EVMT-Boot Makes Medicating Hoofs Easy
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
It all started when LeCompte's daughter had a Thoroughbred with an abscess in the right front and the foot had to be soaked three times a day. As she struggled one night to get her daughter's horse to stand in a bucket of medication, the thought that there must surely be an easier way crossed through LeCompte's mind. Glancing down at the pair of Totes covering her paddock boots, she wondered why it was that galoshes could be made for people but not horses. Watch a video interview with Catheleen Le Compte and DressageDaily's Mary Phelps Hathaway
"I was sure there was a more simple way and I started searching the Internet," LeCompte said. Her extensive Internet searches turned up no miracle product so LeCompte decided to fill the void. Thus began the first step that ultimately led to the creation of the EVMT-Boot, short for Equine Veterinary Medical Treatment Boot. The boot can be used for soaking feet or applying medications. The wonder of it is that it easily slips over a hoof and stays there.
"It pops on easier than a bell boot, keeps medication in but the dirt out and it doesn't irritate the coronet band. The beauty of this is that it snaps back to its original size and it stays on until you take it off," LeCompte said. Horses can even walk about in the boot while their feet are soaking. Not surprisingly, the product has already gained immense popularity not only with horse owners and grooms charged with caring for foot problems, but also with veterinarians. The simplicity of the product saves time and a lot of money spent on vet wrap, duct tape and plastic.
The road from idea to product was not an easy one. The first step was getting the foot of a horse on which to try out product ideas. A realistic mold of a foot was not as easy to acquire as LeCompte had thought. She contacted several veterinarians but was told that getting a horse to stand still for a mold was a nearly impossible task. She was advised by her veterinarian to contact a renderer to obtain a leg from a dead horse. LeCompte called and placed an order for a horse’s leg. Early one morning she received a call that a horse had died of colic and a leg was available.
"I drove over for the leg with a cooler full of ice. I brought it home and put it in my freezer and then I used it to make a mold," LeCompte said. But to get just the right mold she also had to convince a farrier to trim and shoe a frozen leg. With the mold finally made, LeCompte went to work on her idea. She made the first prototypes of the EVMT-Boot in her garage and passed them around to veterinarians for testing.
"The product worked and veterinarians really liked it. So, I then searched for a manufacturer," LeCompte said. It took about three years of research and development to come to the final product on the market today. LeCompte knew what she wanted to create, but finding the right material and design took time. "I knew how I wanted it to stretch and I knew how easily I wanted it to go on. It was just getting a meeting of minds between the manufacturer and the inventor."
LeCompte has a registered trademark for her invention and a patent is pending. And, she's looking to expand by producing different sizes of the EVMT-Boot to accommodate larger-size horses, such as Warmbloods and drafts. The boot is already gaining wide use in the Thoroughbred racing industry.
The EVMT-Boot may be getting much praise from veterinarians, farriers and trainers, but LeCompte doesn't need others to tell her that her invention works. She knows from personal experience. A life-long equestrian who began her riding career at the age of five with the help of her favored horses Nugget and Buster, LeCompte owns and operates her own farm – Oakwood Farm in Barrington Hills, Illinois. The farm is named after the rural community in Illinois where she grew up. The boarding, training and breeding operation includes a sixty-stall barn, large pastures, indoor and outdoor riding arenas and a surgical operating room with recovery stalls.
To help run her large operation, LeCompte has two trainers on site and a full-time barn manager. With the farm, her new EVMT-Boot company, her husband and her five children, LeCompte leads a busy life. She manages, she said, because she has a lot of support from family and friends, all of whom are just as excited as she in watching the growth of her latest business venture.
We welcome Catheleen LeCompte and her EVMT Boot to our
Learn more about EVMT-Boot by watching this interview by DressageDaily's Mary Phelps with Catheleen LeCompte.