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Farriery and hoof care is such a unique and distinct form of self-employed business that it’s easy for us to think that many of the considerations of normal business owners don’t apply to our operations.
Generally speaking, a farrier enters the trade in his or her mid-20s, spends the first 5 years establishing a business and reputation, then enacts a laborious “sprint” for the finish line over the next 35 years, attaining a low degree of “cash wealth.” The savings are invariably stashed in a box or a savings account (not that there’s much of a difference between the two). When the farrier’s body is ready to retire, it’s likely without the means to do so unless they can become dependent on either their children or their spouse. It’s not so much a strategy than it is a stumble-to-the-finish-line exercise.
Like them or not, these are the basic four imperative skills that a hoof-care business owner should possess:
It is common for the farrier to focus almost exclusively on the first three, sometimes to varying degrees, and assume that they…