By DON ALQUIST | The Associated Press | 28 Aug 2008
- Craig Livingston makes money painting nail polish on horses.
But, to be fair, it’s not the type of nail polish worn by humans. It’s actually more like the Kevlar vests that U.S. soldiers wear into battle.
And, to be even more fair, he and his sons, who own Livingston Tech Inc. near Ardmore, Okla., make their living mostly by shoeing horses.
The Australian-born farrier has lived in the U.S. more than 20 years.
He’s branched out into horseshoes created for competition horses, and also does ornamental signs, steel gates and, of course, makes Kevlar Tuff Hoof Guard, a nail polish.
Mr. Livingston’s hoof guard is painted on horse hooves in a manner similar to painting toenails.
It comes in black for competition horses and clear for other horses, and a lot of horseshoers use the product because it protects hooves from the weather and keeps in natural moisture, he said.
Mr. Livingston was inspired to create the hoof guard because there was a similar product on the market he felt was overpriced and not very good.
He added various ingredients to make his own, and friends started asking for it.
Among his clients are country music singer Lyle Lovett, who stables horses nearby, Mr. Livingston said.
Marketing is done by word of mouth and at seminars and other gatherings for farriers.
Now the product is shipped to Hawaii and other parts of the U.S., as well as Canada.
The family uses a computer numerical control milling machine to produce its horseshoes.
Some are designed for show horses in reining events, where horses make rapid turns and quick stops, ending in a slide.
“It’s more of a ski that you put on the back feet of a horse,” Mr. Livingston said.
“They are a slick horseshoe.”
A lot of people in the horse industry are moving into the area, he said.
“It’s big in the whole of Oklahoma and Texas, but between Dallas and Oklahoma City is probably the horse capital,” Mr. Livingston said.
“We’re talking about horses that are worth millions of dollars, anything from $100,000 to several million,” said Mr. Livingston.
Source: Dallas Morning News at this link.