How to be a great client for your farrier!

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Top 10 tips for getting the most out of your relationship with your hoof care professional

  1. A consistent trimming/shoeing cycle is necessary for your horse’s hoof health, and will make your hoof care professional’s job much easier. Schedule your appointments ahead of time and at the interval you and your farrier deem appropriate for your individual horse.
  2. Have your payment ready on the day of your horse’s appointment. If you can’t be there, make sure you leave a check or other method of payment in advance. Your hoof care pro shouldn’t have to chase you down to get paid.
  3. If you’re going to be there, be on time. Better yet, be early for your horse’s hoof care appointments! If you can’t be there, make sure someone else is responsible for prepping your horse. When your farrier arrives, your horse should be in from turnout with clean, dry legs and picked feet.
  4. Don’t apply hoof dressing before your farrier arrives. (It might look nice, but would you want to pick up a freshly “gooped up” hoof?)
  5. Just like you would for any other professional (your doctor, your hair stylist, etc.), notify your farrier ahead of time if you are going to be late or need to reschedule. This will allow him/her to plan the rest of the day accordingly.
  6. If your horse is going to have too much energy to stand quietly for his trimming/shoeing appointment, turn him out or exercise him ahead of time. This will make for a safer, more productive, and less stressful appointment for everyone involved.
  7. Provide your hoof care professional with a safe, appropriate location for working on your horse. Ideally this means inside, or otherwise protected from the elements, with clean, flat flooring, good lighting, and enough space to maneuver safely.
  8. Try your best to avoid feeding or turning out other horses while your farrier is working on your horse. In a boarding situation, this may mean coordinating with the barn staff ahead of time, but your hoof care professional will be very appreciative!
  9. Ask questions! This is your horse, and the more you understand about his hoof health and potential concerns, the better partner you’ll be to him, your hoof care professional, and your veterinarian.
  10. Hoof health maintenance is an on-going responsibility, and you play a key role. Your horse’s feet and legs should be cleaned and inspected often – ideally every day. This will help you stay ahead of potential problems and involve your veterinarian and farrier early on, should an issue arise.
Posted in How To

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7 comments on “How to be a great client for your farrier!
  1. Trish Fryer says:

    Really great blog. Common sense , but it’s amazing how often common sense goes out of the window.!!!!

  2. alan newman says:

    Don’t ever forget we are both on the same side

  3. Mark Rikard says:

    Thanks for publishing this article. If we farriers were to publish this list, it would look like we’re complaining.

  4. sarah kyle-ferguson says:

    You left out the most important one. Make sure you can make a nice cuppa for your farrier.

  5. Mary says:

    Consider giving your farrier a tip especially if your horse is difficult I call it combat pay as I have one old gelding who can be difficult despite working him prior to the appointment. And farriers please we understand that things take longer than expected at times but if you are running more than 20 minutes behind a call is greatly appreciated! Nothing worse than arriving an hour early to the barn to ride and groom your horse and then have to cool your heels and hooves for an hour or 2 we understand things happen just let us know!

  6. Pam says:

    Farrier-friendly fly spray! At my farrier’s request, we only use water-based spray (easy to wash off of hands) while he is working on horses. Sometimes the oil-based sprays make legs slippery and life just a little more difficult for the farrier. We always have a fan in the barn aisle, close enough for a breeze but out of kicking range. A pile of fresh towels to wipe a sweaty brow. A good joke or two and several “extra cold” bottles of his favorite flavor of Gatorade.

  7. Amanda says:

    My farrier asks his clients NOT to bathe their horses before he arrives. He gets soaked working on recently hosed horses.

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