"Firing" a farrier?
I thought starting a new thread might get more responses than just asking in my current hoof thread, hopefully no one minds! :)
Anyway, so apparently my trimmer is basically doing no good for my horse. I had planned on just talking to her about it but then I realized that she could "fix" whatever the obvious issue is (aka Lacey's ouchiness) with the next trim but there's always the possibility that she'll slip back to her current ways by the next trim. So basically, just talking to her is going to allow her at least 2 more trims on my $$, whether or not she's doing it right.
She's been trimming Lacey for 3+ years which I'm thinking means she doesn't really have a leg to stand on since she should KNOW how my horse needs to be trimmed for optimal optimal-ness, right?
But, now we have the issues: last trim I thought I'd be nice and pay her ahead for this next trim. So, instead of just paying her $35, I paid her $70. So, she has $35 extra "of mine" that I won't be getting back most likely. I'm inclined to just chalk it up to the price of a lesson learned but the frugal side of me says "get your money's worth! Or get your money back!" but I'm thinking that's pretty rude to be all like "I won't be requiring your services anymore, by the way, can you give me my money back?"
I'm thinking that unless she offers, I'll just let her have it as a kind of "thank you" for being a reliable horse person back when I was really ignorant.
Also, this woman and I are friends. Of course, it's not like I hang out with her or anything, I'd never see her again once she's not my trimmer but since I think of her as a friend, how do I tell her that I don't want/need her trimming for me anymore?
Even not as a friend, how do you tell someone that without being a jerk?
How do/would you fire your farrier? Preferably nicely, but really, is there a nice way to say that? I schedule my appointments ahead so it's not like I can just not schedule an appointment....
On the "new farrier" front, I've found 3 new guys that are all jostling each other for the chance to have another client, all come highly recommended by internet people, so fingers crossed.
Farriers have a wide range of skills, opinions, and techniques so even though you may think she's not right for your horse, the next one may be worse. I would just not schedule an appointment while you try someone else and compare. As hard as it can be to find a farrier, I would not burn any bridges.
^^^Yep, just don't call her.
BYW, the "friend" thing will end.
Just don't call!
Oh yeah, no worries, I'm not going to actually "get rid" of her before I know I've found someone better. :)
I like to think things through for a rather long time before making any major decision, that's why I'm asking now. I want to have a plan in my head.
I'm thinking I mighthave a different farrier come look/possibly trim, if he trims, push my current trimmers appointment out, and see what you guys/Lacey thinks of the new guy. Only then, upon approval from you guys, will I do anything ore drastic. :)
ETA: I aldready have an appointment set with my current gal. We always schedule the next appointment before she leaves after trimming. So "just not calling" isn't an option. I wish it were!!
To much of a change will lead to lameness.
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.
I tend to be chicken about it... I simple phone call that something has come up and you need to reschedule, but you are going to have to get back to her about the new apt. This has worked just fine for me for the last two farriers I 'fired'. Never heard from them again. No uncomfortable discussions.
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.
Oh. And even though he didn't finish or balance the front hooves at all, he still charged full price. Jerk.
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