10 Steps - To Keep A Farrier Coming Back
The old saying ‘No Hoof No Horse,’ is 100% accurate, therefore it is important to have a good working relationship with your farrier. If your farrier is reliable, talented, has an eye for angles and works well with your horses, it is important that you keep him or her onboard.
1. BE PUNCTUAL
Just as you expect your farrier to be. Have the horse ready and waiting, run a quick brush over the horse’s legs to remove dirt or mud so your farrier doesn’t get covered in it. Remember your horse is one of many the farrier has to attend during the day and being covered in mud at the beginning of the day doesn’t set the tone for a good day!
2. YOUR FARRIER IS NOT A BREAKER
A farrier’s job is hoof care, don’t expect them to be a breaker.
If your horse is unhandled, young or green, spend time on ground work. Start off by hosing the legs until you get to the stage that the horse is comfortable for you to lift his legs without a fight, before booking your farrier to trim the horse.
3. PROVIDE A CLEAN WORK PLACE
With adequate shade and shelter against elements. Ideally the area should be clutter free with a level surface for the farrier to do the job well. If your horse is being trimmed or shod from a paddock and the weather forecast is extreme, check with your farrier the day before to see if he would prefer to reschedule the appointment.
4. ESTABLISH LOYALTY
If you have found a good farrier, stick to that person, don’t swap and change. If you are a regular client the farrier will be more inclined to drop everything if your horse has lost a shoe or your horse needs a quick tidy up before a competition.
5. EXPERIENCED HORSEMANSHIP
Don’t leave the horse in the care of a non horsey person without basic horsemanship skills, when the farrier is scheduled to attend. Even the quietest of horses can have an off day and you don’t want it to be with your farrier! If you cannot be with the horse, arrange for a person who is experienced with horses and knows your horse well to do the job for you.
6. THE HORSE HANDLER’S ROLE
If you are holding the horse for the farrier, always stand on the same side as the farrier. The handler should stop the horse from leaning, nibbling or biting the farrier at all times.
Young children, dogs, horses and farriers in the one place, at the one time, don’t create a safe environment for anyone or anything. Keep everyone safe, by removing any distractions from the farrier’s working area, including children or dogs running around the workplace.
8. LISTEN AND TAKE ADVICE
Your farrier is the expert, but of course don’t be afraid to ask questions. Farriers work with horses’ hooves all day, if your farrier notices a change in the horse’s feet, take the matter seriously and work with them to fix the problem.
9. PAY WHEN THE JOB IS DONE
You can guarantee if you are a good payer and respect the services of the farrier, he will keep on coming back.
At the end of a trim or shoeing schedule the next date with your farrier at the same time. A regular schedule will keep your horse’s hooves at their premium and you have locked in the farrier’s services in advance.