Thursday, April 19, 2012

Farrier Etiquette

Ok, So, as I mentioned in my previous post RC threw a shoe in this muck.

Well, only kind of in the muck... He threw it by acting like  an idiot when turned out in the big field and running through the muck. Because the BO is adamant that geldings ONLY go out with other geldings and mares ONLY go out with other mares, RC and Delight were turned out in seperate pastures with buddies of the same gender.
Delight gets on swimmingly with everyone she meets, so that was no biggie.
RC is a dork and didn't get turned out with all of the other geldings, just older hunter pony who largely ignored him in favor of those few brave prigs of green grass. RC ran around like an idiot. At first he was playing... then he figured out that Delight - his bestest BFF EVER- was in another pen. With other horses!
An off came the shoe. Even when he was turned out in all of his booted best...

Since my farrier isnt from this area and only comes up every 6 weeks, I had to call someone else. I tried the guy who's always at the barn... but has been MIA recently (in hindsight that kinda should have been a clue). No return call. So one of my students called her farrier to come out and tack on the shoe, with the warning that he was slow.
Sure, farriers like to chat. I get it.

This guy took TWO HOURS to tack on ONE SHOE.
No trimming.
A little straightening the shoe.
Lots of putzing around.

RC stood like a boss and didnt get lippy or start fidgeting around. And this guy did do a great job for pretty cheap... But still, two hours? By the time that I convinced the farrier that I really had to get to work or get fired, it was too late to ride Delight.

There are tons of pointers for proper farrier etiquette...

  • Be on time
  • Pay on time with non rubber checks
  • Train your horse not to act like a 5 year old child all hopped up on Mtn Dew and skittles
  • Have clean horse feet for the farrier to work with
  • Have a neat, clean, safe and comfortable area for the farrier to work in

Ok, so farriers can be the prima donnas of the equine world. They know we need them. Sometimes it seems that they don't really need us**...
How about just a touch of customer service?

  • Be on time, or at least give us owners a heads up
  • Return those messages we leave for you. Really, I'm trying to give you my money to work on my nice safe horses
  • When you show up to work, actually work. We can be buddies when my horse isn't standing on the farrier tripod thingy...
  • Recognize that us owners have outside lives too. Letting other customers 'cut' because they forgot to call you might make you and extra $30, but it irritates us responsible owners. 
  • Let me know if you are going to be out of town for two months. My horses need shoes, and I need to be able to make other arrangements
  • For the love of cripes... Don't go on and on about what crappy feet our horses have. Yes, I know, my poor guy has been standing in mud for two months. Deal with it; I have to. 
I'm sure there are other things that I'm forgetting at the moment... But I feel better having gotten that out there. 

**My normal farrier is excellent. Great customer service, etc, etc... Norm, if you read this: RC loves you... Even if he did rip off a shoe. 

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, I used to use a farrier that did a full two hours to do a full trim. He'd rasp a little, then set the foot down and stare at it, nip a little bit, set the foot down and stare at it....and so on. Farriers: love to hate them.