Choosing a Farrier

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Choosing a Farrier

This is a discussion on Choosing a Farrier within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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  • 1 Post By Eolith
  • 1 Post By Eolith
  • 1 Post By TbLover

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    01-27-2012, 12:51 PM
Choosing a Farrier

So, long story short I adopted a mustang colt last October and I've been steadily bringing him along since. He hasn't had his feet trimmed since I've had him, but I've been working diligently on handling his feet and we're finally getting to the point that I think a farrier should be able to work productively with him.

That said, I'm not sure how to go about finding a skilled farrier that will be willing to work with him given that he's never been trimmed before. The BO where my horse is kept has a farrier who comes out to trim and shoe all of her horses and most of the boarded horses. She seems happy with him, but I don't know if I should just go with what's easiest and what everyone else is doing or if I should be more selective.

One thing that makes me question this farrier is the fact that every time he trims one of the mares, she's too lame to be ridden for two to three days afterwards. Is this a poor reflection on the farrier, or is it more so just the way that the mare is? She's the only one that seems to have this problem. All the other horses seem to stay sound after trimming.

I've found one farrier who's been advertising in the local classifieds. His website is here: Farrier service Washington - About Us
There's also this lady: Christina Cline
Any opinions on these from what you can read/see?
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    01-27-2012, 01:06 PM
As far as finding a farrier that will trim him for the first time. It's going to have to be done eventually and if his feet are in the condition to be trimmed, why not now? If you have been working with him like you stated above, I guarantee any reputable farrier who has been in the business long enough has worked with AT LEAST one horse worse than yours. They've pretty much seen it all and know how to handle it.

As far as the mare in the boarding stable, if she is the only one that has this issue, it could be something that's different about her feet. Maybe she just doesn't need to be trimmed as close as most horses. Probably depends on her breed as well.

That's something that you should also keep in mind though because, having a mustang myself, I know that they have a little bit bigger hoof than most horses and have to be left a little bit longer. That's just something that you would need to discuss with the potential farrier. It's possible that the mares owners aren't aware of her needs.

For the first ad, have you researched Beau Randy? The person he said he apprenticed with? It's always a little hard to tell how someone will be from an ad alone as they are always going to try to make themselves sound wonderful!

I will say his prices sound pretty darn reasonable unless farriers are just cheaper in Washington!
    01-27-2012, 01:06 PM
Super Moderator
Personally, I'd never use a trimmer/farrier that consistently lamed up my mare...
There was a time where my mare got done a little short but I talked to my trimmer about it and she changed how she trims my girl so that my girl doesn't end up sore...

I'm not really experienced enough to make a judgement call about those two people you posted link for. Sorry!

I don't know if you're looking for farrier/trimmer finding resources, but this is the page I used when I found my trimmer. It's a listing of barefoot trimmer so if you're looking to put shoes on, this probably won't work. However, your guy, since he's an awesome mustang, might never need shoes...
Anyway, what I did was I emailed all the trimmers in my area on this list with information about what I needed, how my horse was to trim, and asked them what their price was.
Then, the one who replied the most nicely got my business and she turned out to be fantastic (and I've been using her for nearly 3 years). If she hadn't turned out to be good, I would have moved on to the next reply, etc.

The Horse's Hoof: Professional Trimmers List
    01-27-2012, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the tips!

Wallaby, I like your tip just to email several farriers with my needs and take the one who sound nicest when replying. ^_^

I'm certainly going to get my boy trimmed in the next couple of weeks. I am planning to keep him barefoot, as long as he doesn't show any need for anything more. My only concern is that a super naturalistic farrier is going to "judge" me if I decide to vaccinate, worm, or supplement my horse with things other than herbs.
Lucky Seven likes this.
    01-27-2012, 02:20 PM
Super Moderator
Glad to help! :)

Originally Posted by Eolith    
I'm certainly going to get my boy trimmed in the next couple of weeks. I am planning to keep him barefoot, as long as he doesn't show any need for anything more. My only concern is that a super naturalistic farrier is going to "judge" me if I decide to vaccinate, worm, or supplement my horse with things other than herbs.
I was worried about that too to begin with but so far I haven't had an issue. My trimmer, though she is pretty "granola", doesn't try to share more with me than what I ask for. Sometimes, when she sees a need, she'll suggest something (like she was the first to suggest I go grain-free with Lacey) and give the reason, but she doesn't do that irritating "my way is the best, any other way is bad" thing. I can choose to take or leave her advice and she's still nice.
She's also really into NH which gets kind of tiresome but I just stay away from training topics with her (unless I really want help) and it's fine. :) She's aware that I have my own way with Lacey and she sees that Lacey respects me so she's not worried about "helping" me train her. She's told me that she'll go into "training mode", for her own safety, with some of her other clients horses, but for a horse like Lacey, she sees no need.

I really love her. Lacey loves her too. Lacey will actually walk up to the trimmer's truck and stand, waiting to get her hooves done, all on her own if I let her.
For me, having my horse love getting her hooves done is worth more than any weirdness I might have to encounter, if that makes sense. :)
And we do often joke about "the really crazy people" who don't worm/vaccinate/all that, like you mentioned. We both know that we're coming from different horse keeping perspectives but there are tons of things we do agree on.

It all depends on the personality of the trimmer but I feel like if you come across as competent (which I'm sure you would since you have always seemed very competent on this board) and you have an "agree to disagree/willingness to learn" sort of mindset, you won't have an issue with a barefoot trimmer. :)
    02-04-2012, 11:54 AM
I live in washington as well and do not recommend them at all. I have found another one as I am looking for a new one as well due to the same reason (horse is lame 2-4 days afterwards)

Patrick Priest Farrier Service | Portland, OR 97231 check him out.
    02-04-2012, 11:54 AM
I know he atleast services olympia/centrailia area. Not sure where you are.
    02-10-2012, 11:39 PM
I just had to update.

I've just gotten back from the barn. My colt got his very first trim done by Christina Cline. She was awesome, and he was a champ. I really couldn't have asked for it to go any more smoothly and I'm just thrilled with his new feet. ^_^
Wallaby likes this.
    02-10-2012, 11:44 PM
Anyone have any farrier reffereals who service the olympia area by any chance? Don't mean to hijack your posting.
Lucky Seven likes this.
    11-18-2013, 08:51 PM
Happy hoof Farrier Service
Happy Hoof Farrier Service - Home

Portland, OR Area

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