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The practice of farriery is one firmly based in tradition, yet modern solutions have provided farriers with more options for helping horses. Nailing on a steel shoe made from bar stock remains a helpful option for many hoof-care needs, but so do adhesives, urethane shoes and other contemporary tools.
Farrier business practices are similar. Good customer service practices haven’t changed since trade markets of the ancient world. And today, a handwritten hoof-care invoice is still useful, but using technology like business management software and credit card processors can help improve business operations. The key is to not deviate from the foundational principles of farriery or business.
Southern Pines, N.C., farrier and Equicast owner Dave Richards called me about a service he provides to his clients. Days to weeks after working with a horse, he wants the client to use their smartphone to pass along videos of the horse. He wants to see a variety of views — how the horse stands in the stall, how it moves or how the foot progressing. He’ll email, text or call back with feedback and instructions.
Richards reports that clients love this benefit. They view it as an additional service from their farrier who demonstrates his care for their animal. While this is true, it also provides Richards with a way to see whether the client is properly following aftercare instructions for the horse and its environment. He now has a visual record to make sure the client follows the instructions for…