Among farriers responding to the American Farriers Journal 2023 pricing survey, a number added further explanations and details and along with providing their pricing strategies. Here are a few of their comments.

Pricing Should Benefit the Horse, Not the Owner

  1. We are not competing with other farriers, but with the veterinarian. If we can keep the vet away from the horse due to our footcare work, we’re saving big money for the client.
  2. My love for helping the horse will always outweigh the need for dollars. I’ve always warranted my work quality of work and prided myself on my work. As I get older, I see many young farriers who care more about the dollar rather than the quality of their work or their love for the horse.
  3. A $1,000 horse gets the same time and effort as a $2 million horse.
  4. Knuckle head fees always apply. 
  5. Pricing depends on the cost of materials, travel distance and whether lost shoes are normal occurrences.
  6. Choose to skip certain horses and refer them to other shoers.
  7. Charge by the hour for certain types of footcare work. 
  8. Pricing varies with different levels of real estate prices in my shoeing area.
  9. Charge the same for resets or new shoes, as I decide what’s best for the horse.
  10. Pricing varies on whether they are good clients, annoying ones or have difficult horses.
  11. I’ve lived in rural Nebraska for over 20 years and it’s taken me that long to get past charging $80 for trims and four shoes. I came here from Michigan where the norm was $130 some 20 years ago. With inflation and the cost of living out of control, I don’t know a single farrier in this area who is not complaining about pricing.

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#2 Barney Boarder: Trim only for barn owner. Among 10 horses you trim for the stable owner.

  • With a big barn like this, I’d do one or two trims for free.

#3 Half-Wild Floyd: Trim only. Long yearling, shed-raised colt. Halter broke, but has to be held. Has not had its feet handled. Half wild, half spooky. Has long feet.

  • Wouldn’t do without sedation by vet or owner. 
  • Would not trim or shoe this horse. My clients know that I am there to trim and shoe their horse and not to break it.
  • With 40 years of shoeing experience, and my customers know better than to give me a horse like this to trim.
  • Have the owner buy $100 of Dormosedan to help the horse through the experience.
  • Don’t charge extra for working on sedated horses.

#7 Reset Ed: Trim and reset four good shoes and replace pads put on 6 weeks ago.

  • I charge $135 for trims and shoes and $35 extra per hoof for pads. In January, my base rate for 4 shoes will increase to $150 as I’m behind the curve with inflation. I charge $20 per hoof on top of my rate for resetting shoes with pads to cover the cost of hoof packing. I don’t apply pads without using some kind of packing material.
  • Charge an extra $20 per pair for pads.
  • Pricing depends on whether the pads are leather or acrylic.

#10 Nervous Nellie: Trim and nail on four new steel shoes of your choice. This is the horse you would happily push over the edge of a cliff. It has to be held, won’t stand in cross-ties, will bite when it can and pull its hind feet away when it wants to.

  1. Don’t work on horses who pull their feet away without sedation. 
  2. After 75 minutes, I add $25 for each additional 30 minutes.
  3. Avoid dangerous horses.
  4. $185 plus the cost of the shoes.
  5. Badly behaved horses aren’t done or must be sedated. I’m no longer wrestling with bad horses. 
  6. Naughty horses are turned away.
  7. Won’t work on a horse that jerks its hind legs. I’m old enough to protect myself and avoid problem horses.
  8. Wouldn’t be done without sedation by vet or owner. 

#11 Tender Foot Tom: Trim and put on four new shoes with pads.

  • Pads typically $60-80 per pair on top of the trimming and shoeing charge.

#14 Jumbo Jake: Trim and nail on four new steel shoes. This is a half draft horse animal with feet like dinner plates. He’s quiet, but his feet are as heavy as a side of beef.

  • For a trim and up to a size 3 shoe, the charge is $140. A size 4 shoe is $150 and bigger shoes cost as much as $250 extra.

#17 Shoeless Woe: This is a horse you shod 2 weeks ago. He’s lost a shoe that was found in the pasture. However, his foot is badly broken up and short from losing the shoe. You’ll need acrylic to re-nail the shoe.

  • Therapeutic work is billed at $6 per minute plus the cost of materials. 
  • Charge $150 per hour for custom work, such as a heart-bar application or rebuilding a hoof.
  • Hoof repairs are charged as time plus materials. 
  • $50-$100 extra depending on the amount of needed acrylic.

#18 Quarter Crack Mac: A non-bleeding, old quarter crack needs to be repaired. Acrylic, plate, screws, etc., are options. This does not include the charge for new shoes.

  • Charge an hourly rate and invoice in 15-minue increments.

#19 Laminitic Larry: This is a horse with 10 days post-laminitic insult. The veterinarian wants to stabilize and protect the foot. He prescribes heart-bar shoes or full-support shoes with hospital plates.

  • Prices based on a vet’s prescription could be 20% higher.
  • I’d refer the horse to a more experienced farrier. 
  • There would be an added charge for reading or taking radiographs.

#20 Barefoot Abe: This barefoot horse can’t bear weight on its left front foot. There’s heat in the foot, a strong digital pulse and an obvious abscess. The owner wants you to find and open the abscess. No trimming or shoeing involved.

  • Price would be lower if the owner is familiar with soaking/wrapping with poultice.
  • Call the vet, as I normally will not pop an abscess due to liability issues.
  • Would locate the abscess, but not charge because I don’t have DVM behind my name.
  • This is work for the veterinarian as I do not do surgery.
  • Abscess removal is referred to veterinarians as I don’t want the liability.
  • This is asking a farrier to practice veterinary medicine.
  • Won’t tackle an abscess or a quarter crack without a vet consultation, as California is very litigious.
  • I’d do this for free if I don’t need to make a special trip out and it’s a horse already on my books.