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When Service is Just as Critical as Quality Farrier Work

With nearly 170 years of combined hoof-care experience, three veteran farriers share their client and business management wisdom based on years of working with high-level sport horses

Farrier Takeaways

  • With high-level horses, you need to be available 24 hours a day.
  • Sport horse clients have to develop trust in you and your crew.
  • With good help, you don’t have to constantly check their work.
  • Your best friend in the barn is the groom for each horse.

If you’ve been thinking of the enjoyment and financial benefits you might have from working with top-level sport horses, you might want to rethink such a career move. It’s because farriers who work with high-level horses and demanding owners and trainers say the pressure can be overwhelming and enormous.

Three farriers who have worked the top horse circuit for years say it’s essential to recognize that immediate service is just as important — or more so — than quality footcare work. They recommend that you decide who and what you want to be in the farrier world and the importance you place on family life before making a decision to develop a practice around top-level horses. 

They even go so far as to suggest working with backyard horses rather than dealing with the never-ending pressure that comes with big-time shoeing.

The thoughts and ideas of these three farriers came from a panel discussion at the 2022 International Hoof-Care Summit, sponsored by Anvil Brand:

  • George Fitzgerald, Ocala, Fla.
  • Arnie Gervasio, Ringoes, N.J., & Wellington, Fla.
  • T.J. Jones, Wagner, S.C.

Gervasio and his five-member farrier crew continue to shoe 4-6 months of the year on the south Florida winter circuit and up and…

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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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