The world’s first Electronic Heel Position Indicator training aid to help you keep heels down while riding your horse!
About this project
We’d like to introduce you to our invention! The world’s first
This amazing product is the brainchild of veteran horseback rider Kathy Phillips: “I was so tired of telling my daughter during her riding lessons to keep her heels down that I decided to do something about it!“ The Electronic Heel Position Indicator is worn on the rider’s boot like a spur. However, instead of cueing the horse, it cues the rider! A computer chip constantly measures the angle and when the rider’s heel moves up out of proper position, the indicator will alert with an audible, adjustable tone (beep) until the heel position is corrected.
There is no other product that will do this – we’ve done the research. It works – we’ve done our homework. “Horse” people want this – we’ve reached out to thousands of them – trainers, Olympic riders, students, casual riders – all understand the need to keep heels down and how the Indicator can help!
How will this product help you?
New patent pending technology helps you build muscle memory to stay in an optimal foot position, and helps your riding improve to the next level – without your instructor constantly “nagging” you. Or, if you’re a solo rider practicing without someone watching, the Heel Indicator is a valuable learning tool in developing proper foot position for any rider.
A riding instructor can only see one side of the horse and rider team at a time – even if the “inside” heel is correct, the “outside” heel can still stray upwards unnoticed, creating an unbalanced rider. As an instructor, you can focus more on riding techniques if your students are able to self-correct their foot position.
- Battery Operated (batteries included)
- Alerts every time your heels come up above level
- Adjustable volume control
- Moisture and dirt resistant
- Sealed on-off switch
- May be worn with or without spur straps
- Fits any size boot
- Hard plastic components are 100% recycled material
The Level Up Innovations, LLC’s Story
Our first product, the Electronic Heel Position Indicator has had a very challenging “birthing” process – going from design to production has been long and painful. Through trials and tribulations, prototypes and meetings, research and development, the company structure and manufacturing process has changed several times, but the final product intent has never wavered. We have spent over three years refining the indicator and manufacturing processes to bring it forth.
Starting a new venture consumes body, mind and soul. It is the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing before you fall asleep (sometimes very, very late at night!) The company’s President and CEO, Kathy Phillips, realized that she could not pull this off alone. So she did the best thing possible – surrounded herself with experts and sought sound business, financial and manufacturing advice.
Level Up Innovations, LLC is a woman-owned and managed family business and it is our intent to use locally made products whenever possible. The original concept used a patented catalyst plastic manufactured in Kalamazoo Michigan, but to our great dismay, it proved impossible to make in the quantities we would like to produce. We then turned to injection molding in a neighboring small town – the same small community as the electronics company, strengthening our resolve to stay local!
Our state has lost thousands of manufacturing jobs over the past decade from outsourcing. We intend to bring some jobs back home to Michigan- even our reward shown here, a horse-shaped notepad, is made in our community by special-needs students.
Level Up Innovations has no factory and therefore less overhead expense – we will assemble each Indicator set ourselves.
Producing locally also means that we involve a whole range of parties like suppliers, manufacturers, friends (who stay up until 4 in the morning to help create websites) and friends of friends. These are all people who go through the struggle with us and are essential to the growth of our company. People care about the process of designing and manufacturing and see great value in it.
One of the our recent prototypes is shown here; the culmination of electronics, plastic design and metalwork that is the Indicator! A powder coating process is used to give each metal armature its finish. Powder coating is essentially a “powder paint” that is electrostatically applied and cured under high heat. This gives each piece a finish that is both beautiful and extremely durable.
We hope that our Kickstarter campaign will allow us to offset our manufacturing expenses up front so that we can get the Indicator to our supporters as soon as possible! By supporting this Campaign you will play an integral part in the success of this movement. We don’t take your pledge lightly. By backing us, you show a huge sign of support so a successful product launch is our commitment back to you
Remember, there is no risk for people backing this project. If you’re not sure how Kickstarter works, your payment is only processed once the project is fully funded!
Where does the money go? The largest portion will go towards making our plastic injection molds; with the next largest chunk earmarked for the actual materials to make the Indicators. There is also overhead such as legal fees, shipping and of course, a portion for Kickstarter. Should we greatly exceed our goal, we will include added rewards for our backers, and hopefully reduce the company’s debt to our lawyer and patent attorney!
If you’re interested in our project and want to support us, follow how we manufacture the Heel Indicator, and purchase a set before they are released to the public, please back our campaign and share it with your friends and other riders!
Risks and challenges
Although we don’t see any direct risks and challenges, there are always unforeseen obstacles that may present themselves during the production process. Barring planetary disasters or being hit by a bus, we will do our best to keep our supporters informed of any issues that might delay production.
We will have a private password protected blog for people who pledge more than $1. This will give supporters access to all of our inner workings and get updates much earlier than the public blog we will have set up.
We have taken strategic actions to ensure the project’s success:
-Laid out a realistic manufacturing timeline and included extra time to allow for issues that may arise along the way.
-Chosen suppliers based locally. This will make it easier to oversee production, ensuring quality and on-time fulfillment.
-Ensured that our suppliers are experienced and reliable.