One of my first threads on this forum was about my new farrier's fees - he charged me $30. to come tack a shoe back on, and failed to mention the fee before I set up the appointment. I really questioned at the time whether that was standard practice or legitimate.
Here's what I found out - there's a huge regional variation in farrier practices and policies; no way to judge if the $30. lost shoe fee was typical or not.
Here's what else I found out: My guy is an excellent farrier. He's improved my horses' way of going and overall soundness, and he's an honest, decent guy. Always on time, no matter the weather, reliable and a good horseman.
Farriers' cost of doing business has gone up dramatically over the last several years; not just the cost of diesel but the cost of shoes, nails and tools have risen steeply along with the price of steel. If he charges a farm call fee (my neighbor and and I split it) or any other fee, including that **** lost shoe fee, in order to recover his cost and make it worth while for him to keep shoeing, I'll pay it. I don't think he's getting wealthy off of me; as a matter of fact, considering the physical toll on their bodies, most farriers are underpaid.
If you like your farrier, he does a good job with your horses and is reliable, I would smile, shrug and pay it. Chances are he's just tinkering with his pricing trying to distribute cost fairly and break even.
Oh, and *this morning* I paid mine $215 - $10 farm call, $25 trim, $75 fronts only, $105 plain steel all around.