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Trying to come up with the description of a “typical farrier” is kind of like trying to get a straight answer out of a politician — it’s nearly impossible.
And it’s even harder to get a handle on part-time farriers. Obviously, they’re out there and in pretty big numbers.
From our travels around the country, we know that some are shoers who take care of their own horses and those of a few relatives and friends. Some are full-time moms, who shoe a few horses a few days a week while the kids are in school. At least a few are retirees from other occupations, who are supplementing their retirement incomes.
There are recent graduates of farrier schools and apprentices, who hope to someday build their practices up to full-time, and old hands who are cutting the number of horses in their books as they back off from full-time status.
Perhaps the most to be envied are those whose reputation and level of skill enable them to earn a full-time living while working a part-time schedule.
Our bi-annual Farrier Business Practices Survey, which is featured on Pages 17 to 26 in this issue, gives us at least some insight into part-time farriers. Nationwide, part-timers reported an average gross income of $24,954. But the range varied broadly from farriers who made less than $10,000 to a few who grossed over $100,000 — although some of the latter worked close to full-time hours.
There does seem to…