Building Relationships is Critical

Communicating effectively with owners, trainers, riders, veterinarians, students and other shoers is as important as knowing the latest footcare techniques

During last winter’s sixth annual International Hoof-Care Summit, two veteran farriers tackled a number of the most frequently asked questions concerning communications, building relationships and education. For the third year in a row, this “Point/Counterpoint” presentation session was among the highlights of this annual mid-winter event that is sponsored by American Farriers Journal.

This unrehearsed and fast-paced session sparked a number of viewpoints for Summit attendees to evaluate for possible use in their hoof-care businesses. In this article, Tom Curl of Vero Beach, Fla., and Mitch Taylor of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Mt. Eden, Ky., share their thoughts on the importance of building solid industry relationships.

Q: You’re a veteran farrier and several less experienced shoers in your area would like to ride with you a day or two each month. What are your expectations?

Taylor: Texas shoer Burney Chapman used to say that knowledge is like horse manure. He used to say that if you build it all up in a pile then nothing grows underneath it, but everything grows if you spread it around. So I don’t have specific expectations for anyone who wants to ride with me.

If they want to come along and learn, I’m more than happy to let them do so. If they want to grab an apron, I’d hope they are competent enough to keep horses calm, do some basic things like pulling shoes without tearing up the wall, be able to clinch properly and ask intelligent questions.

Curl: I…

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