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National Farriers Week

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Sure, you already know the saying, “no hoof, no horse.” We would add to that, “no farrier, no hoof!” Your hoof care professional is an invaluable member of your horse’s health team, so don’t forget to show your gratitude for his/her hard work during National Farriers Week!

Here are our top 10 tips for being a great client for your farrier:

  1. A regular and consistent trimming/shoeing cycle is vital for your horse’s hoof health, and also important to his overall well-being and soundness over time. Schedule your appointments ahead of time and at the interval you and your farrier deem appropriate for your individual horse. If you wait until your horse is due (or worse, over-due), it’s not healthy for your horse, and it’s unfair to expect your farrier to scramble to fit your horse into his/her busy schedule.
  2. Your farrier is not your horse trainer, and it is not his/her job to teach your horse to stand quietly and safely. It is your responsibility to teach your horse ground manners and make sure he’s confident having his feet handled. Besides working with a professional horse trainer, check out these three videos from SmartPak Hoof Health Consultant, Danvers Child for some helpful pointers:

     

     

     

     
  3. 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 farrier shouldn’t have to chase you down to get paid.
  4. 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 arrangements for someone to bring in and prepare your horse.
  5. When your farrier arrives, your horse should be in from turnout with clean, dry legs, fly spray applied if needed, and his feet picked out. And no matter how good it looks, resist the urge to apply hoof dressing before your farrier arrives (would you want to hold a freshly dressed hoof?).
  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 and more productive appointment for everyone involved. It will also help your hoof care professional do his/her very best work, which benefits your horse.
  7. Provide your farrier with a safe 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. To set both your horse and your farrier up for success, try your best to avoid feeding or turning out other horses during your horse’s hoof care appointment. A calm, quiet horse is much safer and easier for your farrier to work on than a fidgety, annoyed horse who hears the grain cart or becomes upset when his buddies leave the barn.
  9. Notify your farrier as early as possible if you are going to be late or need to reschedule. This will allow him/her to plan the rest of their day or week accordingly.
  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.

Besides being an awesome client all year round here are some SmartPaker suggestions for small ways to say “thank you” to your hoof care professional during National Farrier’s Week (besides actually saying thank you, of course).

  • Coffee
  • Bottled water or other cold drinks
  • Lunch
  • Homemade baked goods
  • New chaps
  • New polo shirts
  • Beer


Posted in SmartPak Features

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12 comments on “National Farriers Week
  1. Valerie says:

    Great advise!!!! This a must do. Love your farrier❤️

  2. Tom Douglas says:

    What do you give to your Amish Farrier—————-A ride to the feed store !

  3. Barbara Brown says:

    This is not at all complete. Being a good/excellent client carries the responsibility to:

    Have the horses up and CLEAN! Not at the end of the pasture, filthy with muddy feet. Don’t wait for the farrier’s truck to appear before you go out to fetch them.

    Have good halters at their stalls, or even on their heads.

    Be ready to pay the farrier right there – either by credit card or check. Don’t make him wait forever to be paid.

    Don’t stand over him while he works telling him how to do the job.

    Also: Don’t ever tolerate a farrier who abuses your horse. If he has a temper and blows up, or worse, hits the horse with the rasp, get rid of him post haste. No amount of skill is worth that.

  4. Barbara Brown says:

    Oops! I wrote too soon ~ didn’t see the rest of the article. All good points, so my last comment about abusive farriers is the only added advice. (slow computer today, taking forever to load).

  5. Donna Crossman says:

    I appreciate my farrier – just last week I treated him to home made strawberry ice cream!!

  6. Dude- Mom says:

    We just moved to Western Washington from NM. Need advice on finding a good farrier for our two warmblood mares. Had a fellow trim their feet when they we in a boarding barn, but since we have moved them home, can’t seem to get hold of the farrier who did the earlier work. He did an OK job and we were happy with his work, but now he is not returning our calls. The “girl’s” feet are in serious need of attention.
    I normally leave them barefoot and have them trimmed every 6 weeks without any problems with breaks or chips. In this more humid climate, their feet are breaking off and there are large chips in the hooves. I am planning on having shoes put on them both.
    Is ther a farriers organization that provides a list of farriers in a particular area. If so, how does one go about making a good choice.
    By the way, being very new to the area, I don’t know anyone to ask about their farriers. I’m not convinced asking at the feed store is the way to go, as I wasn’t impressed with the hooves on the horses owned by the feed store owner.

    • Laura says:

      Where in Western WA are you located? Are you on facebook? There are lots of good advice pages on facebook, you can ask for referrals there:

      1) WA Horse Talk Forum
      2) Northwest Equine Network

      The farrier School in the area is
      Mission Farrier School
      17028 Trombley Rd
      Snohomish, WA 98290
      (425) 890-3043

      They can definitely help find someone for you! Good luck!

    • Barry Rice says:

      Dear Dude-Mom, I suggest contacting a stable that specializes in your discipline. I’m sure they will offer you a referral. There are many stables and shows in western Washington.

  7. tami says:

    And this would be the message I just got from my farrier husband after tagging him this post….

    ….Thanks for tagging that to me. Need to send it to this lady. No one here, horses in pasture, and can’t get a hold of her. I’m going to get my truck washed and if she doesn’t call me by then I’m coming home

  8. Ava says:

    I think that number 4 goes BOTH ways!! Absolutely hate having to wait on a farrier that says they will be there in the morning & they don’t show up until late that afternoon!!!!

  9. Cara S. says:

    We are blessed with an absolutely wonderful, patient, gentle, and competent farrier…who shows up on time, is always sweet with our four-legged children, and only once in 7 years has had to cancel a trim (so he could be with his grandpa when gramps went in for surgery…and rescheduled us for the very next day). We are now moving out-of-state, and let me tell you, starting a new job, moving to a new town is NOTHING compared to having to find a new farrier (and vet, and riding instructor for our daughter). When you find good people, it’s really really wonderful…

  10. Rosalie O says:

    We have a phenomenal farrier and have used him for over ten years with never a problem. We’re a breeding farm and he’s so good with the foals that we consider him part of the early training program. Never loses his temper and has taught every one of our barn staff how to train the young ones to be good with their feet. BUT, he’s decided to go back to school to be a veterinarian – great for him but so sad for us as it’s on the other side of the country. SOB! We definitely consider him part of the family and will miss him terribly.

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