Do you Follow?
Which do you choose? Adventure or obedience? Psychologist Solomon Asch called his experiment a ‘vision test.‘ Of the eight men in the room at Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College, only one was the real test subject. The others were told precisely how to answer the test questions. The subject believed the others were also involved as testing participants and remained unaware of the ruse. This is a famous experiment, used to study conformity in groups. Overall, 50 students were used.
The ‘vision study‘ participants were shown a series of lines and asked which ones were the same. The real participant did not know that the others were instructed to answer the question incorrectly. Even though the answer was wrong, 75% of the test subjects conformed to that group answer at least once.
There are two main reasons for going along with a group answer. Firstly, people seem to want to fit in and fear to appear different, standing out or being ridiculed. Secondly, a person may believe that the group knows more about something or understands it better than they do. They don’t trust their own conclusions when the group is saying something different. It takes courage to be true to your own beliefs and stand up for what you know is right. It takes courage to do something different with your horse when everyone else in your barn is doing the same thing. There is a lot of pressure to stay the same as the group.
“Opt-in”, or “Opinions”
Today, Google is the most potent overall influencer. It can influence our purchasing habits, our healthcare protocols, and even our voting choices. Sure, it can play a valuable role in helping to make choices and channeling our behavior, but we should always know that investigation into the real facts might uncover something completely different. This means it’s entirely our own responsibility to learn and find what really resonates with us – that we know from a deep place in our hearts to be true. Consider the numerous requests to opt-in, provide your contact details, and receive marketing or educational information. ‘Opt-in’ is a shortened version of the word ‘opinion.’ Opinion on the internet is rampant, contagious, and often disguised as fact.
Rabbit Hole Full of Opinions
So much of our information about horses is dogmatic. Horses do this, and they don’t do that. Quarter horses’ feet are this way. Thoroughbreds are that way. My Grandpa always did this or that. You must nail metal into horses’ feet because it protects them. You must hammer metal into their feet because we’ve forever done it.
Remember when we relied on the guy with the metal forge for all our hoof information? Much has changed, and even though the internet offers rabbit hole reams of education, there’s just as much opinion in the guise of fact. I remember when there was no information about barefoot horses. Lack of knowledge and experience kept us doing the same thing we always have done. It kept us from making the transition we knew to be healthier, natural, holistic, and ultimately more cost-effective. I was like the test subject in the experiment. I’d cringe when the farrier came to do the deed, but I went along with it anyway. This has changed.
We Are the Trail Blazers
The positive and most valued aspect of making a choice about Hoof Boots is Social Proof. Here, you can absolutely derive information from the internet. The thing is, you must use your analytical mind to sift through the opinion. Is it marketing material – opinion disguised as fact? An excellent way to verify is through social media. When there are large amounts of third-party postings, you might be on to something. Look at whether the postings are individually generated or following a ‘me-too’ discussion. Are they merely agreeing with each other, or are they personally inspired to share their experience?
Listen to Your Community
When a member of the horse community is moved to tell their story, they have nothing to gain but to voice their experience and offer a guide for fellow horse owners. Stories are different from advice. Stories are about involvement and practice. You can sift through a story to find the facts. What really happened? Use your internal filters when you see a posting about Hoof Boots on Instagram or Facebook, and then be comforted and supported by others to make your decisions. Booting barefoot horses is the most forward evolution we’ve experienced in our industry in our time. We are the trailblazers changing the world, and luckily, we’re no longer alone. We’re no longer like that conforming test subject, going along with the group and shoeing our horses or standing up for our beliefs and being ridiculed. We can now take comfort in our community.
The benefits of barefoot horses and Cavallo Hoof Boots are transparently told by many. And don’t worry, you can’t get it wrong. Your community hasn’t been instructed to deceive you. This isn’t an experiment. Check it out. Here at Cavallo, we appreciatively receive great stories every day. Choosing Cavallo is about providing ease, comfort, and protection for your horse for years to come.
Here’s a Real Story
“These boots are the BOMB!!!! My 30-year-old retired show horse was having trouble keeping shoes on, so my farrier and I decided to take them off and let him go barefoot. Unfortunately, he quickly became very sore and could barely walk out to the pasture. My farrier suggested I try the Cavallo Boots, as he had a client who used them with great success. I immediately ordered a pair and they arrived two days later. The boots were incredibly easy to slip on and fasten…. but the real test….1. Will they stay on? 2. Will they rub? The answer to 1. is YES!!! The answer to 2. is NO!!!
My old boy walked out without any soreness, and once in the pasture he proceeded to trot, then gallop around like he was a ten again… this after barely being able to walk. He has worn his Cavallo’s 24/7 for the last two months and he has yet to lose them or get a rub, even during a few crazy runs with his pasture mates. My farrier says his feet are looking much better and the Cavallo Boots are working out great!!! I can’t say enough about these durable, well constructed boots and would highly recommend them to anyone (My farrier did quietly say they could put him out of business if everyone caught on to these). Once again, they are the BOMB!!!”
- Martha Wentworth
Wishing you many happy trails,