missed that).

Then we ordered from two other distributors.


Come to find out, after the initial "promotional batch" which was mostly handed out at dealer shows, probably sent to a few high profile users, and obviously used to make their nifty promotional videos, they had a bit of a problem at the factory.

Apparently it smelled funny and they started over. No shipments. No product.

And so we wait. But for the record we have PLENTY of the old if someone could just tell me the difference in the two.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Products and a Special Offer from EquiMax

Let's start with the special offer. EquiMax dewormer will send you a hoof pick brush if you buy two tubes. If you buy four tubes they will send you a hoof pick brush plus a tube of ivermectin dewormer. All you have to do is mail in the form with the appropriate UPC labels and a copy of your receipt.

On the new item front we have added Cut-Heal Liquid Freeze in their new 16 ounce trigger spray bottle. This is a much more economic way of buying the product than their previous 7 ouce (or smaller) sizes. As a matter of fact, the packaging is so new that we can only get it factory direct - we have 3 distributor warehouses that we normally buy it from and none are stocking it yet.

Also, getting ready for fly season (it's gonna be here in a day or two...mark my words) we have started carrying Fly Free Zone Horse Collars and Leg Bands AND Defy the Fly Horse Collars and Leg Bands. We have been meaning to pick up at least one of these lines like forever. Now, your next question is going to be "which is better?" No idea here. We have had them in-stock for like 3 days as I write this. We hope to get YOUR feedback.

Along the same lines we have brought in Pyranha Pyrethrin Shampoo. This product seems like a great idea to me. The Pyranha Fly Spray line is known for its effectiveness and is one of our best sellers. I am guessing that if they are willing to put their name on it, it must work.

We also have brought in the new Stress Dex SB (as if we needed another). This is their new salt-based electrolyte horse supplement. Okay, technically ALL electrolytes are salt-based...this one has less sugar than most making it an excellent choice for horses that don't need the sugar.

I also wanted to mention Howe Clean Shampoo from Finish Line. Every time we start carrying a melaleuca (tea tree oil) based shampoo it seems to go off the market for one reason or another. Let's all hope this one works out better for us.

Finally, we sell a LOT of wood chewing and cribbing products. We can hardly keep Chew Stop and Miracle Collars on the shelf. This week we added a time tested product Carbolineum Halt Cribbing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Special Purchase on Figure 8 Foal Halters

Foaling season is upon us. As the little ones start hitting the ground, a lot of you are going to want to put a leather halter on them. The bad part is that they outgrow traditional newborn foal halters quickly. NOT SO with our Figure 8 Foal Halters.

These economical halters come with two interchangable crowns so that you can use this well designed halter for months to come. They even have a romoveable catch strap to aid in getting a hold on them...however, getting close enough to catch the catch strap is YOUR problem.

We are taking advantage of a special offer from the manufacturer and we are passing the savings on to you as long as we can. They are $10.95 each. We expect to be able to offer that price through most of April.

While we are on the topic of halters, we have started adding a selection of "do-it-yourself" halter repair parts. No need to send off your broken halters for repairs...just replace the broken parts with these simple pieces for years more use of your tack.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Several New Products

We have expanded our Vetericyn line to include the Vetericyn Opthalmic Gel, Vetericyn Ear Rinse, and Vetericyn Eye Wash. This product line has proven extremely popular and reliable and we highly recommend it based on our own usage experience on the farm.

We also brought in some of the Powerflex line of bandages. They are marketed as being better than Vetrap. Don't know about that but they sure are pretty.

Finally (for this post) a lot of people have asked us about making Leather Grooming Halters in our shop. We just DO NOT have the extra time and man power, but we have started offering a good one made by Weaver Leather.