Why Horse Owners Tell Farriers… “You’re Fired!”

It’s more than just the feet, as professionalism and business management practices are also a major concern when owners decide to change farriers

Out of the blue, a client texts to say they’ve found another farrier. They may have a reason, whether good or bad, and explain to you why they’ve decided to switch farriers. Or you may never know why they made a change.

Sometimes it’s the farrier’s fault. Sometimes it’s the client’s fault. Sometimes it’s a third party’s fault. And maybe in a few situations, nobody can figure out why a particular farrier-owner relationship disintegrated and didn’t work out for the farrier, owner and horse.

“Hot Button” Concerns

To collect insights on why some farrier-owner partnerships fail, the American Farriers Journal staff recently surveyed horse owners who decided to change farriers within the last 3 years. The electronic survey was emailed to several lists of horse owners and was also posted on Facebook and Twitter.

This survey was based on a similar one conducted in 1993 by International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member Bob Smith at the Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School. In a future article, we’ll compare the 1993 and 2020 data and look at how horse owner attitudes have changed over the past 27 years.

Nearly 1,500 horse owners answered our 2020 American Farriers Journal survey. As it turned out, many owners were eager to share the concerns that led to changing footcare personnel.

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Many reported that finding a new farrier was a painful experience. One owner went so far as to say that the experience of finding a new farrier was worse than going through a nasty divorce. (We…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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