I would just like to defend Farriers if i may

TheFarrier

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As a professional i wish to defend my profession and my passion. Shoeing horses.

I know that some of you have ended up with very bad experiences. There was one on here where to ownder had emloyed someone who was not registered... things went badly and she was upset. Fair enough but you as the owner have access to all the information you need to employ a farrier legally and you are held up by the FRC as accountable as the farrier who practiced illegally. sorry about that

The major issue i wish to defend is this one, lateness. Now i understand that there are farriers who are late/dont ring/dont even show up/dont ans the phone etc. I am not one of them (although i wish when people ring they could practice common curtesy and leave a message. i am a busy man and no message no call back)
I have never ever been more than ONE HOUR late. tops. and i always (and i do mean always) let my clients know if there is any change! ALWAYS (my wife makes sure of this isnt she great!)
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here is a list of reasons that a farrier could be late: (now i dont wish to offend anyone by this post at all. But enough. I know you may have had a bad experience but the stuff i have had to put up with (and everything below is minor and i wont go into the major stuff because it is not professional and i am) is caused by clients and their disregard for me, my safety and the fact that i am just trying to run a business. I keep these clients because i have to make a living. that is an asside though

*a client is late
*a client does not have their horse caught and waiting
*a client takes their time about catching said horse/paying/booking in etc
*a client askes me to do extra horses (which we sometimes have to do as we are only human and do want to keep all of our clients happy!)
* the horse i have to work on is muddy so i have to take the time to clean and dry the legs, have you ever tried to work with slippery mud and hot metal? its dangerous
* the horse has bad feet and i needed to take more time to do a great job, not a good job a great job
*the client cant control their horse -this can make the work twice as long and twice as hard
*the horse is not well behaved and i take longer because it wont let me do the work i need to and see above about clients not being able to control their horses.
*i have been injured and have had to stop and address my injuries before continuing
*cleint forgets appointment so this takes time ringing them etc etc to find all this out and then move on, next client cannot be early so often have to wait.
*i am working on a young or nervous horse and this often dictates the pace of working and can set me back

and then silly reasons like
*a client offers me tea or coffee very kindly but only gives it to me right at the end when i need to leave, being polite i have to either take five extra minutes (which can add up) or burn my tongue
*the client has no shelter for me to work under (in bad weather this can really slow a guy down)
*traffic - honestly this is unavoidable
*having to stop quickly for diesel - again unaviodable. i cant dictate when i need to stop and unfortunately this can happen when you are already running behind.

I am posting this off the back of a comment i have seen that makes me rather upset. I hope this helps people understand that most of us dont do it for fun.
Any of you could make or break our careers with ease just by word of mouth and thats a hard thing to combat when a lot of the bad mouthing that can happen is just ignorance (and by this i mean lack of information)
 

Thistle

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I love my farrier, he is usually prompt, friendly, humourous, drinks bucket loads of tea, actually likes horses and has a right gossip. (He is also young and fit!)
 

vhf

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I also think my farrier is excellent; I value and respect his opinion and his professionalism. In fact last time he shod my (then lame!) mare, I informed her that if she misbehaved, she'd go before the farrier did, as he was the more valuable.
 

Paint it Lucky

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Well said TheFarrier. I must say that most of the farriers I've known have been very good and are generally on time or only a few minutes late, never complain, are good with the horses and patient if the horse is a little nervous/young. I've only had one farrier let me down by not turning up at all with no phone call to say why (turns out he forgot! Well he is only human afterall). If one of the horses pulls a shoe farriers are always very good to come out as quickly as they can to put it back on or if one is a bit footy the farrier will come and check it, I have had several mystery lamenesses solved by farriers discovering abcesses that I'd never have found myself. So on the whole I am very pleased with farriers
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And a cup of tea to you sir!
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scotsmare

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I honestly hear your points and think it was well written.

However, we live in an area where farriers are like gold dust, charge an arm and a leg, are frequently late / don't bother to turn up.

ATM I have to employ the services of a farrier who lives 200 miles away - how crazy is that?? He is travelling to this area for a week or so at a time because where HE is there are 18 other farriers and there aren't enough horses to go round.
 

fine_and_dandy

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Completely appreciate where you are coming from, and always appreciate that it isn't always possible to be on time if the unforeseen happens.

I haven't slagged a farrier off on here, but I have to say, the one who is on his last chance atm took the biscuit. We've been working on my mare's front feet as she had collapsed heels (madhector can verify) which we were beginning to get "built up" again so to speak. He was due out on 9th April for her. I rang him half an hour before he was due just to check he wasn't being held up, and left a message. When he didn't show up an hour after he was due, I called him again and left a message. When he didn't bother to show up at all and it was the evening, I sent him a text.

I did not have a single reply to any of this. What makes it worse, is that I spoke to a friend and he had been at her yard before he was due to come to me - which she didn't know at that point. Apparently he turned up to her yard 2 hours late and didn't finish the horses until 4 - my appointment was 2.30. He even mentioned to her that he was due to go to me next, and never bothered to show up.

He also let a friend at the yard down by not responding to any of her calls/texts after missing her appointment a week later, when her horse was so footsore and needed his farrier.

He has had some very p!ssy messages from the both of us and knows this is last chance saloon.

I was so angry with him, not only because he let two horses down who bloody well needed him for serious issues, but he just point blank ignored us for no reason whatsoever. This behaviour is what irks me, not a good farrier who may be late, but bothers to let you know.

Anyway, rant over. All I meant to say was I appreciate a great farrier and the extra time they may require. I would just like a little respect back in the situation I mentioned above.

Edited to say that a great farrier is worth their weight in gold - the one who got Wonka over his fear of them was fantastic. Unfortunately, some bad apples tar many with the same brush
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Jericho

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Well said TheFarrier - and I think well worth saying - you have a hard profession and train hard for it. There are always a few bad apples in every trade but I think it is worth us clients remembering that life is not always straightforward when it comes to working with animals and you will sometimes be late - all it needs is a phone call from the farrier (or indeed the client) to keep everyone informed. After all if it is my horse that needs extra time then I wouldnt want you rushing your job.

And yes I agree word of mouth can totally destroy a reputation. Good on you for speaking out! And we all need to think carefully before we speak....
 

SpottedCat

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My farrier is so excellent that he got a bottle of wine from me and a pleading thankyou card asking him to keep me on his books whilst my horse went out on loan as I do not want to lose him!

He is never late, will ring if he is going to be early and does a fabulous job.

In return I make sure the yard knows when the horse needs to be in with washed legs and present him with a well-mannered horse to shoe, and always leave a cheque - the odd time I have forgotten I have sent him a text and transferred the money by internet banking that day, because clients are only human too
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hussar

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I have absolutely no complaints about my farrier (his predecessor is another matter!). He's cheerful, efficient, great with the horses (and donkey), always up for a coffee between horses, and comes out between appointments for a lost shoe as soon as he possibly can. If he's late it's always for a good reason and if he can get a signal he phones me.

I wouldn't do his job for the world - he's out in all weathers, bent double half the day, dealing with stroppy or frightened horses (and owners!), and rarely home before 8. I thank my lucky stars he's relatively young and is unlikely to retire while I still have horses....
 

miss_c

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Very well put TheFarrier! I'm not a farrier and never will be, but I think my farrier is great. Yesterday morning he came out at 7.15am to put a shoe back on Genie before he started his regular rounds. He is very rarely late, if he is going to be more than 15 mins late he calls me, and he's always friendly.
 

TheFarrier

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I hate having to work quickly on a horse because the owner was late, i want to do my best and i cant if i have to rush a little to not be late for the next horse.

I have been bribed in whisky before and i dont even drink the stuff
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Shipley

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I agree with you, I have never kept my farrier waiting unless I have called him and he gets a bottle of something every birthday and Christmas and is brilliant
 

joe_carby

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well said mate i used to train as an apprentice (wasnt for me in the end) and you have no end of client expecting the impossible.
 

teddyt

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Good to get your side across thefarrier, many horse owners do take the p1ss. Unfortunately i also think that in many cases owners arent told what is expected from the farriers point of view. In my experience many farriers just arent good at communicating, and unlike you, many just dont bother to let the customer know if they will be late. This in turn can cause problems again because a horse could be tied up waiting for hours. So by the time the farrier does arrive the horse is so fed up it messes about, making the farrier even later!
 

Rowreach

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Good on you, speaking as a farrier's wife, I agree with everything you said.

Can I add, clients who think it is the farrier's job to teach their young horses manners and to stand to be shod
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and clients who bounce cheques on you (repeatedly) and then wonder why you don't come and shoe for them any more
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fine_and_dandy

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[ QUOTE ]


Can I add, clients who think it is the farrier's job to teach their young horses manners and to stand to be shod
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and clients who bounce cheques on you (repeatedly) and then wonder why you don't come and shoe for them any more
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[/ QUOTE ]

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People really do that?? That is shocking behaviour
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Quadro

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my farrier at home is super and i cant fault him at all, but whilst im at uni the one here is a different matter im going home in 2 weeks and horse is being done then, has managed 2 lose both his front shoes and i have left message after message and no response , i know im not a regular but it makes no business sense to not even respond !!!!
 

teddyt

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[ QUOTE ]


Can I add, clients who think it is the farrier's job to teach their young horses manners and to stand to be shod
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[/ QUOTE ]

I agree to a certain extent but ultimately there is only so much an owner can do to replicate the shoeing process. Sometimes farriers dont help by expecting a young horse to stand like a ten year old. They dont always appreciate that how they are with the horse can make it better/worse and they are 'finishing' the training process. All my young horses are well handled, taught to tie up and have their feet done from an early age. I bang the feet and have the young horses around whilst others are being shod. I cant however actually nail on shoes. Unfortunately at this point the farrier is part of the training process.
 

nicnag

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I love my farrier, I've had him around for 17 years and he has become a huge part of my life, knows me about as well if not better than my OH! He once came out of his sisters wedding reception (in the good clothes!) to put a shoe on my horse so I could go to a XC the next day! I expect him to be 45 minutes late so always allow for the extra time. He isn't always late so it's a running joke between us when he turns up on time. I have huge respect for his opinion on everything even if I don't actually tell him that - and in return he gives me a load of abuse and tells me where I'm going wrong - wouldn't swap him for anyone!
so a major vote of appreciation for my farrier!
 

Smurphy

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[ QUOTE ]
I love my farrier, he is usually prompt, friendly, humourous, drinks bucket loads of tea, actually likes horses and has a right gossip. (He is also young and fit!)

[/ QUOTE ]

ohhh whos your farrier thistle???
 

only_me

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well, my farrier is great. He is very good at teaching me about shoeing, and explains to me what he is doing.

Horse got abcess on tuesday. Farrier was booked in already, found it, released it and i tubbed and poluticed it. He put shoes on other 3 feet, and left abcess foot ready to put shoe on. Abcess gone by thursday, farrier came and put shoe on at 4pm so i could have my lesson at 5pm!!

I LOVE MY FARRIER!! he is the absolute best; and if late always has a good reason
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MrsMozart

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Lol TheFarrier
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Loved your post.

I love my farrier, purely for his farriery skills - not for his being late for every single appointment I've ever had with him (and over two and a half years that's been a fair few lol). I pay cash: I pay on time (apart from once, sent a cheque). I'm never late for an appointment. My horses are always in with clean legs - if they were dirty, he wouldn't do them.

I take my farrier's advice on every aspect of my horses feet. I make sure my vet contacts him when there have been issues which needed them to communicate.
 

Cuffey

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My farrier is a good timekeeper--rings if he has to cancel for any reason and arranges a different day. He is quiet with the horses. The shoes stay on.
I make the next appointment before he leaves and pay cash there and then.
He is however very difficult to contact and his wife goes out to work.
I have seen me post a first class letter as the quickest way to contact him!!
 
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