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The business and wealth management acumen our practicing farrier community lacks is shocking.
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:
1 Horse skill.
2 Hoof skill.
3 Blacksmithing skill.
4 Business skill (administrative management, wealth management and business strategy).
It is common for the farrier to focus almost exclusively on the first three, sometimes to varying degrees, and assume that they will culminate in deft execution of the fourth. It’s a little like trimming a hoof, shaping the shoe…