What would you call a good farrier?

Pennythetank

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Ireland
As title really. Just pondering as a friend of mine questioned my faith in the family's farrier(who I have utmost faith in and will cry the day he retires!!)
He doesn't explain why he is doing something unless I ask him, and unless it is an emergency will never turn up on time. He has shod my family's horses since my mam had her first pony and yet never remembers my name... He also is extremely old fashioned and refuses to learn about steps, extensions, glue shoes etc. (Not that I have ever needed any of them)
However he has backed every youngster my family has owned and always helps us out. I have never seen a horse uncomfortable after his vist (he shod a friend's horse once and when she asked if the horse would need a day or two off just to reclimatize to them, he was so confused at the notion that his shoeing would cause a problem) and he is brilliant and shoeing problem hooves (weak,brittle etc) and helping to improve them. He is also a wealth of knowledge and is always able to explain something when asked (I just have to ask, can't wait for him to explain cos he won't)
He also is very good at what most of ye would call barefoot trimming(he simply calls it basic mantaince lol)
My friend just seemed convinced that since he was so old fashioned and never explained anything he is a bad farrier. 😆
What is a requirement for your farriers? Is old fashioned shoeing enough or do they need to be up to date with modern techniques? (I won't be changing farriers anytime soon, just am always interested in others views and I like to take any opportunity to learn)
Sorry this simple question kind of turned into an essay!
 

Sukistokes2

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I live in Kent
I know my farrier is the best, because he is the guy the vets turn to when they need help. He knows his stuff but is always willing to learn new stuff. He is usually on time and very professional. He does explain things but then he know I like to know. He is the only farrier I have ever had, he is semi retired and now only does well behaved horses and my Moses.
 

peaceandquiet1

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As someone whose OH is a farrier, I would say that there is no excuse for not keeping up to date with new developments! However it does sound like your farrier's work does speak for itself.
 

LeannePip

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Southampton
Some one who is reliable, explains their work if asked or voluntarily, keeps the horse sound (!!), and works with you and listens to your input about how the horse is going, your aims and also your worries, it really needs to be 2 way conversations where the horse is concerned. My Farrier does all the above and more, He is brilliant!
 

laura_nash

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Ireland
Someone who keeps the horse sound (number one!) and with healthy feet, or at least as sound and healthy as possible. Willing to discuss what they are doing and why and discuss alternatives (I don't think they need to explain their work unless asked, some people don't want to know). Understands that some horses can be ridden, even on roads, without shoes. Points out any developing issues with the feet that may not be caused by the shoeing / trimming. Is good with the horse, I don't expect the farrier to train the horse or deal with bad behaviour but won't have one that loses their temper if the horse happens to lose balance and snatch a foot.

I'm not so fussed about punctuality, providing you can get hold of them in an emergency. I wouldn't worry much about modern techniques either, though I would want a farrier to be willing to try something new if either I or the vet wanted to for a specific condition.
 

flirtygerty

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Rothbury Northumberland
Mine, he takes into account my TB's stringhalt, mares arthritis, young cobs impatience (being worked on) and my gelding trying to remove his chaps or nibbling his bum, all are Bf, but my farrier treats them with consideration, having once carried his tools across a large field to treat my TB who was hopping due to an abcess, worth his weight in gold my farrier
 

twiggy2

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3 July 2013
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Highlands from Essex
A great farrier keeps the most difficult of horses sound, the horses hooves will improve in their care if they are poor or average to start with, they will explain the reasoning behind what they feel is the best thing to do for the horse IF they have an owner who wants to listen or discuss options, will listen to the owners opinions and do some research into areas the owner is keen to investigate, will tell an owner straight if what they want to do will be detrimental to the horse, the shoes they put on don't come off every week or so, they don't palm their clients off on apprentices, vets value their opinions and seek them out for advice on difficult cases, they turn up on time, they have patience with the horses, they don't want to put shoes on horses that don't need them, I think that covers it and I would like to say I have a great farrier. My mare has never worn shoes and regularly does up to 16 hrs road work per week.
 

wills_91

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My farrier was newly qualified when I first started using him - 4 years ago -. He texts me when my horses are due, is always on time & most importantly he makes an excellent job of there feet. My horses are all barefoot but unlike some he is as keen as I am to keep them this way. He is extremely patient and has helped our 4 rescue shetties become confident and relaxed about getting there feet done. He is open to suggestions and not just stuck on one way being the right way. If there is something he wants to do differently he will take the time to discuss why beforehand. I am interested in feet and doesn't take offence to me noseying around. He's a good laugh as well which always makes it easier.
 

PolarSkye

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Matt (otherwise known at ours as Magic Matt) or Nick . . . both have kept my boy sound, have always come out for emergencies in snowstorms, at odd hours and at very short notice - have never been late, or stroppy, or argumentative . . . have gone the extra mile to make sure my boy's feet were balanced and have always been willing to put pulled shoes back on for nothing, not charge for stud holes and generally be good eggs.

Good farriers shouldn't be hard to find, but it seems they are. I treasure both of ours.

P

P.S. Current farrier (aka Magic Matt) also demonstrated his patience and excellent horsemanship when Pops tried to pick him up by the back of his shirt the other day - he (Kali) was just playing, didn't try and bite him, but actually grabbed the back of Matt's shirt and just kept pulling . . . I've seen farriers hit the horse in the face with a rasp for less . . . and I must admit I legged it across the yard to stop Pops, but Matt was a good sport about it (no shirt ripped and no teeth mark) . . . just as Nick was always very patient when Pops licked his (shaved) head and twanged his belt . . . good farriers are worth their weight in gold and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either Nick or Matt
 
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AngelitoCaz

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9 January 2014
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83
A farrier that my mare likes, when I got her I was told she wasn't good with the farrier and my first farrier couldn't do her backs, moved yards and had to change farrier warned him she could be funny but she was good as gold, changed again due to reliability and still perfect, don't know what it was about the others but she obviously had a reason.

Other than that a farrier that does what's best for the horse not what gets them the most money
 

Auslander

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Berkshire
I wonder if your good farrier called Steve is the good farrier called Steve who I used before I moved away from Berkshire.... Genuinely a brilliant brilliant farrier.
This Steve?


Im fussy about feet/farriers, and he ticks all my boxes. He's a thinking farrier - he looks at the whole picture, and is very open minded/open to discussion. He does a lot of remedial work with vets, and is very active online - always working away at increasing his knowledge. Probably the best farrier I've used.

My dog also likes him...

eta. This is a prime example of thinking out of the box to resolve a situation. This is one of the ponies at my place. She fractured her pastern last year, and was in a cast, that put her on tiptoe. The vet wanted a shoe for the other foot that could even out the pelvis and distribute weight correctly - this is what Steve made
 
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