Tim Van Loan launched www.HorseShoeCorner.com in July of 2008. It’s an interesting concept borne from personal challenges. While he’s still working on gaining critical mass to make it a regular destination for buyers, he has created some useful tools for those tired of trying to compare horse services and products.
Horse Sense and Cents for geographical markets
Basically, the site came about due to the frustrations he experienced searching for a suitable boarding facility in central New York State for dressage horses. After a four hour search that discovered a perfect facility, until he realized it was in California, he saw a need for a better solution and started the research that became www.horseshoecorner.com. This site allows the viewer to put in geographic and facility parameters for 13 business types, which include boarding facilities, tack shops, massage therapists, trainers and more. The site also includes horses for sale, classified ads, a US national events calendar, discussion forums, articles and product reviews.
Virtual equine store needs more product
Right now, Tim says “I’ve built the largest equine store in the world, I just have empty shelves.” He’s looking to increase the number of equine businesses listed and is offering free membership to all for a three month period (and isn’t requiring he capture your credit card information to do so). So, if you’re a horse service provider or sell equine products, this might be a sight worth trying to move your wares. We’ll be putting a link to the Horse Sense and Cents blog up there as soon as design is completed and if we can get a day without gray skies and ice, we’ll probably head out with a camera to capture some of the horses for sale at the farm. I can see a lot of ways we could use the site to promote Halcyon Acres services and plan on doing so in the near future. I’ll report back on the results. Of course, you can’t beat the price, so it’s a matter nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Horse non profits reside free here
Another interesting feature of this initiative is a not-for-profit component. It’s actually a clever business idea and I’ll be curious to see if it proves effective. Realizing critical mass is going to be necessary to attract visitors, Tim’s crafted a program where he offers non profits (interest seems to be coming primarily from the horse rescues) the profits for membership sales they make. The non profit will be able to sell the annual membership for a reduced rate of $30, $10 of which will go to horseshoecorner.com’s administrative costs, with the rest going to the organization. These organizations also get free membership to the site for a year.
What are you selling, or buying?
Right now members on the site come from a variety of states and the focus is not on New York. If you have tack or horses for sale, are an equine business, or work for an industry that supports horse activities, try it and feel free to comment here on what you find. If you want the free three-month membership, you need to contact Tim directly at either firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 369-2982. And for the feds now mandating full disclosure (and readers who want to know), there are no paybacks involved in this one. I just like what he’s trying to do and hope it works for him and us.