Tips for Hiring Better Hoof-Care Help

Associates must meet tough criteria to be hired by Hall of Fame farrier’s practice

Pictured Above: A good associate can double your career longevity because they do 50% or more of the labor. They also can significantly increase the number of horses trimmed and shod per day..

Farrier Takeaways

  • A qualified associate can double a farrier’s longevity and significantly increase the number of horses that are serviced daily.
  • Horsemanship is an important attribute for an associate. Those who avoid loud talk and quick movements that produce anxiety in horses are ideal.
  • Providing fair compensation will help farriers attract and retain good associates.

Hiring help can be one of the most advantageous moves that a farrier makes. Yet, it also can be daunting, especially when the arrangement ends unexpectedly.

An American Farriers Journal internet poll finds that the vast majority do not look positively on hiring. When asked about their experiences, 75% say that it’s typically a struggle finding and retaining apprentices. Another 24% say that finding and retaining apprentices is a mixed bag. Just 1% say it’s typically a smooth process.

The difference between a successful and unsuccessful hire can be found in the subtle details of the hiring process. Dave and Jay Farley, a father-and-son farrier team from Coshocton, Ohio, and Wellington, Fla., have reaped the rewards of good help because of a process that they follow before green-lighting a hire.

“A farrier’s career is so limited, to begin with,” Farley says. “When they don’t have a good, qualified associate, their longevity and income are stunted. I see farriers who are a lot…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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