Tackling Client Headaches

Sometimes it’s tough to know what to do with some client decisions

At last winter’s fifth annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, two veteran farriers tackled a number of the most frequently asked questions about the footcare industry. For the second straight year, this “Point/Counterpoint” discussion was among the highlights of this annual event.

This latest unrehearsed, fast-paced session sparked a number of differing viewpoints for Summit attendees. In this article, Rick Burten of Champaign, Ill., and Chris Gregory of Lamar, Mo., share critical views in regard to managing footcare clients.

Q:Farriers shouldn’t be teaching a horse how to stand properly for trimming and shoeing, but you’ve got a new owner who doesn’t have a lot of horse experience. Are you going to show him how to pick up the feet, pick them out or apply hoof dressings or medications?

Gregory: Absolutely, I’ll spend a lot of time teaching the owner as the more they know about the equine foot, the more it helps me. Spending 10 minutes with an owner can save you 30 minutes the next time you trim and shoe each of their horses.

Burten: I gave up training horses for shoeing 20 years ago because there was no money in it. If I have an owner that genuinely wants to learn, I’ll take whatever time is necessary to help them get beyond where they are.

But if I’ve got some ring-tailed crazy horse trying to take my head off, I’m not training that horse. I’m going to tell the owner to send him to a professional trainer.

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