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Pluses and Minuses of Working with Backyard Horses

Readers share the good and bad of having backyard horses make up a major part of their shoeing books.

Backyard horses are found everywhere and despite some frustrations, they remain the foundation of many farriers’ businesses.

 

As part of our yearlong focus on the backyard horse, we asked farriers to tell us what they like best — and least — about keeping these smaller accounts on their books. Many readers responded with their pluses and minuses of shoeing backyard horses.

Responses were mostly positive, with the majority listing the personal relationships and friendships that develop with these clients as one of the main benefits. Unfortunately, those relationships can also be a negative when it comes time to ask for a price increase or payment on a past-due bill.

Despite some of the minuses of shoeing backyard horses, it remains clear that our respondents have no plans of taking them off their books. In fact, many farriers tell us backyard horses are the bread and butter of their farrier business.

My biggest pluses:

  1. Personal customer interaction. Some customers become friends.
  2. Payment is generally made upon services rendered, not at a later date.
  3. Easier to keep track of the individual horse or horses rather than dealing with a group.
  4. Backyard horses are my bread and butter, while large accounts are harder to come by.

My biggest minuses:

  1. Personal customer interaction. Not every horse owner is easy to get along with or they may believe they know what’s best for the horse.
  2. Distance between customers increases my fuel costs.

— Michael Connell, Reno, Nev.

My biggest pluses:

  1. Owners are attentive, willing…
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