Rich Cleland's appointment book is full these days. And the inside of his shoeing rig is full of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Yet the outside of his truck remains conspicuously bare. There’s no logo, stenciled sign, phone number or verbiage of any kind that advertises his shoeing business anywhere on his rig. The veteran shoer from DeBary, Fla., has a logo, business cards and even a company slogan (“Have Shoes Will Travel”), but he doesn’t believe in promoting his shoeing business on the outside of his shoeing rig.

“When I first got into the shoeing business, I put my name and phone number on my truck,” he says. “But I found out pretty quickly that you get a lot of calls on what I refer to as ‘junk’ horses that way. These are the kind of horses that have been through four or five farriers and the horse owner is always looking for a new farrier.

“The owner will see your truck parked at a restaurant or gas station and jot down your number. These types of calls are usually indicative of a bad owner or troubled horse.”

Cleland says that advertising on your rig is fine if you’re trying to start a shoeing business or trying to establish yourself in a new geographic location. But once you’re established as a farrier and have a solid client base, these usually aren’t the kind of cases you’re looking to take on.

The downside to having a shoeing rig without any business signage on it, are the strange questions you get from time to time.

“I’ve had people come up to me while I’m parked somewhere and ask what I’m serving for lunch,” he says. “They think my shoeing rig is a lunch truck.

“I’ve also had people ask me about stray dogs in the area. They think I’m a dog catcher.”


COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Rich Cleland uses his cell phone to confirm his next shoeing appointment. The shoer’s savvy communication skills have kept his appointment book full despite the fact that he doesn’t put his phone number on his shoeing rig.