Trimming, Shoeing Backyard Horses Critical To Farrier Success

While trimming and shoeing backyard horses is a great way to get started in the business, this part of the footcare market still represents a large portion of income for many veteran farriers

Working with backyard horses represents the “bread and butter” of many farrier businesses. In fact, data from the 2016 American Farriers Journal “Farrier Business Practices Survey” indicates 92% of all farriers work with a number of backyard horse owners.

While working with backyard horses represents a big part of the footcare market, it doesn’t seem to always get the amount of attention it deserves. In fact, the impact on farrier income from working with backyard horse business is probably much bigger than most people realize.

Evidence of the importance of this segment of the overall hoof-care market business was shown in a survey of farriers attending the 2017 International Hoof-Care Summit. Some 50% of these farriers indicated backyard horses make up more than half of all of the horses they work with in their footcare practices.

The Backyard Market

In a 2018 mid-summer American Farriers Journal electronic survey, 203 farriers took the time to answer a few questions regarding their experiences with backyard horses. The typical farrier who answered this survey works with 70 clients who each own an average of three horses. A few of these farriers worked with more than 100 backyard horse-owning clients.

Among backyard horses, the survey results indicated 27% are trimmed and left barefoot. While the remaining 73% are trimmed and shod, these numbers are evenly split between shoeing all four feet, only the front feet and only the rear feet.

Based on these survey results, 79% of backyard horses are left barefoot during the…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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