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How Much Should You Charge Per Horse?

Protect your future by charging what you should earn today.

There are a lot of costs for any footcare business. Materials, insurance taxes and so on. But which is the most significant cost? California farrier Margie Lee-Gustafson believes it is what you pay yourself. Without paying yourself first, you may not be earning your full potential

In a presentation at the 2018 American Farrier’s Association (AFA) Convention in Reno, Nev., Lee-Gustafson shared her exercise in determining what to charge per horse. It relies on you understanding and honestly factoring in each cost your business incurs.

Where To Start: Pay Yourself First

Table 1 shows the various steps in the cost analysis exercise. Lee-Gustafson says the first step in this exercise is to pay yourself a salary. For her plan, the past AFA president created a scenario of a farrier who wants to earn $60,000 per year ($5,000 per month). The scenario factors in shoeing five horses per day, working 5 days a week.

Farrier Takeaways

  • The most important step in determining your costs per horse is paying yourself first.
  • Be honest and thorough in analyzing your own costs.
  • Factor in wellness programs and continuing education in your costs to ensure a long career.

Of course farriers should pay themselves for vacation, holidays and other time off. Lee-Gustafson factors there are eight traditional holidays, 5 days off for continuing education, miscellaneous personal days and vacation days. Together with the weekends, she uses 234 working days per year in the exercise. This comes out to about 49 working weeks per year. The…

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Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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