Charging For Therapeutic Farrier Work

You can’t help injured horses for long if the cost of doing the work puts your hoof-care business on the critical list

Many farriers who express a desire for more challenging work avoid doing therapeutic farrier work or more complicated cases due to time restraints and pricing concerns.

The extra time needed to perform therapeutic work can interfere with a farrier’s already busy schedule. This is especially true when a veterinarian, chiropractor or other equine professional is involved in providing diagnostic or treatment services at the same time.

Many farriers also are frustrated by setting prices for their therapeutic work. For instance, how do you charge for time you spend waiting during a veterinarian’s examination of the horse?

Let’s look at three main areas of therapeutic farrier work: pricing perceptions, time management and pricing your work.

Pricing Perceptions

Your customers should have some general sense of what it costs to provide a farrier service. You do not have to go too deeply into specifics with your customers, but you will find it helpful if they have at least a somewhat realistic vision. Your customers need to know that for roughly every dollar you charge, you only make 20 to 30 cents.

It is fairly common for customers to believe the amount charged for a service or product is nearly all profit, or that very little profit should be made when selling a product or service.

In one study of 6,000 people, most horse owners believed that farriers make a 90% profit on what they charge.1 This clearly shows that the average horse owner has little concept of the real cost of…

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Esco Buff

Esco Buff, CF, APF, is a farrier in Web­ster, N.Y., and holds a PhD in bus­iness administration. He is a member of the Interna­tional Horseshoeing Hall of Fame.

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