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Before purchasing a horse, it is common for buyers to contact a veterinarian for advice on the animal prior to the sale. Wise buyers also will seek the expertise of a farrier during the evaluation. After all, farriers are the ultimate experts on the hooves and these days it is increasingly important for owners to understand the hoof health in relation to the rest of the horse.
Pre-purchase exam consultations may not be viewed as part of most farriers’ business, but when asked, many farriers will offer their opinions on a horse. It remains a limited responsibility for the majority of shoers.
“Just a small percentage of my business involves pre-purchase exams,” says Chuck Gibson, a farrier in Lima, Ohio. “I would put it at 5% or so. It seems not too many clients request it. More often than not, they’re satisfied to go with what the vet recommends. This business mainly comes from existing clients who are looking to buy a new horse.”
Farrier Cole Henderson in Victoria, British Columbia, also gets only a small amount of work from pre-
“A very small percentage of my business comes from pre-purchase exams,” he says. “I average one or two a month over the year. These usually come from existing customers or from referrals from existing customers. I don’t advertise the service.”
Although pre-purchase exams are a minor part of most farriers’ business, some farriers recommend offering the service as an add-on for their clients.
Farrier Jeff Denson, in…