While many experienced farriers are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic relatively well, there are others who aren’t as fortunate. One Hall of Fame farrier is encouraging his colleagues to lend a hand.
“These are the farriers who need to keep working because they haven’t made it yet,” Tom Curl says during a recent American Farriers Journal Online Hoof-Care Classroom. “They’re going to get pounded the hardest because their clients are the ones who will take off shoes, trim them, make those horses go 10 or 12 weeks without a trim and knock those farriers out of an income that they’re used to. Any of the farriers who have big, successful businesses, if you can pick up those guys and girls 1 or 2 days a week, let them clinch and finish for you, pull shoes or clean your rig. Teach them a little bit. Share some knowledge with them. That’s what they need right now. They need to stay focused and not get discouraged. Keep them in the game a bit.”
If you are one of those farriers whose client wants to stretch out the trimming and shoeing cycle, Curl suggests talking with them on a case-by-case basis.
“Each horse is an individual,” he says. “There might be a couple in the string that could make it 2 or 3 extra weeks, but there are some in there that can’t. You’re going to have to sit down with those clients, trainers, owners and say, ‘This is what I think about this horse. This is what I think about that horse.’ We’re a service company. They’re going to make the final decision about whether they’re going to spend their money with us. We can’t force them into it, but we have to put it out there if you don’t agree with it. Don’t let it come back later and bite you in the backside.”
Gain more insight from Tom Curl by watching “American Farriers Journal Q&A: Tom Curl.”