By definition, farriery is the art and work of an individual who practices equine podiatry. Yet, it’s so much more than that.

Farriery is a service industry. Providing excellent service includes building relationships with your clients. When a farrier nurtures relationships with clients, they’re going to make a lot of money, says Bob Smith, owner of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif.

Consider how you enter a barn. Do you unload your rig and start setting up while your client explains her concerns about her horse? Sure, you might greet the client and ask how the horse is doing, but when you fail to provide your undivided attention, the perception is that you don’t care.

“She’s been dealing with a concern for 8 weeks while waiting for you to get there,” Smith says. “Try stopping, make eye contact and listen. Don’t interrupt. Let her pull the story out the way she played it out in her mind. The hardest thing for a farrier to do is not interrupt halfway through with a fix. If you let the client finish expressing her concern, you’ll get a reputation as a farrier who really cares.”

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