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