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In every Farrier Business Practices Survey that we have conducted (including the upcoming 2018 edition), more than 90% of working farriers have at least one backyard horse client. Because of this, backyard horses are called the backbone of the industry.
We often include practical advice in the magazine on managing backyard horses and their clients, including this issue’s exclusive survey of farriers work with backyard clients. You can find great takeaway information in this article. The most consistent answer addressed in this survey is what’s required to keep a client for more than 10 years. A majority of respondents answered “professionalism.” Things like showing up on time, returning phone calls and communicating with the owner on the horse’s foot health.
Each breed and discipline has idiosyncrasies, but all share this trait: keeping horses sound is never enough — you have to exhibit professionalism to retain clients. And isn’t it also true that being a professional requires little investment?
Pat Broadus thinks so. I recently spoke with the Shelbyville, Ky., farrier. He is known by clients for his skills with keeping their Thoroughbreds on the track. But many of his shoeing colleagues recognize his sensible business advice.
He reminds that being a farrier is a business, so professionalism is mandatory. A big part of this for Broadus is the impression you make on clients.
“It doesn’t cost much to buy a collared shirt,” Broadus notes. “And it costs nothing to tuck it in. Show up…