Troublesome Situations

Two views on handling those tricky client concerns

During last winter’s 4th International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, two veteran farriers tackled a number of the most frequently asked questions about the footcare industry. This unrehearsed, fast-paced session sparked a number of highly interesting views for attendees to evaluate in their own footcare operations.

In the third in this series, Russ Vanderlei of North Woods, Ill., and Mike DeLeonardo of Salinas, Calif., share their views on several shoeing techniques and conditions. 

Q: A client always seems eager to have you try out every new trimming style, shoeing technique and footcare philosophy that she hears about. She pays very well, pays on time and has a lot of horses. How do you handle suggested hoof-care situations that you don’t believe will work?

DeLeonardo: If I don’t agree with the philosophy, I won’t do the work. I’ll take the time to explain why I don’t use that procedure in an intelligent way. Just being blunt and saying you don’t use that idea or product makes you look like you’re not intelligent. Instead, explain why you don’t use this technique or product and the problems you’ve seen.

Vanderlei: Over the years, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m usually willing to try new ideas if I’m convinced it won’t hurt the horse. I usually let these people know what the price for trying a particular idea will be before I work on the horse. Then if I don’t get invited back for some reason or the idea doesn’t work, at…

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