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Building a Practice for Changing Times

Tennessee farrier Billy Lampley has adjusted his practice, while remaining committed to “keeping things simple”

Driving down a winding road in Central Tennessee in early December, Billy Lampley points to the empty stalls and field of what used to be a Saddlebred farm. Disappearing horse farms aren’t rare in Williamson County

“In the past 6 months, I think we’ve lost close to 600 stalls,” he says. “Those horses aren’t coming back. Horse farms can’t compete with the cost of land around here.”

Many of the horse farms that were scattered throughout the county have been redeveloped as multiple lots for new homes or purchased by wealthy residents who have no interest in keeping horses on the property. There are still plenty of horses, however. The county used to have the most horses in the Volunteer State, but remains in the top five counties for horse population. 

Farrier Takeaways

  • Determine how your service area can contribute to your goals and adjust your business model accordingly.
  • Retain quality help through good pay, financial incentives for achieving goals and a track for obtaining their own accounts.
  • Use technology common for clients, like texting and mobile payments, to improve scheduling and improve on-time payments.

Other than 2 years spent in graduate school in West Texas, the certified journeyman farrier is a lifelong county resident, shoeing since the late 1980s. Growing up with Quarter Horses, Lampley knows the horse history of the area. Having seen the horse culture change with breeds and disciplines falling out of favor, it was clear to Lampley his business plan would also have to change. 

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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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