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As a knifesmith, Matt Mauer receives many questions about hoof knives. The one he receives the most regarding upkeep is, “What angle should I sharpen my knife?” Mauer, a farrier based in Argyle, Wis., says that is a hard question to answer because the angle of the tool is individual among users.
“The correct angle for sharpening this tool will be whatever angle works best based on how the user trims and the feet worked with. What really matters? Does the knife cut the way you want it to in the field?” he says. “That may not be the best angle for someone else for a number of reasons, including how they hold the knife.”
Using teaching aids is nothing new for farriers when educating clients. Inverness, Fla., farrier Billy Bishop is an advocate of taking the time to answer client questions regarding hoof care. His preferred tool these days is a tablet. He says there are options that help explain equine anatomy, including those developed by Paige Poss.
Tablets are a platform that many clients use in their daily lives, so Bishop finds it generates a sense of familiarity and comfort with the audience.
Many clients are price sensitive. However, when working with large high-end barns, Virgil Conde reports that perception is everything — even with how much you charge. The Corpus Christi, Texas, farrier’s business model won’t cut prices to…