What’s It Cost To Trim, Shoe Horses?

If you don’t have a handle on all your costs, it’s impossible to know what you should be charging

While a farrier’s top priority is normally the care of hooves, you must be equally concerned with earning a living and dealing with the business aspects of the profession.

So, what does it really cost 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 that he’s already spent $48 to shoe a horse before he ever climbs out of his truck.

That figure includes his expenses for supplies, equipment, fuel and many other things such as a retirement plan along with life, health and liability insurance.

“The only time we can make a profit is if we have our logistics right,” Kerr says. “Obviously, farriers in different areas have to charge differently than in others, but you have to figure out what it’s going to cost you for each footcare visit and go from there.”

Kerr says too many farriers still don’t treat their work as a business. While they see the dollars being earned every day, it’s paying attention to the business side of this work that provides the balance they need in their lives.

Wrong Approach

While each farrier sets the prices he or she charges, Kerr believes farriers don’t really think the process…

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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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