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Clients who make it clear during conversations that they see good hoof care as an essential part of being a good provider for their horses are sending you a message, says John Suttle. They’re telling you about their core values and letting you know they’ll sacrifice a great deal for their horses. "The person who keeps their horse out in a large pasture and seldom goes to see them may have a different perception of the need for regular hoof care," says the farrier from Valley Ford, Calif. "This is particularly true with shrinking investment portfolios."
Suttle says the key is to determine where hoof care ranks in relation to each client’s life style. Openly talking about the impact of the economy, Suttle has found gets the client involved with the hoof-care process and lets them comment on the quality of their horses’ feet. "This gives me a sense of my client’s values and they get a sense of the importance of hoof care," he says. "The client will make their own decisions, but I’ve been able to engage them around their horse’s hoof-care needs and help them make a sound decision."
During pre-purchase examinations, John Vaughan says shoes should not be pulled without the seller’s written consent. Ideally, says the Auburn University equine veterinarian, the seller’s farrier should be present to pull and reset the shoes. "This may not be practical under many circumstances,’ he says. "This…