What does it cost to trim and shoe a horse? The obvious answer includes the price of shoes, nails and other items like adhesives or pads. Many farriers fail to reflect on how the prices that they charge are actually determined.

Troy Kerr, who handles about 1,500 shoeings per year in the Pueblo, Colo., area says he knows it will cost him $48 to shoe before he even gets to the horse.

That includes his expenses for supplies, equipment, gas for his truck and other things like life, health and liability insurance and a retirement plan.

“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 per horse and go from there.”

Clients don’t tell farriers what they will pay for horseshoeing services. Farriers set the prices for horseshoeing services, Kerr says.

“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.”

The limited thinking gets in the way of establishing the true value of horseshoeing.

Kerr, a 28-year veteran farrier, says it’s important to keep in mind the total amount of expenses it will cost you to shoe a horse.

Read more about Troy Kerr's thoughts on understanding your true cost of trimming or shoeing a horse in the November 2013 issue of American Farriers Journal.