Thank You

We are working on something great for 2022!

In the meantime, read our story below to learn about our amazing journey.

Our Story

Like most business ideas, they emerge from the need to solve a problem. Read the story of HeelsDown.com and find out what those problems were and how we went about solving them.

– Founders of HeelsDown.com, John & Betty

The Beginning
November 2017
How It All Began

"We" (John & Betty) decided to do something different and take a horse riding lesson for our wedding anniversary in November of 2017.

It was an amazing experience, but it almost didn't happen.

November 2017
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good: Wonderful experience, great people, beautiful location, and amazing horses.

The Bad: It was difficult to find a place to ride in our area, no way to book online, and credit cards not accepted.

The Ugly: We made over 25 calls to various locations over a two week period and only received one call back. We almost didn't find a place to ride for our anniversary.

December 2017
There Has to Be a Better Way

Why was it so difficult to find a location to ride?

Why was there no site for finding and booking a horse riding lesson?

Why couldn't we pay online in advance with a credit card?

We knew that there had to be a better way even if we had to solve these problems ourselves.

The Planning
January - March 2018
We Need More Information

Over the next few months, we visited many different horse farms to understand their booking, scheduling, and payment processes which involved paper schedules, payment via checks, and no integrated technology solution.

We also took many more riding lessons during this time to fully immerse ourselves in the experience and became equestrians in the process.

March 2018
The Decision is Made

After months of research and seeing the same issues repeated elsewhere, we decided to move forward and build a site to solve these problems.

Now, we just needed to find the right team to do it.

April 2018
Finding the Right Team

After a long search for the right team to build our site, we finally partnered with Codigo del Sur. Already having worked on the app for GrubHub, we were sure that they could handle our project.

Check out the team wearing our HeelsDown t-shirts at one of our daily standup meetings!

The Design & Development
May 2018
Creating a Concept

The process began with trying to figure out who our users would be, why they would use the site, and what the site should look and "feel" like.

Here is one of the moodboards created by our UI designer that kicked off the design concept.

June - July 2018
Taking Shape

After understanding our site concept, we were ready to start laying things out to see what they would look like.

Here is an early wireframe showing how a customer would search for farms in their area.

July - August 2018
Finalizing the Designs

After many review sessions and revisions to determine the best layout, features, and color scheme, we arrived at a design that we loved.

Here is a final design showing a customer search for trainers in their area along with their name, hourly rate, and review rating.

August - October 2018
Putting it All Together

It took three more months for the team to put all the pieces in place to create a working site that can be used to search, book, and pay for horse riding lessons online.

We were getting ready to launch our site with a great set of features including: the ability to search for a farm or trainer by name, showing search results using Google Maps, a rating and review system, user profiles pages, business profile pages, image galleries, horse profile pages, and online payments.

The Launch
October 2018
Going Live!

We did it!

After a long year of hard work, HeelsDown.com finally goes live.

The Journey
2018 - 2019
Getting The Word Out

Over the next year, we worked to spread the word using social media as well as grassroots efforts. We traveled from farm to farm to sign up new businesses. We took pictures of the staff, location, and horses ourselves.

We would also take videos of our lessons at new farms, do our own video editing, and post the video on social media to help promote our site as well as the farm's business.

2019
Going Nationwide

Within a year, our site was being used by horse farms in over 30 states to promote their businesses and book lessons online with their customers.

2020 - 2021
A Rough Patch

For most businesses, 2020 was a tough year and the equestrian industry was no exception. With most of the population staying indoors, bookings for outdoor activities slowed to a crawl.

2021
Time For Something New

The decision was tough, but we decided to move away from the online booking business and turn our focus toward something new.

The Road Ahead
2022 and beyond
What's Next?

We have a few ideas in the works. If you're interested in knowing what will come next, join our mailing list at the bottom of this page and we'll keep you posted!

News & Press

Read some of the news and press articles that were written about HeelsDown.com over the years.

Keep In Touch

We would love you to keep in touch. Join our contact list below and we’ll let you know when the next big idea is coming.