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Currently Viewing: AFJ e-newsletter: October 25, 2013
From The Desk Of AFJ: What Weve Learned About Part-Time Farriers: 10-25-13

From The Desk Of AFJ

What We’ve Learned About Part-Time Farriers

By Frank Lessiter, Editor/Publisher

Frank Lessiter

Every 2 years, we conduct the exclusive American Farriers Journal Farrier Business Practices Survey, which reveals the latest trends and statistics on how hoof-care professionals operate their businesses. In the latest survey published a year ago, part-time farriers represented 26% of the farriers that took the time to answer our 4-page, 70-question survey.

Just like full-time farriers, these part-timers play an important role in the health and care of America’s horses.

Bonus Dollars

The results indicated that part-time farriers had an average gross income of $24,683. That compares with full-time farriers who averaged $92,726 in yearly income. Nearly two-thirds part-time farriers find less than 30% of their total yearly income comes from trimming and shoeing.

The typical full-time farrier worked with 40 horses a week while the average part-time farrier dealt with a dozen horses a week.

Earlier this fall, we surveyed part-time farriers to get a better feel for how they operate their hoof-care businesses. The results appear on Pages 26 to 28 of the November 2013 AFJ issue.

Some 60% of part-time farriers work 35 to 40 hours a week a full-time job. Almost two-thirds are putting in more than a total of 50 hours a week while combining a full-time job with hoof-care work.

Insurance Needs

Some 44% of these part-time farriers rely on full-time employment to obtain reasonably priced health insurance. With government-mandated health insurance coverage on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if this philosophy changes over the next few years.

Most part-timers are happy with their existing situation, with only 15% indicating that they might be interested in moving to full-time hoof-care work.

Some 10% of the part-timers charge more than the average price for full-time farriers in their area while 40% charge the same. It’s been my contention for a number of years that highly qualified part-time farriers can charge more than most area farriers since much of their total income does not depend on providing full-time hoof-care.

This reasoning would enable highly qualified part-time farriers to carefully pick and choose the horse owners they prefer to work with.

Many more details from this part-time farrier survey, including data on how they deal with emergency hoof-care situations while sitting behind a desk, are found in the November 2013 issue of AFJ. In addition, there’s an article on Pages 30 to 35 in this issue that features an island farrier in Massachusetts who juggles a half dozen jobs while burning the candle at both ends on long summer days. 

Donald Thomack
Posted from: David thomack, 7/15/14 at 1:20 PM CDT
Was this "Dr." Donald Thomack working in Missouri? I knew my uncle was a farrier, but never knew much about his business. could you give me a snapshot of his work please?
Posted from: wes earls, 10/26/13 at 10:41 PM CDT
Next year I will have shod full time for 40 years and a good farrier can afford good insurance if he has to .We always put it off
Posted from: Bill , 10/26/13 at 7:27 PM CDT
The average full time Shoer don't have insurance because they can't afford it. It cost a lot because this is a high risk job and very dangerous job. I finally got someone to except me, it is combine insurance. For me and my son it is very affordable
part time
Posted from: Bnjmn Lyghbnsfar, 10/25/13 at 2:07 PM CDT
This is my 26th year working part time as a farrier. The first 3 yrs.we're as an apprentice. My mentor(Dr.Donald Thomack) then retired and left me with his client list in the area. I worked primarily with Paso Dion show horses (which is the same that I owned and the reason I learned the farrier trade. The next year at the Paso Dion nationals 86 of the some 600+ horses were my clients horses. I was at the time working a full time job 50+ hrs/so building barns and fence in my spare time. I have enjoyed my time as a farrier which I started at the young age of 42'

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