Your farrier probably has a few things he’d like to tell his clients. Sometimes, the owners are harder to deal with than the actual horses. You can avoid being difficult by knowing a few things up front. Follow these top ten pieces of advice to be your farrier’s favorite client!
1) Give them a good work environment. It’s important that the area is free of distractions like loose dogs or screaming children. The place should be well-lit and have an even floor.
2) Have your horse ready to go before the farrier even gets there. Your horse should have a halter on and, at the very least, clean hooves. There’s nothing worse than wasting their time as you struggle to catch your horse in the field.
3) Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but keep it on topic. They’re not interested in the latest barn gossip, but would gladly share their thoughts on your horse’s hooves and what you can do to improve them.
4) Your horse needs to be well-behaved. If your horse has trouble standing still or is dangerous, tell the farrier over the phone that you are working with your horse, but he still has a ways to go. Let him decide if he wants to take on a difficult horse or not.
5) Keep a routine schedule. There’s nothing worse than the owner who tries to save a buck and waits until their horse’s hooves are in bad shape. Discuss a good schedule with your farrier and try your best to stick to it.
6) Be there to hold your horse. Don’t expect your farrier to pull your horse from his stall and cross tie him. You should be there throughout the entire process.
7) Changes can take time, but that doesn’t mean they are being ignored. Major cracks and chips can take a few sessions before they disappear. Your farrier should discuss a plan of action, but don’t expect it to be overnight.
8) Show some loyalty. If your farrier is going a great job, then continue to use him. Try not to use a different farrier each time.
9) Know your horse’s hooves. This can happen by using a hoof pick routinely. You should monitor their feet and look for unusual changes, such as discoloration or odd smells.
10) Farriers like to work with veterinarians when necessary. If your horse is constantly pulling shoes, then there could be an underlying problem not related to his hooves. Sometimes, they must tag team to get a horse healthy and happy again.
The work of a farrier is very demanding. It’s important to be considerate and respectful, as their job isn’t to be taken lightly.