During a decades-long shoeing career, AFJ Technical Editor Red Renchin has developed a system that he says let him shoe more horses in less time and with less strain on his body. Much of his system comes down to preparation of tools, the workspace and the day-to-day routine.

Shoeing's Dirty Dozen

Trimming seconds from these areas will improve your efficiency and pay off in an improved bottom line

When clients hire you to work on their horse’s feet, they also buy a little part of your life. We farriers sell our time, our skills and the investment in our equipment.

Because most farriers charge by the job rather than by the hour, it is important to reduce the time and effort spent on each horse as much as possible, while still maintaining the quality of work.

If I told you that I could give you an extra 125 hours each year, would you be interested? That’s about how much time you would gain if it took you 5 fewer minutes to shoe each horse in your book. The way to achieve this is not necessarily by becoming faster, but by becoming more efficient. Increasing your efficiency can mean more money in the bank or more free time.

And let me make it clear, becoming more efficient does not mean relaxing your standards. It means producing the same amount and quality of work with fewer steps.

We are all creatures of habit and changing habits is difficult — even if it results in an improvement. The first step is to change your mind-set. Next, you must identify which areas you want to change. Third is to put together a program to implement those changes. Finally, develop an oversight method to gauge results. This will take work.

Without changing any of your current methods, record on paper (or, even better, with a video camera) a normal workday. Try to determine…

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Red renchin

Red Renchin

Red Renchin was a long-time farrier who called Mequon, Wis., and Wellington, Fla. home. A native of Minnesota and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, he served as Technical Editor of American Farriers Journal. Renchin passed away in 2015.

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