Jim Quick, a farrier from Longmont, Colo., suggests that it’s a good idea to look over a horse before you begin working on it. And if you see something that looks wrong, let someone know.
“I’ll usually have someone trot the horse up and back,” says Quick. “I watch the footfall and the movement, but also check for lameness. If he’s lame before you touch him, you’d better let someone know about it, because a lot of people will throw you under the bus.”
Part of his approach involves laying the groundwork — both in his shoeing and his relationship with clients — to keep from being thrown under that proverbial bus.
“I believe in accountability,” he says. “If I make a mistake, I will be accountable. But sometimes farriers are held responsible for movement problems they have nothing to do with.”
Quick also offers some advice on how to make more money in your shoeing business. It doesn’t mean shoeing more horses.
“One thing that kills farriers is greed,” he says. “Right now, I shoe 5 or 6 horses a day. If I need to make more money, I raise my prices. The way I look at it, clients buy shoes, rasps and nails. I don’t.”
We’ll share more of what Quick had to say in the Shoeing For A Living feature in the December 2010 issue of American Farriers Journal.