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Having loyal clients is a key to running any successful footcare business, but sometimes you have to work closely with them, maintains Karen Trebitz. Operating in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, the East Stroudsburg, Pa., farrier says her area of the Poconos has been known over the years for its vacation resorts. “But since 9/11, it’s become a bedroom community for commuters from New York City,” she says. “One county has experienced an almost 20% growth spurt in the past 5 years, but the wealthier commuters don’t tend to have time for horses. And local wages are low and don’t stay abreast with the cost of living increases.
“Unfortunately, my best, most loyal and caring customers are the ones who have to ask me to hold their checks for a few days. These are wonderful people who have supported my business for 20 years. However, more and more are finding themselves forced to give up their horses because they can’t afford the hay or other expenses.”
With recent concerns about footcare and lameness issues in the Triple Crown races, the American Farriers Journal editors were reminded of a point made last winter by Tex Cauthen. During the International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member told the audience that lameness isn’t always in the foot. “If a horse is lame, you have to see how that horse travels to see…