One of the oddest phenomena that I have come across running a farrier business with my husband is simply the challenge of figuring out where he needs to go to work on the horse.
I’m not talking about when the GPS malfunctions or when Google has not adequately mapped out a rural area. Those situations are to be expected to some extent.
I have, however, been completely shocked at the number of new clients that either do not know their own address, are unwilling to give out their address, or give their address in such a fashion that it is nearly impossible to locate them.
If this happened once, I’d chalk it up to that person simply being a weirdo and forget about it.
While it doesn’t happen often, it does happen routinely enough to not be an anomaly. I’ve found that the address issues fall into four categories:
1. The “I don’t have an address” or “I don’t know my address” people
These people are completely baffling. Every property must have an address of some sort. How else do they get their new saddle delivered by UPS?
I do understand that people do not always know the address of the farm where they board their horse, but it is rarely the boarders who do this. It is usually someone who appears to live in a home of some variety on the same property as the horse.
2. The obscure directions people
Some people like to give directions, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Knowing what to look for as you’re approaching the farm is, theoretically, helpful.
However, the landmarks these people notice and what other people notice are not always one and the same. Things like, “the field with all the longhorn cattle” is not very helpful here in Texas. Neither is “Mr. Smith’s old place” or “Where the big oak tree used to be.”
Also, I have found that “the driveway across from XYZ thing” doesn’t always mean right across from that landmark. It could mean a mile past it. Or before it. Or three turns later.
3. The “I’ll give you my address later” people
These are usually the non-committers. They need a farrier, but they’re still shopping. By not giving out an address right away, they try to use the location of the horse as confirmation (or cancelation) of the appointment. As the day approaches, we’ll call or text them to figure out where he’s supposed to go, and they either cough up an address or we realize they’re canceling.
4. The serious about privacy protection people
There are some people that really don’t want to give out their address, stating privacy reasons. I completely respect that. However, if you want someone (like the farrier or the pizza guy) to come to you, you have to tell that person where you are. Otherwise, you need to hitch up the trailer.
I guess they expect the farrier to magically teleport himself and his tools, then leave without knowing where he has been.
Who knew that finding the horse could turn out to be the most challenging part of a farrier appointment?
About the Author
Nancy Rich-Gutierrez is an IT professional and manages her husband’s farrier company. When she’s not busy with her full-time job or running the office for her farrier, she’s chasing their two-year old and riding her Arabian horses. Check out the HG Horseshoeing blog at hghorseshoeing.com.