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Voodoo, Gypsy Vanner weanling; Malmsey, 15 yo arabxwelsh
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I had my pony for 15 years, she passed away and I was horseless for 3 years. Now, I have had 2 ponies since November 2020. I live in a very small town and there's not much around us, so finding equine professionals can be difficult. I didn't want to go with my previous farrier because his wife liked to tag along, gossip, spread rumors and try to tell you how to care for your horse....when she had never been around horses before her husband, the farrier.

So, when I got my ponies home, I wanted a new farrier and was recommended this gentleman. Now, growing up and doing all of this on my own since I was 16, I had to deal with a LOT of inappropriateness from farriers. I had one guy that wouldn't stop talking about my butt every single visit. I had another guy ask if I would go "take a dip in the creek" with him. So, I was very adamant that my new farrier be professional. I am not paying you $100 for two trims to make inappropriate comments in MY barn.

We got along great. He was wonderful with my ponies, but he had issues with time management and keeping appointments. Half the time he would forget about my appointments, I would message him, and he would reschedule. Then, with gas prices up, he introduced me to a friend down the road with her horses and we started letting him know which dates would work with us (6-8 weeks in advanced) so that he could trim our horses one after the other and save on gas.

I had an appointment on the tenth after my friend down the road. The night before, my mare choked, we thought she passed it, she didn't, and I had to have an emergency vet visit the next morning. I told my farrier what happened and that I needed to reschedule.

After all of this, I tried to get a hold of him. I requested an appointment through his facebook page. No response, whatsoever. None. So I finally messaged him and said, "I'm sorry if I've upset you. I didn't ask for my horse to choke during our appointment - it was an emergency situation. If you don't want to service my ponies anymore, please communicate that so that I can find someone else to get the care they need."

He replied with, "there's always a problem with you. I'll be out this week". I asked him, "I'm very sorry, I have always been on time and had the ponies ready for you. What exactly are you referring to so that I can make sure I don't do it again in the future?"

No response. I messaged him one more time and said, "As a professional, this is completely uncalled for, and ultimately, you are taking your frustrations out on my ponies. They are overdue for their trims, this season has been wet and full of flies so my mare has been stomping and causing chips. Please, in the future, for the sake of the horse's best interest, let the owner know that you won't be servicing them anymore so that they can get the horse's care. I wish you all the best."

I went through our chat history and not once did I cancel or change plans, or run late. However, HE forgot an appointment in February and again in April. He was 2 hours late in May, coming in at 9 pm. I also have screenshots of my conversations asking him what the best "schedule" would work for him, since he wanted to try to keep everyone in our area around the same week/day/whatever. Never replied.

If anything, I was going out of MY way to make his life easier.

I am so frustrated. I have never had this happen before, and it has stressed me out beyond belief. I also feel like his behavior is very unfair.

I asked around and got one farrier to squeeze us in on a Sunday, but he isn't taking new clients. I also got contact for 2 other farriers. One I had used years and years ago. Well, I used his dad. They are amish, but they were always gentle and reliable and always early. They have been doing farrier services since the early 1970's and passing down the trade. I am not keen on the way amish treat their horses, but, this guy and his son have always been very kind and very easy with my pony when I used them before. My horse's chiropractor has used them for 20 years. My other friend gave me the contact for her farrier, but his communication is very spotty. It typically takes him a day to respond to my texts. He is a VERY good farrier and I ultimately want what is best for my ponies, but communication is very important to me.

So I just feel like I am kind of stuck. I was really happy with the service from the amish farrier when I had my previous pony, so I am very tempted to go back to them. See how it pans out, and if they don't work out, get a hold of my friend's farrier.

What do you guys think??
 

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You need a new farrier.

I've lived in places where I had to haul 2-3 hours to get good work. I've also had to host one (and his very nice kids) for overnight stays and people hauled to my place to get their horses trimmed or shod.

The only thing I would have done different than you in your dealing with this goober of farrier is; I would not have apologized for the inconvenience of my horse choking. Nothing to apologize for there and he seemed to take it as a way to place blame.
 

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In your situation, go back to what you knew was reliable and worked.
Chances are if the son learning the trade was raised that way, he still works his own business with clients the same way.

Instead of expecting a set hour you might need to flex more and it be a certain day and float with that leeway given the farrier since he never knows if a emergent call comes in for him either.
I think it is unreasonable to demand a set hour for the service....a span of morning from say 6 -12 or afternoon from 1 - 5....but not a exact hour, no.
You're going to have to pick and choose your vices cause limited farriers of quality as you demand are sought after and you are 1 of many who want their attention..
Good farriers are worth their price in gold paid...
Mediocre or lousy are easily found and there is a reason they are so available...as you know so, beware.

Best of luck connecting with a farrier to fit your needs...just as you can "gossip", so do the farriers as they "gossip" about animals {owners} if problematic when they are together...its a 2-way street.
🐴....
 

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Click on the”narrow by region” blue button and see if there’s someone who will travel to you that you’re not aware of:)


Why so many owners are learning to do their own trimming——
 

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You can do what I did when I couldn't find a farrier who did a really good job. I got someone to teach me to trim my horses myself. I don't need shoes for my horses. If your terrain requires shoes, then my idea won't work. As @LoriF said, "Why should I pay someone to do a lousy job trimming my horses when I can do a lousy job myself."
 

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I was just going to suggest to learn how to trim yourself.

Farriers have a reputation for being time unreliable . In part, it isn't always their fault; some jobs can take longer, unexpectedly. And, my experience is that farriers offten don't return a call or text until the next day. So, a certain amount of 'wiggle' room is expected, timewise. Courtesy , however, is a requirement with no situation allowing it's neglect. Cut your losses and your stress and go with the Amish guy, and start looking into learning trimming, if possible. Oh, and the other guy, commenting on yout butt . . . well, we used to discretely giggle and comment on the FARRIER's butt, being as how it's so prominent in certain positions. Some were nicer than others
 

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Good farriers do exist. Mine is a young guy in his 20's. He's up to date on the latest trimming and shoeing practices. He does barefoot trims and rehab cases. He texts me the day before he's due to trim and gives me a 30 minute window to expect him. If he's running more than 5 minutes late, he texts me to let me know. He's never left one of my horses sore. He's patient with my old guy and firm with my stubborn mare. I appreciate him, so I always have my horses ready with clean feet when he arrives.
He told me he hasn't added a new client in several years, and he's not advertised on Walkin's site. I found him by word of mouth. Good farriers don't necessarily advertise. They have all the work they need.
OP, I don't know where you're located, but if you're willing to share that, someone might know someone. If you happen to be in north Louisiana, PM me.
 

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You're going to have to pick and choose your vices cause limited farriers of quality as you demand are sought after and you are 1 of many who want their attention..
So true. In my experience, the vast majority of farriers have one or more of the following issues: (1) treat horses unkindly, (2) don't show up when they say they will, (3) don't respond to communication, (4) pushy and unwilling to listen, or (5) do a bad job. I've never had to deal with the inappropriateness issue, I suppose due to my advanced age LOL. I had one farrier for a year, she did a great job, was kind, always on time, just generally perfect. Then she got pregnant and moved back to her home country. I went through a couple who had various problems after that, and then I bit the bullet and learned how to do it myself. The quote from @LoriF was what did it for me. I was like, "Yes, I CAN do a crummy job!"

Keep looking, but know what you're willing to sacrifice out of the above. If you do get lucky and find a perfect farrier, do everything you can to hold on to them. And yes, maybe consider learning to do it yourself.
 

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Voodoo, Gypsy Vanner weanling; Malmsey, 15 yo arabxwelsh
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In your situation, go back to what you knew was reliable and worked.
Chances are if the son learning the trade was raised that way, he still works his own business with clients the same way.

Instead of expecting a set hour you might need to flex more and it be a certain day and float with that leeway given the farrier since he never knows if a emergent call comes in for him either.
I think it is unreasonable to demand a set hour for the service....a span of morning from say 6 -12 or afternoon from 1 - 5....but not a exact hour, no.
You're going to have to pick and choose your vices cause limited farriers of quality as you demand are sought after and you are 1 of many who want their attention..
Good farriers are worth their price in gold paid...
Mediocre or lousy are easily found and there is a reason they are so available...as you know so, beware.

Best of luck connecting with a farrier to fit your needs...just as you can "gossip", so do the farriers as they "gossip" about animals {owners} if problematic when they are together...its a 2-way street.
🐴....
I am not dropping names, so I don't consider it "gossiping" and the only person that knows about these situations is my best friend and my husband, because my feelings were really very hurt by his behavior. And if they need more time, I am happy to get work off but I need to KNOW. My farriers in the past have always been on time, and I understand that unexpected things happen. But let me KNOW, so I can plan accordingly. It honestly takes two minutes to type out a text or pick up the phone. I was and am a very good client. My checks never bounce, my ponies are sprayed and ready, my gypsy is wrapped, and I schedule my appointments out so that there is no conflict. If anything, I try to schedule 3 appointments out. I understand that GOOD farriers are booked, but when you are running a business communication is key. I shouldn't be blamed and my horses shouldn't suffer because the farrier isn't holding up his end.
 

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Like @mkmurphy81 - I have one of the great ones! He's not the most communicative person but neither am I... I ask to be put on the schedule and he will say he will get back with me... sometimes I have to ask again but that doesn't bother me as I know he's super busy and can lose track so no biggie. He treats my young guy better than me when it comes to standing for the farrier... I'll get frustrated and he always laughs and says this guy will be as good as the others in a year or two. I'm like he needs to be like them NOW... lol I've just never seen him in a bad mood....

I have the horses ready, fans ready in the summer, pay extra and remember him at Christmas! He's the best and nicest person.... just really a good person. I could gush on him all day!! Ain't no way I'm doing mine... nope just not. I use shoes as we have some pretty rocky areas in the mountains...
 

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"No response. I messaged him one more time and said, "As a professional, this is completely uncalled for, and ultimately, you are taking your frustrations out on my ponies. They are overdue for their trims, this season has been wet and full of flies so my mare has been stomping and causing chips. Please, in the future, for the sake of the horse's best interest, let the owner know that you won't be servicing them anymore so that they can get the horse's care. I wish you all the best." "

Can I say something as an old lady who doesn't text, and for whom email became a reality in my 50s? IOW I've lived through the evolution of email and know how little most people really think before they send one. I think the best way to lose a flawed-but-acceptable farrier is to succumb to the impulse to put your present emotions into a text and send it to him/her. We write before we think with email and text. We've all been in written "wars" thanks to the anonymity and lack of restraint that are encouraged through writing, and not speaking face to face. I dare say, you'd never use the above words to his face. Or make a genuine attempt to reconcile. After all, the great majority of us depend on farriers, and they talk about their customers between themselves. Reputations are like shadows, everybody has one.

Sure, write what you think/feel, then give yourself plenty of time to ponder the consequence of sending, then either send or delete. If you're prepared to lose your farrier, then go ahead and call him unprofessional and say he's taking out his frustrations on your ponies. Otherwise, see if you can wait and dress him down face to face. Or just fire him without telling him what you think of him. But a text like the above is a guarantee of getting fired yourself when he's probably got a waiting list.

To be fair he was stupid to text that "there's always a problem with you". That's the first shot fired of a word war, for sure.

So now you need a new farrier. Or learn to trim yourself. I've had so many half-baked "professionals" parade through my barn in the last 40 years, I'll do almost anything to avoid calling one out. I learned to trim myself and my horses have benefited from that, even though I'm not a pro. There's some real peace in not having to deal with flakes.
 

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Voodoo, Gypsy Vanner weanling; Malmsey, 15 yo arabxwelsh
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"No response. I messaged him one more time and said, "As a professional, this is completely uncalled for, and ultimately, you are taking your frustrations out on my ponies. They are overdue for their trims, this season has been wet and full of flies so my mare has been stomping and causing chips. Please, in the future, for the sake of the horse's best interest, let the owner know that you won't be servicing them anymore so that they can get the horse's care. I wish you all the best." "

Can I say something as an old lady who doesn't text, and for whom email became a reality in my 50s? IOW I've lived through the evolution of email and know how little most people really think before they send one. I think the best way to lose a flawed-but-acceptable farrier is to succumb to the impulse to put your present emotions into a text and send it to him/her. We write before we think with email and text. We've all been in written "wars" thanks to the anonymity and lack of restraint that are encouraged through writing, and not speaking face to face. I dare say, you'd never use the above words to his face.

Sure, write what you think/feel, then give yourself plenty of time to ponder the consequence of sending, then either send or delete. If you're prepared to lose your farrier, then go ahead and call him unprofessional and say he's taking out his frustrations on your ponies. Otherwise, see if you can wait and dress him down face to face. Or just fire him without telling him what you think of him. But a text like the above is a guarantee of getting fired yourself when he's probably got a waiting list.

To be fair he was stupid to text that "there's always a problem with you". That's the first shot fired of a word war, for sure.

So now you need a new farrier. Or learn to trim yourself. I've had so many half-baked "professionals" parade through my barn in the last 40 years, I'll do almost anything to avoid calling one out. I learned to trim myself and my horses have benefited from that, even though I'm not a pro. There's some real peace in not having to deal with flakes.
I get where you are coming from. But I feel after being treated the way that I was that he needed to hear this. Because my ponies' health is at stake, ultimately. I am perfectly fine if he didn't want to come out anymore, or if he didn't want to work with me. But he needed to not ignore me after sending me nasty messages. As I have mentioned before, I am a good client, I am on time, do what the farrier asks, and my money is always there. I treat my farriers/vets/chiros well and always have food and water available at my barn. My biggest issue was the lack of communication and the fact that its my ponies suffering for this behavior, and that's not okay.
 

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You can do what I did when I couldn't find a farrier who did a really good job. I got someone to teach me to trim my horses myself. I don't need shoes for my horses. If your terrain requires shoes, then my idea won't work. As @LoriF said, "Why should I pay someone to do a lousy job trimming my horses when I can do a lousy job myself."
I have been in a situation like the OP is in with a non communication farrier and it was no fun. I have a great farrier now . Trimming hooves myself sounds good but who teaches that stuff? Do good farriers really teach their trade to customers?
 

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Trimming hooves myself sounds good but who teaches that stuff? Do good farriers really teach their trade to customers?
Well, actually it's kind of like learning to crochet. I learned to crochet this summer. It's really fun. I watched a lot of videos and got two different people to help me when I didn't understand stuff. But what I learned is that everybody kind of crochets in their own way. And learning to trim horse feet is like that too. Some people say, "You must ALWAYS do it THIS way," and others say, "Oh no no no, that's wrong. You MUST do it THIS way." The toes are too long. The toes are too short. Don't mess with that heel. Take more off the heel.

So, you just kind of go with the flow, trimming the best you know how, making mistakes, learning from them, asking folks who know more than you . . . and after a while, you have your own style, which hopefully works.

The bottom line is that you kind of teach yourself, listening to everyone who will tell you stuff, picking what you think will help. The horses help you too, by the way they act after a trim.
 

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Do good farriers really teach their trade to customers?
I bought Pete Ramey's book and then his videos. I've watched them over and over again. And the ELPO videos that you can find online. It's interesting what @knightrider said about finding your own style. That's what seems to be happening to me. I also trim each of my three differently because they all have different issues. Also, I am not too great at doing a good balanced trim, but every time I get something wrong I learn from it. I take things pretty slowly and incrementally with all of them, and in almost a year of trimming them I haven't lamed any of them once.

I've found that most farriers are willing to at least give you pointers. The current barn farrier, although I don't really agree with his trimming style, has been willing to look at my guy's hooves and answer simple questions (e.g. "What am I doing wrong that her toes are always this long?"). My last farrier seemed pretty happy that I wanted to learn, and spent a lot of time explaining things and watching me with the tools. It was very helpful. Sadly he stopped coming; I can't really explain why even though I have a string of text messages between me, him, and the other lady whose horse he was trimming at my barn. Something just set him off one day, before he had even seen our horses or talked to either of us, and he didn't want to come back after that. The other lady whose horse he sees was really panicked about it, and I feel bad for her because her horse really needed to get done and she was left hanging, but for me I just shrugged and said, "Oh well, back to trimming them all myself all the time."

That's another thing about being able to do it yourself -- yes at this point honestly I'd rather pay someone else to do it, and if I can find someone I like, then great; if not, I'll just do it myself.
 
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There was a thread on here recently about top laminitis researcher Dr. Pollitt. It garnered absolutely no interest, but a bash the farrier thread gets replies like crazy.
How badly do you want to learn about taking Good care of your horses feet?????
 

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I like the confidence you people that trim yourselves seem to have. I would like to be that way too. The frightening things for me are making a horrible mistake and ruining a hoof or hooves and / or angering my farrier when he finds out and he dumps me. Did any of that happen to you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There was a thread on here recently about top laminitis researcher Dr. Pollitt. It garnered absolutely no interest, but a bash the farrier thread gets replies like crazy.
How badly do you want to learn about taking Good care of your horses feet?????
I am in no way bashing my ex-farrier. He is very good at what he does. I am simply ranting at the unfair treatment and expressing what happened and looking to see if this is normal, what others have done, etc.

I haven't seen this post, but I am all for further educating and learning new things! Maybe link it here?? I think I take very good care of my ponies' feet, but always interested in educational material :) Thanks for bringing it up!
 

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If you go to hoof care section of forums thread above op mentioned is there.
 

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When I was looking for a new farrier, I told them up front that I wanted to learn to trim them myself, and any help they would be willing to give me would be appreciated. If someone would have replied really negatively to that (like, "People shouldn't trim their own horses" or "Well, don't expect me to help when it all goes wrong," I would have just found a different one. I suppose that's different than having one you like (if you have one you like) and not wanting to make them mad. It can't hurt to put it out to him that you'd be interested in learning to do it yourself, to see what he says.

If you watch a bunch of videos and really think about it, or better yet take even a short course in person, and then only use the rasp and take off less than you think you need, you can post the pictures here and people will critique it for you. That was super helpful getting me started -- knowing that there were people who would evaluate my work. You do have to learn how to take good hoof photos, however -- it's more of a pain than you'd probably expect.

Also a lot of people work it out with the trimmer to do a good set-up trim and then come out every few months to check how things are going. Like, if your horse was on a six-week trim schedule, you could schedule the trimmer 12 weeks out, and take care of the hoof between the times. Then he could evaluate and give you pointers and set you up for the next period of time. That's how I was doing it with the farrier who eventually stopped coming. It was really helpful.

I personally don't have a ton of confidence in my work, but like I said they have never been lame after I've trimmed them. So it can't be that bad. I evaluate every trim and try to think about what I did wrong and how I could make it better next time. I'm not a great trimmer, but I'm better than some of the bad ones I've had.
 
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