Saturday, 23 June 2012

Guest Post; How To Find A Farrier

Today I have another guest post, this one is from a farrier named David Barker. He runs a website which is a directory of farriers across the United States and Canada featuring profiles, biographies, photos, training and qualifications. There is also a farrier blog on the website which is very interesting! He has written about how to find a farrier for your horse.

When you need a farrier for your horses, one of the best places to find one is through family or friends. If you are new to an area or you are disappointed with the farrier service you have been using, recommendations from other people are the best way to find a new farrier.

One of the first places to look is their certifications. What degree do they possess? What initials follow their name? You can research this information on the internet at the American Farriers Association. This site lists all licensed farriers in North America. Once you have identified a farrier as a possibility for your needs, you should phone them up and discuss your needs with them, in order to determine if he/she is the right choice for you and your horses.

A dedicated farrier will have no problem answering your questions and addressing your concerns. The perfect candidate will be able to discuss the newest technology available to farriers. He will also be a professional who commits himself to ongoing education in his chosen field and will be happy to explain his qualifications and expertise.

Check out the farrier’s equipment. Is it new and in good condition? Your farrier should be on-call 24/7 in case of emergency. Even if you must leave a message when he is on another job, he should call you back promptly. It is not like this is a job he can stop in the middle of to answer the phone. If you do not receive a call back within a reasonable time frame, it may be best to look elsewhere for your farrier services.

When the farrier you decide upon is already working an overload of clients, try asking him to recommend someone else. Since a recommendation from a farrier reflects upon his own reputation, you may be assured that you are getting a quality referral. You may even be lucky enough to get another farrier which he has trained.

The health and longevity of your horse can depend on the quality of care that your farrier provides. Even though price may be an issue, keep in mind that saving money is not the only concern. The cost should fall into an accepted range for the area in which you procure the farrier’s service. If the price is just too cheap to be true, you may want to look elsewhere for farrier service.

Take plenty of time to evaluate the available choices, ask lots of questions and research the farrier’s credentials. When you have identified the right farrier for the job, then it is time to make an appointment for your horse’s new shoes.

Hope you all enjoyed this guest post! I found it very interesting and finding the right farrier is of a very high importance!
Love Laura


Jen said...

Finding the right farrier is HUGE - our first one was a putz. I had no idea there was an online directory (very cool :o)

We love our farrier now. He's been with us for a number of years, is wonderfully patient, and does a great job on our horses (they're all barefoot).

Silke said...

Thumbs up!
The first question asked should never be "How much?"
It should always be "What qualifications do you have?"
Another question I ask... "Have you worked with gaited horses?" (I have a Paso Fino, and it's tricky to find a farrier who knows about them in the UK. I had one farrier tell me he's lame, because "He's stepping short", when he was gaiting...)
I honestly don't care how cheap / expensive the farrier is, because without the hooves you don't have a horse.
Another question I ask is how (if) they handle difficult horses. Mine is a pig and needed to be sedated last time, because he made so much trouble, it was getting dangerous for both the horse and the farrier -- and me.
Better safe than sorry.

Carly said...

I finally gave in and switched to barefoot. I love the trimmer because she actually tells me what's going on with the hoof! the last one i used just trimmed and went on his way... and he didn't trim to the horses needs. He trimmed all the feet the same instead of to what worked for each horse.

My new farrier though, I love! we're on a 5 week schedule to get their feet back in order and slowly transitioning over to renegade hoof boots!

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