Your farrier is an important partner in keeping your horse’s hooves and legs healthy. Developing a good relationship with your farrier is important – here are 6 ways to stay on your farrier’s good side.
1. Schedule Regular Appointments
Ask your farrier how often he recommends that he see your horse, and then schedule appointments according to his recommendations. If your farrier wants to see your horse every 6 weeks but you schedule an appointment for 10 weeks out, your farrier will face a challenge of having to properly trim your horse’s overgrown hooves. Don’t make your farrier’s job more difficult by spacing out appointments too far to save money or time.
2. Be Present At Appointments
When you schedule an appointment with your farrier, mark it on your calendar and plan to be present to hold your horse during the appointment. Unless you and your farrier have made other arrangements, it is your responsibility to make sure that someone is present who is capable of handling your horse. If you can’t be present, then arrange for a barn owner or other skilled horse handler to be at the appointment.
3. Call Your Farrier Right Away About Lost Shoes
If your horse throws a shoe, then call your farrier right away to report the situation. Leaving your horse without a shoe for too long may result in his hoof chipping and cracking away. Ask your farrier what he would like you to do with the horse and the exposed hoof until he is able to get out to your barn.
4. Follow Your Farrier’s Instructions
When your farrier provides you with instructions for your horse’s hoof care, do your best to follow those instructions. Your farrier has your horse’s hoof health and care in mind, and can advise you on how to handle and treat different conditions.
5. Have Your Horse Clean and Dry for Appointments
As a courtesy to your farrier, make an effort to have your horse clean and dry for scheduled appointments. Bring your horse in from the pasture fifteen minutes before his appointment is to begin, and towel off and clean off his legs if they are wet or muddy. If it’s heavily raining outside, then bring your horse in early enough so that he can dry off before your farrier needs to work with him.
6. Pay Your Farrier Promptly
Always remember to pay your farrier promptly. Most farriers are self-employed and depend on client payments in order to pay their own bills. Try to pay on the day of your horse’s farrier appointment, or put a check in the mail immediately afterwards.