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Fwd: [RC] cost of shoeing, from farrier, a bit long - SteelSideDown

Cookies work -- I love seeing those customers!
As far as cost, someone mentioned, farriers (not blacksmiths who work with metal) are self employed.  Consider vehicle maintenance, the rising cost of gas, health insurance (BTW this is considered a "high risk activity" in my area thus a more expensive health/life insurance rate) the crazy cell phone bills from customers with "emergencies," that farrier school bill, the list goes on and one.  No one is getting rich shoeing horses, no matter what they charge.
Bad horses are another issue.  No one wants to heat their little snookums misbehaves (I realize ridecamp folks are a bit different), they easiest way to deal with these is to raise the price.  The bad horses take twice as long, and with your schedule you just can't afford it, thus the price must go up on the behavior problems.  Incidentally the owner usually finds someone cheaper, your productivity goes up, everyone happier.
Which brings us to lateness.  This is hard.  You set up a schedule on Monday, by Friday things have changed a bit, weather has changed, and so-and-so can't get home until 4.  No biggie, should still work out.  You get to person #1's house promptly at 9, old horse that has been trimmed for years, you'll be done in five minutes -- WRONG -- today old timer has a crack, and the customer insists on shoes.  This is accomplished by 9:55 and you scurry to your 10:00.  Arrive at 10:10, not to bad, you can recover.  This owner has yet to catch her horses.  At 10:30 everyone is caught and in the barn.  You're done at 11:45, you're 12:00 is a half an hour away......................  It just goes on and on, even when you show up to the perfect customer (horses in stalls w/ halters on) things happen.  I try to give customers general timelines (between 10:00 -10:30), and call them if its getting later.  Also fitting shoeing into your realistic schedule helps with the frustration.  If you work a 9-5 say so, there are evenings we work late, and weekends, if you're horse is well behaved most have no problem taking care of it alone.
All the extras on shoes take time.  Pads not too much, clips stud can be very time consuming.  Expect to pay extra for the time involved as well as the actual cost of the item.  Also please notify in the initial scheduling call.  Also if its something really specific or odd, order it yourself and then notify.  Its hard to order from 9-5 companies when you're working 8-8, 6 days a week.
When all else fails, go back to the cookies!!
Jen, Farrier in VA
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Holy Cow!!!  I just cant believe the prices!  Not that the shoers aren't worth it,  I just wanted to  tell my shoeing story.  I'm so glad we shoe our own now that we are in the NE.  I had no idea what people were paying up here . I am from SO.Ca. we were paying $65.00 per shoeing,  got moved  to back woods ALabama,  and while in Alabama  Pete and I had to go to shoeing school because we could NOT find a shoer that had been to any farrier school. They had been taught by Daddy , or Pa Pa .  Never met one with a forge,    The going price was $35.00 for a full shoeing, $15.00 for a trim, the problem was my horses and mules did not fit a standard 0 or 00 keg shoe, so the shoers wanted to just rasp the foot off to fit the shoe,   I would have to ask them to spread the shoe, get a bigger shoe , square the toes ( absolutely never heard of that )   I had been a  large animal vet tech . and did a lot of shoe pulling and paring&n bsp;so I could take x rays, so I knew what was inside the hoof capsule, could do a decent trim and REALLY knew what needed to be done to our endurance horses feet, and the mules too;   try to be a woman in the far NW corner of Al. and tell a shoer what to do ! ha ,  after a few disasters  and  many fired shoers,  Pete said ,  You know how to trim you know the anatomy you just haven't put shoes back on, I am a rocket scientist, I build and engineer lots of integral parts,  I think we could shoe our own if we go to school.  We went to school,  learned to shoe , of course Pete researched the H** out of every available product and proceeded to buy  a forge, the best trimmers, half rounds, hammers ect....  and we do our own.   sometimes we do the fronts one night and the hind the next,   Pete takes a lot of time with the finnigan hoof gage , uses his rocket science "examine everything a hundred times over to be sure it goes well at launch time" attitude ,  and we get it done .  We have 4 in shoes, and there is no way we could pay the going fees up here in "Hunt Country" VA.    So even if it takes us longer to shoe , we can afford to have what ever type of shoe we want.  I recommend anyone who can take the time to go to shoeing school , even if it is a short course, go and learn,  find a farrier that will let you ride along and apprentice so you can do a good job, and do your own if you are able.  
Judie Ricci
Why Wait? Move to EarthLink.

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