There are a lot of farriers out there these days, some good and some not so good. So when you’ve found one you like you’ll want to keep them and stay on their good side. Here are a few tips from someone who knows how to keep a farrier happy. Trust me, I know what makes a good client and what doesn’t!!
- Remember your appointments. You would think this is a fairly simple thing to do but I am still amazed at the amount of times Ben phones me telling me of yet another missed appointment.
- Turn up on time, again you would think this is a given. This doesn’t mean turning up at the yard at the time of the appointment, it means having the horse in and ready to work on at the scheduled time.
- Avoid late cancellations. I know this is sometimes unavoidable but if you can not make your appointment let your farrier know as soon as possible to avoid a wasted trip. Time is money for farriers and they could of put another job in your appointment time if they know in good time.
- Have the horses feet/legs clean and dry for the farrier. Would you want to hold a wet muddy horses leg between your legs? If your horse is wet and dirty it blunts farriers tools a lot quicker and they can’t do as good a job on your horses feet. Also, on hot days if there are a lot of flies about giving your horse a quick spray with fly sprays can help your horse (and in turn your farrier) to not be irritated by them
- Work with your horse so it able to pick its feet up/stand still/has general manners. Polite well trained horses are obviously much nicer to work with and in turn, the farrier can do the best job possible instead of wrestling with an unruly beast. It is not unreasonable for your farrier to refuse/ask for them to be sedated to do a job if your horse is dangerous, if they are injured they can not earn.
- Keep pets/children from under their feet. This follows on from with the dangerous theme. Horses, as you know are unpredictable and farriers are generally underneath them so are in a compromised position, add an interested child or dog trying to hoover up hoof could be a recipe for disaster.
- Provide a good working environment. I know this is not possible at all places i.e. field trims, but shelter and a hard standing area for them to work in makes a world of difference to your farrier. Believe me, they will thank you for it on days when the weather isn’t so favourable.
- Don’t expect him to fit in extras just because he is at the yard. A farrier works out his diary and timings carefully so you wanting him to add him ‘a quick trim’ could really put him back.
- Book in advance, this really helps your farrier out and prevents you from being disappointed when you message asking for them to come out the following week only to be told they are fully booked for at least a week.
- Pay on time unless previously arranged.
- Don’t groom the horse the farrier is working on, no one likes to be covered in hair and dirt whilst trying to work.
- Respect them as a professional. If they give you advice on what to do with your horse take it on board i.e overreach boots, the horse needs doing every 6 weeks not 8 weeks. Farriers train for 4 years to become qualified and work incredibly hard for their money in all weathers. If you have a problem with your horse discuss it with them and i’m sure they will do everything they can to sort it.
- Be understanding. I know it can be frustrating if your farrier is late/needs to move your appointment they may have had a disaster of a day when everything goes wrong! Broken van, other clients late for appointments, difficult horses, illness, family matters the list goes on. Your farrier really appreciates it when you are understanding that life happens and your appointment may need to be rescheduled.
- And finally…Saying thank you, making them a tea/coffee, providing biscuits or even a bacon sandwich goes a long long way, believe me your farrier will thank you and remember you for it!
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