Apparentally I'm going to start trimming...
So over the past couple years we've had a lot of bad luck with farriers. The first one stopped calling us back. The second one started to make Angel lame and in the process of 'fixing' it he stopped calling us back as well. He then called another farrier to come out and do it instead of him, but that was a big no because he is notorious for making horses lame. Then the third one we actually really liked. He is a natural barefoot trimmer and has has done wonders with Angel. He helped us get her barefoot (Use to always have shoes on the front.) and get her feet hard. Now for some reason though he won't call us back either..
The horses are at about week 8 and are in need of a trim, but we can't find anyone. The few who are willing to come out charge an arm and a leg. One guy was charging like 300 to come down and trim both horses, but he said it had to be done every 2 weeks.
My parents ended up talking to a lady who directed us to this website: ABC Hoofcare - Home. They have a book that teaches you how to do the natural bare foot trimming. You can send in photos if you have any question or do video chat and stuff. They also have a week long class you can take (in Oregon I think) that I might take this fall. So long story short my parents are going to buy the book that teaches you how to trim and is going to purchase the tools and I'm going to start trimming the horses myself.
To be honest I'm pretty unsure about it because I don't want to hurt the horses or make them lame or anything, but then again it would be pretty nice to learn to trim myself and not be depending on other people to do it. Also in the long run it would be a lot cheaper as well. Sorry about the long post. I just wanted to get it out.
Best of luck. I started for almost the same reason. My regular trimmer broke her hip and while she was out I couldn't find someone else I liked so I started doing my own.
Why do you think they're not calling you back?
We started a few years ago doing the barefoot trim, we've had no problems with our horses going lame. I don't know how old you are but it's gotten too hard for me to do two of my horses and my boarder does his and one of mine.......so now we are going back to getting a farrier, it's really hard work!
Its hard work because it is a back killer, a knee killer and some horses really set to leaning on the farrier. In addition, if you have a horse that pulls its feet away or is "light on the feet" it can result in torn muscles or bruises.
I think its a bit odd that you have three farriers who don't call you back. I have had two farriers in the last 15 years. One up and stopped calling me back. The second one calls back the day I call him (had him about four years now). We did spend some time doing our own horses feet. We have 8 and between busy schedules and bad backs they went too long. The fact was that after an 8+ hour day at work, I want to ride not trim feet.
I would look at your horses, your distance and your behavior with your farrier. Are your horses well behaved? Do you have them ready for the farrier when he arrives or does he have to help you catch them? Do you pick out their feet prior to him trimming them? Do you pay him before he leaves the farm? I ask these because it seems to really make a difference for the farrier. Upon arrival the farrier appreciates that our horses are caught, feet are clean, legs are cleaned and they all stand nicely for him. We had a mare who was/is a bit of twit to catch and was really bad about having her feet done. For the first few trims, I had her tranquilized when he arrived. After that I made it my job to improve her behavior, she now stands well for him untranquilized. Most importantly pay the farrier before they leave the farm. Our farrier has vented to us (we are all in the horse service industry) about owners who demand he rush out there for a pre-show trim and than ask to mail the cheque because they don't have money due to the show. Don't send a cheque give it to him. It makes a big difference.
If you are serious about trimming I would highly recommend, "Under the horse" dvd set by Pete Ramey. I actually started by borrowing it from the library to see if I wanted to spend the money, then just bought the series. He's got great advice, and "how to" on trimming, also a lot on diet and the way the hoof grows how to measure etc.
I love my farrier but after this last trim Im tempted to do her feet myself. My issue is my mare needs shoes for soundness reasons.
Farriers are notorious for no-shows and not calling unfortunately. Sometimes its not really their fault and sometimes it is. I have heard so many stores echoing the OP's story. It probably just depends on who is available in your area. And this shouldn't automatically be a criticism to the OP.
Don't let any one scare you away from trimming or shoeing yourself! I won't go into my life's story but I started trimming when I was 18 and sent my self to shoeing school when I was 18. I am a girl and at that time I was 110lbs soaking wet. Yeah its hard work but it isn't impossible. If your looking into it as a profession you are going to get hurt, standing under 5 horses day after day is really hard. But again any one can do it! Its not about strength or size it is all about technique and patience and most importantly flexibility and endurance.
But you have two- maybe three horses and it is sooooo good for owners to learn about hoof care. There are techniques you can learn and use to make it easier on you and keep you and your horse safe.
I didn't have one single person tell me, "I think that is great and you can do it." Every one said, its too hard or you will get hurt blah blah.
So I say GO FOR IT. It never hurts to try something new and you might find you really like it and its so good for horse owners to be armed with knowledge!
I was forced into trimming my own. I was very hesitant and had the same reservations as you - i.e., what if I don't get it right? My farrier "pushed me" along, in fact it was her idea that I start. She had me trim her horse, under her supervision. If you can find someone to do the same, it is a tremendous help in getting you "over" your hesitation and fears.
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