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Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

De Feets

Ah, farriers... a good one is a horse owners dream. Unfortunately a bad one is the stereotype, whether hard to reach, always late or just plain old doesn't do a good job.
(I do understand being late, sometimes stuff comes up or horses misbehave so things take longer, but a phone call would be nice!)
I'm not sure what its like in your area but around here even a bad farrier is hard to find.

This past summer I was fed up with my farrier at the time. He was constantly late, which is something I've pretty much come to expect from farriers. He would cancel with excuses that turned out to be lies - the best was probably when he couldn't make it because he'd rolled his truck & stock trailer while hauling cattle. Only to show up a week later in the same truck, which was perfectly fine. And to top things off his work which had previously been fine had gone to $h!t.
The last straw was when I called the night before to confirm our appointment, I'd heard he was injured. He said he was fine and would be there. The next morning he called and said he couldn't make it but his buddy that fills in for him would keep the appointment.That particular phrase was important to me, because to me it meant that Backup Farrier would be there at the same time the original appointment was booked. Nope. However we didn't find this out until we called to see if he was lost as he was a half hour late.
This would have been irritating at a normal time but this just so happened to coincide with Pie being admitted to the hospital. Several phone calls and texts with BF later, over the course of an hour or so, and the situation was past aggravating. Kimfer and I had a quick discussion and replied to the latest text with a "Don't bother. Don't come AT ALL!" text.

The good news was that an acquaintance of ours, Kyla, had messaged me earlier in the week that her very good friend's husband would be travelling to our area to trim. He had trimmed Kyla's horses while she was living in his area for school and now that she was home she wanted to keep using him. He needed enough horses for him to make the 7 hour drive and weekend away from home worthwhile.
So I called Kyla and told her what happened. He was in town and she sent Tyler over the next day.
Kimfer & I really liked Tyler, he did a good job and was good with the horses. He shoed and trimmed from June until late fall/early winter.
The only thing that was wrong was that distance. If your horse threw a shoe, too bad. And then the kicker... winter trims.
That first visit I asked if he'd be out this way in the winter to trim, he said yes. At our last appointment, when he pulled shoes for winter and trimmed, I asked him the same question and again he said yes. Well guess what? It turns out that NO he wasn't going to come out during the winter.
WTH?!? I like Tyler and didn't want to switch farriers. But winter here is months long. The horses NEED to be trimmed.

Kimfer & I were dreading trying to find another farrier when she stumbled across Scott's website "Balanced Hoof Farrier Service".
Yesterday Scott came out for his first appointment with us. Oh. My. Gosh. He wasn't on time, he was early! He was quick, not too fast quick but efficient quick. He encouraged questions and was willing to teach us things about our horses feet! (when possible, not taking questions and teaching the entire time he was trying to trim lol) Also he was very good with the horses.
His website says 'taking new clients' but he told us that his client book is pretty much closed now. Right now we're pretty happy that we squeaked in as new clients. Fingers are crossed that he stays reliable and keeps doing a good job! lol

13 comments:

  1. We do know about this. Farriers are notoriously flaky.
    This new one sounds like a good one. Fingers crossed for ya :)

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  2. Oh farriers. I've gone up and down with them also. Had a really great one for a while, then for a reason we never learned, he dropped off the face of the earth. Really messed up my mare's feet. Now, fortunately we can keep our horses barefoot and rarely have to trim. When we do, my husband just does it. Its sooooo nice to not have to deal with that aspect of horse care! Good luck with this new guy!

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  3. Sounds like you might want to learn how to trim your own horses's hooves, at least during the winter, just in case. I hope this new guy works out well for ya, though. What a hassle.
    I've been lucky with farriers. He's my first and only farrier and I didn't have to hunt to find him. He basically 'came with' Baby Doll when I bought her. lol! He is the farrier for the lesson barn where I first started taking lessons on my mare. He doesn't take any new clients either, so I'm lucky to have him. I just hope that when I finally do buy a new horse, it's a good one for the farrier, so he'll still want to keep me as a client.

    ~Lisa

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  4. Hope the new guy works out ok for you - he sounds like a keeper.

    I've had hit and miss luck with farriers. One was extremely reliable for scheduling - on time and never cancelled - but his trims were hit and miss - one time he would leave the feet too long, the next he would trim them too short...

    We have a new guy that drives about 1.5 hours to our place and seems to be pretty much perfect so far. On his last visit, I told him that he couldn't retire unless he had a few trained apprentices! lol

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  5. Oh my goodness do I ever feel your pain!! I love my farrier and he's awesome - reliable, skilled and patient. When I lived out in the sticks I gave up. I ended up hauling my horses 3 hours to have any farrier and vet work done. And yes - there was a time or two when I duct taped the shoe on the hoof and made an impromptu trip to the farrier.

    Good luck - hope you're found "the one"!

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  6. Hopefully this will get you squared away. Man, it's such a PITA dealing with so many changes.

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  7. I so, so, so hear you on unreliable farriers. I've been down that road more than once. It's a huge relief to find a good one. Hope it works out for you!

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  8. I feel so fortunate. Our farrier is great -- usually on time, if not we get a phone call. Good with the horses, doesn't take too long, charges a reasonable price...I had no idea they have a "flakey" reputation.

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  9. Wow, what a journey you've had with farriers! I hope this new one works out.
    My farrier "came" with my horse, too. He'd already been shod by this farrier from his previous owner, and, a few of his other previous owners, too! My farrier calls the night before to confirm our appointment and is rarely late- 20 minutes at the latest, and will call if he's later. He's also flexible and accommodates me on Saturdays! His prices are also fair, and in fact are less than what my sister's farrier charges. And my farrier is a horse person- he breeds and rides cutting horses, so I know he's in the biz and can be trusted to know his stuff.

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  10. yea - we all get to sing the farrier blues at some time or another. glad you got it worked out, and it looks good so far!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

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  11. I've had pretty good farriers over the years, my biggest problem is that I move so much that I really have to get lucky in each new area to find a really good one. The area I'm in now has only one really experienced farrier, and two of his apprentices. I have tried one, and I'll try the other one next, and decide which one I will use permanently.

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  12. Ugh! Bad farriers...total nightmare. We are SO lucky to have an awesome farrier. What he did for Bandit to make him sound was just short of a miracle in my mind! By the way, I need to do an updated post on Bandit's progress, he's doing great.
    Good luck with the new farrier.

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