How do you rate your relationship with clients? On the surface, being paid on time is an obvious indicator of their respect for your work. Frederick, Md., farrier Doug Anderson believes that respect is an often overlooked, yet critical, part of the farrier-client relationship. For him, respect is based on a healthy interaction of communication, but not when the client dictates what should be done to the horse. Anderson finds that if a client tries to dictate how a horse should be shod, often times the client has paid less for hoof care in the past and has hired a farrier who likely lacks appropriate education to address the needs.
“Respect is the chief indicator of whether they are prepared to deal with my pricing structure and the level of shoeing I can provide for them,” he explains.
“However, if clients explain what they are seeing and what they have tried and ask me my thoughts, then chances are I’m in the right place. These clients will not have a problem with my pricing structure, they will treat me respectfully and I will get along famously with them.”
“But if I go to another facility and the client says, ‘This horse has this problem and this is what you need to do,’ then likely that client has had farriers in there that he or she needed to tell what to do. Those people are always going to have difficulty with pricing, and various modalities of getting past whatever problem they have.”