James Gilchrist of Palm Beach Farrier Service in Florida runs a multiple farrier business — and most days he and his partners use two shoeing rigs — even when they’re all going to the same barn. During a day we spent “Shoeing For A Living” with him, we saws a couple of examples why this can be a good idea — assuming you can afford it.

Gilchrist and his crew shoe at a lot of big barns. Whenever possible, they’ll set the trailers up at two different doorways or in two different areas. That gives the members of the crew two different workstations. That means there’s less time waiting to use something like an anvil or forge and can also cut down on time spend going back and forth to a rig for supplies or for tools.

We also saw an example of how it can cut down on lost time. During a stop at one barn, Gilchrist took a call from a client about a lost shoe. As they were finishing up the last couple of horses at the first barn, he dispatched one of the farriers with a rig to take care of the lost shoe. The rest of the crew finished the horses at the first barn, and then made the trip to the second barn arriving on schedule. They were able to get started on the second barn and were soon rejoined by the second rig.

“If we’d only had one rig, we’d have had to add a stop at the end of the day or have been late for one of our regular stops,” Gilchrist explains.

Our day of “Shoeing For A Living” with Gilchrist appeared in the May/June, 2010 issue of American Farriers Journal.