It has been said that there is no such thing as a stupid question, and for the most part, that’s true.
However, sometimes people don’t think before they speak. At all. When it comes to dealing with the farrier, we hear all sorts of nutty stuff. Some of the crazier excuses, questions, and comments we’ve heard running a farrier business include:
Seriously. That happened. Sometimes we realize that we need to back up many steps in educating a client about caring for their horse’s hooves (and life in general).
When we call to remind someone that their horse is way overdue for an appointment, some people cannot grasp the concept that farriers are not just putting shoes on until they fall off—the hoof needs trimming, too. If only the shoes would magically fall off at eight weeks (but not a moment sooner).
This one only seems to come up after telling us that the horse is basically a killer and must be sedated to have his feet worked on, and the joint appointment with us and the vet has been set up. You have to pay everyone who helps take care of your horse.
We take cash, check, or credit card, thanks. But if we’re talking homemade goodies, maybe we can negotiate a little. Just kidding. (Kind of).
And while we’re on the topic of bartering, please don’t beg us to take the horses you don’t want/can’t take care of, because we can’t not do it. So we take them on, then we re-home them (or just keep them), and that becomes a full-time job too. Fifty percent of the equines we own came from clients. And we love them all (even the donkey, most of the time).
Actually, come to think of it, the ones we’ve gotten from clients are the best ones we have, behavior-wise. The one I bred myself…Well, she’s the star of her own Horse Network post
Unless it’s a true emergency (laminitis or injury, which, let’s be honest—we’re going to need the vet involved, too), or if you get lucky and call right when someone else has canceled, we’re booked several days, if not weeks, out. It’s hard to get onto any service provider’s schedule the same day unless it is an emergency (see what happens if you call your dentist with this request).
If you’re a regular client and need something right away (cast shoe tacked on, etc.), we’ll do our best to fit it in. If you’re not a regular client, or if this problem is just due to poor planning (like your horse hasn’t been trimmed in six months and the last shoe finally fell off), it’s probably not going to happen today. Sorry.
Don’t ever hesitate to ask your farrier a question if you have one. But you might want to run it through a common-sense filter first!
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.