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".
Last edited by smrobs; 08-02-2013 at 12:43 AM.