Who is your Clients' Hoof-Care Expert?

A couple of winters ago, I spent a cool, dry day with a Texas farrier who shoes outside of Dallas. As we rode to the next stop, he said, “I feel sorry for you because you are chained to a desk and have to answer to a boss.”

It took me less than a second to concede the point about working indoors, although I’d reconsider that come summer, when there isn’t a day in Texas under 100 degrees. However, he was taken aback when I replied that I felt sorry for him because he has more bosses to answer to than I do.

How Many Bosses Do You Have?

Yes, 99% of farriers are independent contractors, but clients share one important similarity with bosses: If you underperform to their expectations, you’re fired. The major difference between farriery and the “typical” workplace is that someone who works in a company is out of a paycheck after disappointing just one manager. A farrier, on the other hand, is much more insulated from an economic crisis after losing a “boss” or two.

I recalled this conversation from 2 years ago when talking with Hall Of Famer shoer Mike DeLeonardo about one area in which many farriers underperform for their clients: customer service.

The Salinas, Calif., farrier shared his thoughts regarding a question novice clients often ask him: Does nailing or hot fitting hurt the horse? His insight is shared in the story “How To Answer 4 Questions You’ll Likely Get From New Horse…

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Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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