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Before beginning a new business arrangement with a novice horse owner, it’s important to communicate with them your criteria for a safe and suitable working environment.
“To get the best quality of work from your farrier, the farrier needs to be given the best possible conditions to work in,” says Placerville, Calif., farrier Marijke Ellert. “If I feel I’m unsafe—either because the horse is acting up or the area is dangerous to work in, I’m going to try to get in and out as fast as possible to reduce my chances of getting hurt. I’m more inclined to take my time and do my best job when my work area is clean and safe and the horse is standing still.”
Here are some considerations that you might wish to share with your new client.
It’s vital to have enough room to work and help avoid accidents.
“Ideally, an area that’s 12 feet-by-18 feet is about the minimum I prefer,” Ellert says. “When I have the hind foot stretched out back, it’s nice to have room so I’m not falling off the edge of a mat or running into a wall if the horse changes position. I like an open space. If there are no walls it’s a lot safer and gives me an escape route if something goes bad.”
An ideal facility for Hurley, S.D., farrier Chris Richards would have crossties in an area where there are no restrictions in front or behind him.
“A 10-foot alleyway is…