American Farriers Journal
American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
While a new farrier’s top priority is the care of hooves, you’ve got to be equally concerned with earning a living and dealing with the numerous business aspects of the profession. This means knowing what it really costs you to trim and shoe horses.
The obvious answer includes the price of shoes, nails, pads, adhesives and other items. But there is much more to it than just those costs. In fact, many farriers fail to fully understand how the prices they charge should be determined.
Troy Kerr, who handles 1,500 trimmings and shoeings per year in the Pueblo, Colo., area knows he’s already spent $48 to trim and shoe a horse before he ever climbs out of his truck at the barn. That figure includes his costs for supplies, equipment, fuel and other items such as a retirement plan along with life, health and liability insurance.
“This means you have to figure out what it’s going to cost you for working on each horse in your area and go from there,” says Kerr.
Kerr says too many farriers fail to treat their work as a business. While they see the number of dollars being earned every day, paying attention to expenses is critical.
“We tend to set prices for the wrong reasons because our pricing structure is limited by our own narrow-minded thinking,” he says. “Farriers don’t think highly enough of themselves or the service and expertise they provide. This thinking gets in the way of establishing the…