"Firing" a farrier? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 26 Old 04-29-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ThirteenAcres View Post
I have this problem too often. After moving I have yet to find a farrier that I like enough to ask back for a second time. The last guy (and advertised as most experienced) turned out to be the worst. My problem seems to be finding a patient farrier that is laid back. The ones I have seen around here get VERY agitated and even sometimes /rude/. The last guy was so agitated he began cursing at the horse and refused to finish his back hooves because the gelding took a minute to get completely still.

I will never call him back. My gelding is a rescue and needs a little understanding as it is. I don't need a farrier making situations worse.
Was he paid extra to train???

The horse should stand.
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-29-2012, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ThirteenAcres View Post
<snip> My gelding is a rescue and needs a little understanding as it is. I don't need a farrier making situations worse. <snip>
You have 4 to 6 weeks between farrier visits...plenty of time to have your horse ready to stand still for the farriers next visit. If this is an ongoing problem then you need to quit making excuses for your horse and teach him to stand. It is not the farriers job to train your horse to stand still.

You are doing your horse no favor by making excuses for him.
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post #13 of 26 Old 04-29-2012, 06:22 PM
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i would have the farrier do the last trim and tell her you will call her instead of setting a date then.

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #14 of 26 Old 04-29-2012, 07:08 PM
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Just a suggestion,

Keep apt. w/ said farrier that has been paid in advance. Make clear the problems your having as well as your concerns, in as nice a way as possible.

Use the time between now and next apt to get on the books of another farrier/trimmer, may take a while if they are any good.

If your "chicken" ,as another poster put it, don't reschedual another apt citing whatever excuse you want.

After confirming a new apt w/ a new farrier, send a "thank you" card to old trimmer/farrier letting them know you appreciate the work they did for you but you weren't entirely satisfied and are using a new one.

Trimmers/farriers have feelings to and if said trimmer/farrier believes they are doing a good job, letting them know why you "quit" them may well urge them to do a better job down the road and improve themselves.

Won't help you ,but may help some horses later on.

Owners don't like farriers that quit them by not showing up and not taking their calls. That's the chiken sh!t way out. Same goes for owners.

For all your farrier needs, GET BNT!
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post #15 of 26 Old 04-29-2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by FaydesMom View Post
You have 4 to 6 weeks between farrier visits...plenty of time to have your horse ready to stand still for the farriers next visit. If this is an ongoing problem then you need to quit making excuses for your horse and teach him to stand. It is not the farriers job to train your horse to stand still.

You are doing your horse no favor by making excuses for him.
Have you ever taken in a rescue animal and been in the stages of trying to improve the horse's well being? Because that is what I was doing. I had just received the gelding, the previous owner had let his hooves get into bad condition and I was concerned for his pain.

No. The farrier is NOT paid to train. And it isn't a matter of him not being able to finish. Sure, the horse needed more ground work. The horse was scared, in a new place, and wasn't familiar with this man. I worked with him as much as possible before calling the farrier. I thought at the time that I was making the right decision to not let him walk around any longer on the hooves.

But! The ongoing reason I have not asked a farrier to return is NOT because of the horse. The horse has had time now between and is doing very, very well with a lot of work (so yes, I did take the time to work with him before his next trim). So perhaps I should have been clear on that. I was not satisfied with the last farrier because of how he acted. It was rude. But I suppose that is my personal opinion. I don't really appreciate people (no matter what profession) cursing or speaking rudely because they are frustrated.

But that is only one farrier that I was not satisfied. The others had NOTHING to do with the horse or having difficulties trimming. It was in not being satisfied in the quality of work or in that they were not able to show up on time. Sorry, but I had a fantastic farrier in my previous town and I expect my horses to be trimmed well, on time, and with a slight level of professional tact.
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post #16 of 26 Old 04-29-2012, 11:06 PM
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I switched farrier (I hate saying fired...) recently. Background for those who don't know me.. I am in New Zealand. Horse is in Maryland, USA. So I couldn't do it in person, I'm a day ahead, and couldn't get a hold of him on the phone. I am not a chicken.

Here is my email I sent to him (with names blotted out.)

Hey _____,

I sent your check, sorry it's so late!

I've had another farrier come have a second look at Sky's feet and he's got a really good plan in place to fix the thrush and other problems that Sky is experiencing.

I think for the time I am away, I really want a farrier that I can communicate with and can keep me more updated on Sky's feet since I'm not there to do it myself. You have been so wonderful and I thank you for everything you have done and both Sky and I. You have helped him get through a lot.

I would call but it's rather late there and I don't want to play phone tag again. But thank you for your services. Have a wonderful week :)

While working with this farrier I really liked him and how he worked with Sky and explained things to me.. but then he stopped keeping me informed (I called him, emailed him.. nada) about a month before I left and yes there was negligence involved with an arrangement I made for Sky (let's not get into that.. grr) but he continued not to communicate, didn't notice Sky had extreme thrush problems (and didn't tell me,) told me about the bruising and apparently missed an abscess.. not to mention trimmed Sky's feet pre-shoe ready without my permission and again.. without telling me.

It made me question his professionalism and I found someone that has a game plan to tackle Sky's feet so we'll see how it goes. He was also highly recommended by a well known farrier in the same state (though she's moved too far to work with us...)

Woops rambling..

Point is you just have to be honest, but in a way that won't burn bridges as waresbear suggests. And in your case since you pre paid, I think you should follow what Loosie suggested and see what she chooses to do with it.

Hope one of the 3 guys is the right one for Lacey! (Weird phrase..)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 04-29-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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post #17 of 26 Old 04-29-2012, 11:29 PM
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Where I live the horse community is pretty small. Everyone in my area knows everyone. I was pretty honest with my trimmer when I let her go. I wanted her to hear it from me, and not secondhand from someone else.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #18 of 26 Old 04-30-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Horseman56 View Post
Here's a novel idea. Try being honest about the situation.
100% agreed, here. Honesty, metered with kindness, is ALWAYS appreciated, personally. Even if the truth "stings" a bit, after one has the chance to think it through, I believe most people prefer to be clear regarding what they did and did not do correctly to serve their clientele.

I have also found that when it seems a problem exists for which there is no solution, sometimes, an honest, though professional, "heart to heart" can at the very least provide clarity for both parties, and ensure neither person leaves the situation feeling confused, frustrated, or stifled. Especially if you KNOW you are making your comments in good faith, i.e. telling the farrier why she didn't work out for you-- with examples-- and not trying to hurt her/upset her because YOU are hurt/angry/upset.

Most professionals will be relieved not be left hanging, wondering, "Why are my clients leaving me?" I think "just don't call" is a cruel idea. No offense intended to those who suggested this, as I get it is much easier/no confrontation! But as the wife of a small business owner, EACH client is important to him/us. To have even just one not be satisfied (obviously that would be the case if they don't call back) and not tell him/us why would be fodder for DAYS of second guessing his craftsmanship and whether something was said or done incorrectly, inadvertently.

This only applies, of course, if the person CARES about their profession/craft. If they don't, then I would not have had them TOUCHING MY horse in the first place, (if I had a horse, that is!) and this whole issue would be nil.

Best of luck! ~~Tammy~~

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post #19 of 26 Old 04-30-2012, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Horseman56 View Post
Here's a novel idea. Try being honest about the situation. In example...

"Hi. I appreciate the service you've provided me over the years but I need to give someone else a chance to help this horse. As you know, the horse has had some ongoing lameness issues that seem worse immediately post-trim and that haven't improved over the last few cycles. I need to see if another practitioner can bring something different to the table that may help. No hard feelings and if this doesn't work out I'd like to think I could call on you again for service in the future."

As to the advance payment you made, leave it an integrity test. If she willingly returns the payment without being asked (she should), it speaks well of her business integrity and personal character. If she doesn't, the cost revealed something about her ethics that was just as important to know.

When the new farrier arrives, watch carefully how he/she evaluates the horse. If asked, offer only that the horse has a history of minor lameness which seems to worsen immediately after a trim. Don't try to offer diagnostic interpretation or instruction. If the practitioner is worth their salt, they'll do a quick workup on the animal and tell you what they think will best meet its needs BEFORE actually doing anything.

I always make it a point, particularly for first time visits, to explain what I think needs to be done AND to ask if the owner has any questions before I begin work. That's the time to ask for any specifics, estimated cost and if warranted, any alternatives you should consider.

I then offer that should the owner have any questions while I'm working, to feel free to ask.

AMEN. Why, oh why should there be any drama attached to this?

Be up front, direct, and clear.

BTW, there is absolutely nothing rude about requesting a refund for services not rendered. IT'S BUSINESS.
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post #20 of 26 Old 04-30-2012, 01:36 PM
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I have a question, Wallaby: in the earlier topic or thread you initiated about Lacey's lameness, it was brought up that the lameness could be caused by other factors; Horseman56 mentioned a possible hairline fracture of the distal phalanx, I think a couple of people, myself included, mentioned the possibility of a potential structural problem, and I'm making a reference to the videos by holistic horse works as an example, of how lameness can be caused by a subluxation, rib out, etc. Have you ruled out investigating those possibilities?

Lacey is also 27 years old, and you mentioned her pasture area is on a steep slope. That may also factor into her condition if she is "out" anywhere structurally (not implying you can do anything about the pasture but just taking note of what you've been describing - she may benefit from some regular stretches and such to improve her comfort).

Even the best farrier in the universe isn't going to make Lacey sound if the crux of the problem isn't the hoof, or even in the best trim or farrier work, and I know money doesn't grow on trees lol, but that you mentioned x-rays are too spendy. However, if you continue to chalk up the costs of farrier work and Lacey continues to be lame on her left fore, that may only wind up (a) prolonging her discomfort, (b) frustrating both owner and farrier(s) and (c) costing as much if not more and never resolving the issue.

I think a truly good farrier will probably recommend exploring other avenues of approach such as x-rays, chiro or other bodywork if after a period of working on Lacey the lameness persists, and will tell you the same thing.

From what I'm gathering, Lacey has been lame after every trim for quite some time now, and it may in fact have little to do with the skills of the farrier you've been using, so hopefully whatever farrier you decide to use isn't going to use the band-aid approach and take your money. And not all farriers are going to know about or recommend other approaches or modalities, so that one is in your ball park.
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