Farriers - bit of a rant!

Marigold4

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Used the same farrier for two years. I've never changed an appointment, always have horses perfectly ready, make him coffee, give him a christmas bonus. He started off really well, efficient and keeping appointments, now not answering texts. I've been waiting for a reply to several texts for two weeks now. I guess he's now taken on so many clients he doesn't feel he needs to treat his clients well anymore. Why do farriers behave like this? I changed from the last one because he was so difficult to get hold of. I work so need specific times. Is it really too much to ask that a farrier offers the same kind of professional service that others do? What is wrong with them? Is it because the majority of horse owners are women and they feel they can mess us around?
 
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Like you, I always make my farrier a cup of tea, have the horses in and ready, feet picked out etc. and also give a bonus at Christmas. In return, my farrier is always on time, let’s me know straight away if the time needs to be changed (happens rarely) and is always helpful and full of advice. This has been the case for 6 years.
I used to have a farrier who turned up late or not at all and didn’t answer texts or voicemail unless I chased for days on end.
That’s why he ‘used’ to be my farrier.
 

hopscotch bandit

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I know a lot of the girls on our yard have problems with their farriers, my friends was running 40 minutes late last night! My farrier is pretty good, he arrives when he says he will, I make sure staff have brought my horse in, in good time in the event he should arrive early. I also leave his cheque ready for him, he just grabs my horse from the stable, finds somewhere to tie up, shoes and shoves back in stable when done. He knows not to tie up near anything she might get her leg stuck in. I would hate having to constantly leave messages and texts for a farrier that couldn't be asked to respond, it would drive me mental.

If I forget to leave a cheque I drive round to the house and post it through the letterbox, and always get him a nice box of biscuits at Xmas time. If I was at the yard instead of being at work I'd make him a cuppa too!
 

be positive

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I think it depends on what the several texts are asking, my farrier will not answer during the working day and tends to get back to book appointments on a Sun/ Mon so if you sent him a text on a Mon he may not respond for a week, if I need him urgently, shoe off or an abscess I will follow up with a call late pm if he has not replied by then.

They do have holidays occasionally and may not let every client know so I would not be too cross if I had not heard back for something routine for a week or two.
 

Marigold4

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I think it depends on what the several texts are asking, my farrier will not answer during the working day and tends to get back to book appointments on a Sun/ Mon so if you sent him a text on a Mon he may not respond for a week, if I need him urgently, shoe off or an abscess I will follow up with a call late pm if he has not replied by then.

They do have holidays occasionally and may not let every client know so I would not be too cross if I had not heard back for something routine for a week or two.
 

Marigold4

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it wasn't routine and he knew it was urgent. Would you be happy for your plumber or vet not to call you back for two weeks? It's not as though these guys are poorly paid.
 
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meleeka

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I do have some sympathy for them. They have to keep a lot of mainly women happy and that’s impossible 😂.
My farrier gets messed around by his clients far more than he messes his clients around. People phone/text and expect a reply immediately even though he’s working. He then gets people cancelling at very short notice who then expect him to re-book for a couple of days time. He has his diary worked out well in advance so this really messes his days up. It’s been known for him to have little work one day as so many have cancelled because of something trivial. People phone him at 10pm because their horses need shoeing for an event the next day, as if they really couldn’t have thought in advance about it. Then there’s people who can’t even be there and expect him to catch a horse in a 10 acre field, or the ones that insist the horse has to have its breakfast before he can start. The list goes on...

It’s not a job I’d want I’m afraid.
 

be positive

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it wasn't routine and he knew ot was urgent. Would you be happy for your plumber or vet not to call you back for two weeks? It's not as though these guys are poorly paid.
You didn't say it was urgent in your OP, if it was urgent I would call to follow up the text, I would also call the vet or plumber, I recently contacted a builder and am still waiting for him to do what he said he would, I gave up waiting and spoke to another one who has been out as requested.
 

TGM

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As the wife of a farrier, there is another side to the coin - there are plenty of customers who will mess you about too. Had someone book in the other day desperate to have some trims done as her farrier was away. Having gone out of our way to fit her in, we had a message about an hour beforehand cancelling. No reason given why, but then I find out via Facebook she had a hangover!
 

ester

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Surely if you have lots of customers messing you about even more reason to be helpful to the good ones though!?
 

milliepops

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Yup TGM! It's incredible how some people behave.

OP if it's urgent I would definitely have called instead of sent a text.
 

Marigold4

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I realise some may mess them around but i'm a really good client and never do! Made a call to the very good barefoot trimmer who does my young horse, he replied within hours, and is coming on Friday to take shoes off and trim. Hoofboots ordered. Barefoot trimmer NEVER messes me around and is patient and excellent with fidgety youngster.
 

meleeka

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In that case OP I’d be changing farriers. This one clearly doesn’t value your business. I posted above about all the troubles mine has, but I’m fairly confident he’d fit me in somewhere within a few days if I needed him to. I’m always very happy to be flexible on times when he needs a favour.
 

Twohorses

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The Op's problem is universal, I'm afraid. I live in the U.S. And can say we suffer the same behavior.

For example:

1. I had a great barefoot farrier who was always on time, great with horses but it was a second job for him. About a year later he started showing up late, always with an excuse. Then one day he didn't show up at all. Turns out he quit his job with benefits and moved out of state for a higher paying job.

2. A pair of brothers who were self taught, trimmed for me for about three years. They were good trimmers and shoers. They had decent "gut instinct". They were prone to showing up late but generally texted me.

One day they didn't show -- never showed up again -- never called to say they quit or to give an explanation.

Turns out they quit on me (without having the b***s to tell me) because my lameness vet blessed them out harsher than he should have for a trim job they did on my foundered horse. I was P.O.'d at them for not stepping up and angry with my lameness vet for not telling me he yelled at them until I held HIS feet to the fire.

3. Then there was theAFA certified farrier who, at the beginning of my metabolic horse's founder issues, was way too proud of himself, didn't really care about my horse or the lameness vet's trimming instructions, took too much heel in one strike off my foundered horse's hooves and the result was torn ligaments <--- the lameness vet did ultrasounds was purple-in-the-face-livid.

4. I currently have a great certified farrier/barefoot trimmer who is miraculously a local gal and specializes in "needy hooves", which certainly is my metabolic/foundered horse:). She has been on board 2-1/2 years

*****
Fortunately my grandfather had taught me to trim horses when I was kid. Having the tools to trim has served me well thru my life -- especially istances when I've been left high and dry, or I have been low on funds:)

Where I currently live, farrier's and trimmers are a dime a dozen but only about 2% of them are worth anything --- most of them are "legends in their own minds" and make me really happy that, if I have to trim I still can. I've been retired for several years and now need a cane to walk but believe me --- if it would mean all I got done for the day was trimming one horse, then that's all I would get done:)
 
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splashgirl45

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i have been lucky and had good farriers, my last farrier booked me in his diary for 6 weeks time and i was always the first appt so never had to wait. he never let me down and when my horse pulled a shoe off in the field and i couldnt find it, called my farrier and he called in on his way home to fit a new shoe and didnt charge anything..previous farrier was rubbish at arranging things so his wife did all of the booking and just gave him a list each morning, this system worked brilliantly and if i ever needed him urgently i sent a text to his wife and she organised him and got back to me with a time.....
 

Follysmum

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I would change farriers if I was in your position. Most farriers I know always reply to text or phone calls with in a day or so. My farrier is always punctual, polite and very accommodating if I need him in an emergency.
 

Orchard14

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Not sure where you are but in my area there are so many farriers, we have about 10 different farriers seeing to different horses just on our one yard. If you aren't happy with the service, vote with your feet and use someone else. I have only had to do that once. I'm all for being loyal but my horses welfare would always come before the risk of hurting somebody's feelings. But if he is usually on the ball, I would give him the benefit of the doubt. In the interim, if there is an emergency with your horse, can you just call someone else out? I have done so when I need a farrier to pop an abscess or fix a lost shoe when my usual farrier is on holiday.
 

Nari

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It's urgent & he hasn't got back to you in two weeks despite numerous calls & texts? Either it isn't urgent or you should have found someone else to look at the horse - either way it doesn't reflect well on you or him.

My experience is that many farriers are professionals who offer a good service. Yes there are ones who mess clients around, but there are also clients who mess farriers around or are unreasonable on their expectations. If you don't like a farrier or his service then change who you use, but if it keeps happening maybe you should look at yourself too.
 

Marigold4

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It's urgent & he hasn't got back to you in two weeks despite numerous calls & texts? Either it isn't urgent or you should have found someone else to look at the horse - either way it doesn't reflect well on you or him.

My experience is that many farriers are professionals who offer a good service. Yes there are ones who mess clients around, but there are also clients who mess farriers around or are unreasonable on their expectations. If you don't like a farrier or his service then change who you use, but if it keeps happening maybe you should look at yourself too.
Just not even going to respond to this!
 

The Trooper

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My farrier is great. Yeah he can be late sometimes but always arrives and is bloody brilliant at what he does. He always gets coffee (and sometimes a pot of curry to take away!) and is looked after when he is with me. Yeah, he can be difficult to get hold off, but he is working more than your typical full time worked and juggling potentially hundreds of clients.

Not once has he left me hanging when I've been dealing with an abcess or the likes (He's happy to chat on messenger late at night and at weekends and to review photos if i need him to).

My girls are both draft horses. One shire and one Belgian draft x Comtois and the biggest horses he has on his books, he takes the extra time to do them properly and I have genuinely no complaints about him. Alot of farriers don't touch horses with larger than normal feet because of the extra work and effort required.

My farrier is proof that not all heroes wear capes, some wear chaps.
 

Cortez

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Shoes came off yesterday, hoof boots fitted, lunged her today and she seems pretty comfortable. Fingers crossed that I'm farrier free!
You will still need someone qualified to look after your horse's feet; hopefully they will be more reliable than your previous farrier.
 

Marigold4

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Yes, as I said earlier I already have an excellent very well qualified barefoot trimmer who is efficient always turns up on time and will attend if there is a problem. I have used him for years. I'm not an idiot, honestly!
 
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