Frankly Speaking: Keeping Talent in Your Farrier Practice

Several months ago, I had dinner with a group of farriers in Texas. We learned another farrier couldn’t join us because he was working late because his helper didn’t show up, leaving him alone to s46hoe that day’s horses.

This issue features a business article sharing farriers Dave and Jay Farley’s advice on finding and developing help (See Page 34). Based on discussions with farriers, there is no method for extending your shoeing career that is equally beneficial and frustrating than employing help. If you are inclined to take on help, what is the best way to keep that talent in your practice?

Money is the Top Incentive

With the open seat at our dinner table as a reminder, it’s clear that reliability is essential in any hire. But after you find someone reliable, how do you keep them? The quick answer is that you have to pay them well enough, yet have them work hard enough to earn it. Burleson, Texas, farrier Chuck Milne says you must consider your circumstances before you take on help, whether it is an apprentice or long-term associate.


If you don’t charge enough, you can’t pay enough …


“If you don’t charge enough, you can’t pay enough,” he notes. “If you aren’t charging enough to make a living yourself, you’re not going to be able to pay your help even with increasing the number of horses in a day.”

If you are charging enough per horse to hire help, consider whether you will pay…

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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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