What do you look for most in a farrier?
 
 

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What do you look for most in a farrier?

This is a discussion on What do you look for most in a farrier? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Do most horses mind the farrier
  • Farrier what to look for

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    07-31-2013, 11:55 PM
  #1
Foal
What do you look for most in a farrier?

What do you love about your farrier?

What do you hate about your farrier?

What would you like to see differently?

What is a must-have?

Any other opinions on farriers would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
     
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    08-01-2013, 12:26 AM
  #2
Weanling
The most important thing for me now is someone who is willing to discuss my horses feet and work out what is best for them.

Not so many years ago, every horse I had was in shoes. That was just the way it was done. Riding horses had to have shoes. After a couple horses who were just never "right", and had constant lameness problems, I figured there had to be a better answer. So, I started researching and reading everything I could find, pro and con, about going with shoes and going barefoot.

I learned there were some really bad farriers out there. Usually the worse farriers are the ones who will get up in a huff and quit if you even suggest they try something new. Not every single horse is the same, sometimes tried and true methods fail for an individual horse. If a farrier will not discuss what is best for the individual animal I'll pass them by.
     
    08-01-2013, 12:28 AM
  #3
Banned
A good set of ears, an honest mouth.....and a good butt doesn't hurt
     
    08-01-2013, 12:39 AM
  #4
Trained
Competency, availability and listening to my concerns.
     
    08-01-2013, 01:16 AM
  #5
Yearling
#1 They must know what they're doing (you'd be surprised by the number who don't)

#2 They must be good with the horse (I try to train my horses to behave for farrier work but on occasion they may have a case of the fidgets. Don't get me wrong, if they are really bad he is free to correct them, I don't because a correction from me while he's standing under them holding a hoof up could get him hurt.)

#3 They must be reliable. Up to a half hour late is fine but there's no excuse since the advent of the cell phone not to call if it's going to be longer than that or they need to cancel.

#4 I never tell my farrier how to do his job but I do like one that is willing to discuss other methods and maybe try them out if we both agree.

All these things are hard to find in one farrier and I absolutely love mine because he does have all these attributes and as an added bonus he's very inexpensive compared to what I've heard other people say they pay. He was just out yesterday - 2 shod all the way around, 1 shod in the front only, 9 others trimmed only. Total cost $340.00

I don't hate anything about my farrier but pedicure day is my least favorite horse chore. He prefers but doesn't demand that the owner be there and hold the horse(s). He makes me happy so I do what I can to make him happy and I hold the horses for him while he's working. I also pack a cooler with bottled water and some soft drinks for him and his helper (his son). My problem is I feel like I'm standing there doing nothing and all the time I've got running through my head things I could be getting done. I figure that's my problem not his LOL.

I've been through farriers in the past who have had absolutely no patience with a horse and I'm talking he got mad if they twitched their skin because a fly landed on them, one that acted like he was scared to death of horses, some (more of these kind than all the other things combined) that would not show up and did not call to say they weren't, one who trimmed their feet so short they could barely walk the next couple of days, and one who talked to me like I didn't know a thing. I actually kept that last one around until we moved too far away to use him because I didn't care what he thought of me and he was good about the rest of the stuff I required. After a few visits he quit acting like an arrogant a-hole. The no shows got 1 more chance. The rest never got a second chance.

I've been fairly lucky at being able to eventually find good ones but some of the ones I went through in that journey have sure made me wonder why they chose the career they did.
smrobs and Red Gate Farm like this.
     
    08-01-2013, 09:20 AM
  #6
Green Broke
1. Knows what he is doing, and not too proud to ask for help, and further his education.
2. Reliable,
3. Available for short notice emergency.
Mine is all of the above and I like him

What I wont tolerate.
1. Set in ways. A one size fits all mentality.
2. Not on time without notice.
3. Not on time alot even with notice.
Red Gate Farm likes this.
     
    08-01-2013, 09:52 PM
  #7
Showing
I don't think I'll have my new farrier again. First trim was great, horse moving better than ever. Second trim, the guy was dog tired as he'd done 10 horses before mine. He was done in short order and I mean short and I wasn't pleased with his work. I'd asked him about shoes on the front and his response was he lives too far away to come if the horse throws a shoe. Point made. It turns out there a farrier now in the area so I shall give him a try. I try to be loyal but that goes both ways.
     
    08-02-2013, 12:25 AM
  #8
Yearling
1. He educates us about the hoof, different conditions, how to know if it needs trimmed, etc. He's always on time, never overcharges, gives an honest opinion, knows horses and is fair to them.
2. That he wouldn't be so old and could continue for the rest of his life!
3. His drive time. If there's an emergency anywhere he'll be there as soon as he can but he lives kinda far out from us.
4. A good attitude and fairness as well as horse sense.

I like it when a farrier knows when to correct a horse and when not to. When our rescue horse was first getting done by him he took things at the pace the horse could tolerate and if the horse spooked he didn't correct him but if the horse was doing something on purpose he did. He knows when the horse needs a break for a while and doesn't overreact. There was a horse that had a nail shoved in his frog at a show and while the rider was freaking out and hollering about calling a vet and how her horse would be lamed up forever he stepped in and pulled the nail, did his job to help the horse despite her cries he would lame up her horse. (The horse was perfectly fine BECAUSE of his quick actions).
     
    08-02-2013, 12:40 AM
  #9
Showing
What do you love about your farrier?

Everything. He listens to my concerns and opinions and we discuss what would be best for each individual horse. He's not just a farrier, he's a horseman who knows how a horse's mind works. He will correct an obnoxious horse when needed but will also take the time to calm and reassure a nervous horse.

Not only all that, but he does a wonderful job. He takes his time and makes sure he's got the angles and the balance just right, makes sure that the shoes are shaped just perfectly to fit that individual hoof.

What do you hate about your farrier?

He's just so dog-gone busy and I'm usually the last person on his priority list (he's my brother and he does my horses free in exchange for feed/pasture for his horses so I insist that he take care of paying customers first, of course). Being that busy is a great thing for him and I wouldn't wish his business down for all the money in the world, but sometimes it's hard to find a time when he can make it over to my place and have time to do more than 2-3 horses.

What would you like to see differently?

Not a thing. I've yet to see him do a bad job on any horse...even though he is the most critical person on his own work. He'll finish a horse and then proceed to look and say "Gah, I wish I had done <this> or <that> differently" or "Wow, that doesn't look very good at all". In spite of all his needless self-criticism though, he is one of the 2 best farriers in this entire area (and there are lots of folks calling themselves "farriers" around here).

What is a must-have?

IMHO, not only must a farrier be good at working with feet to get them balanced, but he also needs to be a good hand with a horse. They need to know how to treat a spoiled horse or a scared horse. The best trimmer/shoer in the world isn't worth a darn if he can't slow down and relax enough to work on a young or nervous horse without demanding the use of tranqs or other "quick fixes".
     
    08-02-2013, 11:55 AM
  #10
Yearling
Good communication with someone who thinks good communication is as well
     

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business, care, farrier, health, hoof

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