A: I offer the same discount (adjusted for inflation, of course) that my grandfather offered. I'll shoe one horse all around for $225, but if you have 10, I'll only charge you $2,250. Discounts don't make sense to me. You're not doing less work, it's not costing you less, but your expenses remain the same. Charge for what you do, not how many you do.

— Nicholas B. Denson, Sagamore Beach, Mass.

A: I only offer discounts on a case-by-case basis. For example, if one family has 20 horses all in one location, I'll gladly offer a discount. However, if it’s a public barn and different people own all 20 horses, I do not offer a discount.

I also offer a discount for organizations like Pony Club.  If they schedule me for a meeting night where they have all their ponies in one location for practice, I will offer a club discount since they were kind enough to save me on travel to multiple locations.

In general, I do not often offer these discounts unless asked in advance.

— Eva Clark, Eugene, Ore.

A: No, I don't offer multiple-horse discounts. I did once years ago and lost the account anyway to a farrier who didn’t offer discounts.

My clients are looking for quality footwork for their horses, not discounts. I also enjoy my work much more being paid what I charge and devote my passion to the quality of the job.

Any considerations for what I charge or don't charge are my choice and on a "per situation" basis. I am not the best there is, but I am passionate about my trade and how well I can do it.

My first responsibility is to the horse’s needs and then to the client.

— David Hesseltine, Sherman, Texas

A: I was always asked and always refused. It’s just as much work to do one horse, as it is to do multiple.

— Ada Gates, Monrovia, Calif.

A: I've never offered multi-horse discounts for my services. First, I would be selling myself short since I give 100% of my effort and attention to each horse. If anything, I should probably charge more on larger accounts (although I don’t). If I’m devoting more of my time to one account, should I lose that account it would have a greater negative impact on my business as a whole. Essentially I'd be putting more of my eggs in one basket.

As a business model, it really does not behoove us as farriers to rely on too many large accounts. And I don't see a benefit in offering a discount to clients that encourage more risk for my business.

— Mike Waldorf, Eugene, Ore.

A: I never offer multi-horse discounts. It takes the same amount of skill and knowledge to trim and/or shoe the first horse as it does the last horse. It also puts the same amount of strain on my body.

My answer to the client when they ask is always the same, “the last horse isn’t any easier to do then the first one.”

— Mike Bagley, Canton Ohio

A: I do not offer multi-horse discounts. I have put in countless hours and hard work to get to where I am and as a farrier, as well as other professionals, we strive for quality and ask that we get paid a fair amount in return.

Being a farrier has its costs including equipment, time and experience. I do, however, try to accommodate owners by working around their schedule, coming to them and being reliable. 

— Clay Loftis, Baton Rouge, La.

A: I never have given a multi-horse discount, but I will sometimes give a discount to the trainers on their personal horses. The trainers are the people that decide who shoes the barn horses and will stick up for you with price increases and expensive add-ons. If I do give a discount to a trainer, it’s never off of my base price. It’s usually just extras like simple hoof packing or plain plates that don't make the bill.

— Zach Morris. Junction City, Oregon

A: No, I do not offer multi-horse discounts. I do the same quality work on each horse. I can't do a subpar job and feel good about it.

My physical health is worth more than cutting my throat by giving a discount. We work too hard to not get paid what our work is worth. Remember, you are only worth what you feel you are worth. If clients want quality work, they will pay for it or get someone less qualified for less money. 

— Randy Barrett, Douglas, Ga.

A: I give a volume discount to one farm where I have 20 or more head to trim. I only give a discount on trimming. I am at this farm once a week.

Mark Milster once told me he asks the customer if they get paid overtime at their job. When they answer “yes,” he tells them that more horses is overtime, so no discount.

— John Muldoon, Tuttle, Okla.

A: I use to. I thought I was being nice and I was saving money by doing multiple horses at one stop and passing on the savings to the customer. Or I did it because I felt bad writing out a huge bill for one person.

But as I got older, I realized I was cheating myself. More seasoned farriers had told me for years that every horseshoer only has so many horses in their backs, so make each one count. I was doing the same amount work on each horse, but making less money and my back was just as tired as if I have done the same amount of horses at multiple stops.  

Fortunately, I accepted the advice of my mentors and have taken steps to try to prolong my career. Giving discounts will hurt your back, your business and your bottom line.

— Gary Gatts, Fredericktown, Penn.

A: I charge per horse. Each horse takes a lot of work and I don't calculate my vehicle expense per site. It's a general expense.

I try to keep it simple. I do the work and you pay me.

— Carl Stephens III, Eden, Utah

A: I don’t offer a discount on the shoeing rate, but divide mileage equally per customer (local per stop $25 and $2 per/km out of area). This way I have found at multi-horse stops clients are motivated to keep to the same day, which saves on driving time and increases profit.

— Erin Stevens, Sydney, Australia

A: No I don't give discounts to multiple horse accounts — it's a tough way to make a living anyway. If we were in retail and selling large quantities of product, then discounts are fine. But when you're in a service industry providing a very niche application, it should not be necessary to court additional business by offering discounts.

— Mark Aikens, Norwich, U.K.

A: I do not give discounts for multiple horses. My pricing is based on a per horse basis. Even though I may save a little on fuel by only making one stop, I'll probably spend it coming to replace a lost shoe or checking on a lame horse at that barn. These are services I do not charge for because the cost is already built into my price. So if I give a discount, I lose twice.

By offering these types of services, I add a value that my clients appreciate and will pay for. By not charging them for each service performed, they don't feel nickel and dimed and realize they pay up front for them.

— John Samsill, Wickenburg, Ariz.

A: Through my 45 years, I have been asked to discount everything or make a deal. As it’s been said, “Cheap work isn't good; and good work isn’t cheap.” We can’t help our clients with their overhead; we must take care of ours.

— Joepaul Meyers, Gatesville, Texas

A: I do not give a multi-horse discount. It takes the same time and effort to do each horse. Discounts are a slippery slope that I don't wish to get into. When someone asks if I give a discount I reply, "Which hoof should I not trim?"

— Mikel Dawson, Lintrup, Denmark

A: I do not offer multi horse discounts. It is harder on my body to do more in one location, so I do not want to get paid less.

— Mona Smith, Sanbornton, N.H.

A: We do not offer a multi-horse discount, per se. Our business model is not focused on large barns. We prefer to work for smaller facilities and family farms, which give us a great deal of flexibility in our scheduling and workload each week. The trade-off is more time in the truck driving from barn to barn and ultimately less income at the end of the day.

Our pricing is based on a careful evaluation of our fixed and variable costs, and we don't factor in a large enough profit to offer any kind of substantial discount. We do charge a minimum ranch call fee and sometimes charge a travel fee for longer distances traveled, which we waive if there are enough horses scheduled to offset those costs.

While we are aware that we could attract more large barns, breeders and trainers with a multi-horse discount, we are happier working for small boarding facilities and families at this time. After more than 30 years in business, we are sort of on the waning side and are willing to sacrifice profit margin for autonomy these days.

— Bob and Leslie Broussard, Broussard Farrier Services, Lincoln, Calif.

A: I give one farm a volume discount on trimming only if they have 20 head at a time. I will give them a $5 discount and my apprentice gets to help with the trimming. A good friend of mine says when clients ask for a volume discount, he asks them if they get paid overtime at their job. Well, this is our job and more is more.

— John Muldoon, Tuttle, Okla.

A: I charge a barn call that is split among all the horses. The more the horses there are, the more the call is split among them. 

As far as discounting work, I never understood this and don’t provide discounts for multi-horse accounts. My work is not any less.

In retail businesses, discounts can be given if selling a high volume of products. The problem with a service doing this is one has to do a considerable amount more animals to make up for the discount. Studies show discounts devalue the service in the minds of the consumer as well as create less perceived value.

— Esco Buff, Webster, N.Y.

A: I never offer multi-horse discounts as there is no guarantee the same amount of horses will be there when they are next due for shoeing/trimming and you have then committed to a lower price. Another disadvantage is that by trying to shoe a high number of horses at one venue, you leave yourself at risk of having to work on dangerous or unruly horses.

— Marc Jerram, Brewood, England

A: I'd like to give you my two reasons why I do not offer multiple-horse discounts. First, this job is very hard on the farrier’s body — both physically and mentally. So offering up a discount on one’s hard work only hurts the person doing the work and rewards the horse owner for either not planning ahead or being a horse hoarder.

Second, It has been my experience that when a horse owner is in need of a multiple-horse discount, in most cases, they are only looking out for their pocketbook, not the horses’ best interest. They will opt to hire a farrier based on what kind of deal they can get on prices rather than getting their horses the best footcare possible.

I do understand the need for discounts in some cases, just not in my area or my practice.

— Earl Ellerbee, Lake Placid, Fla.

A: No, I do not offer multi-horse discounts. Why would I? The workload is the same. When I go to the butcher to buy either one or four steaks, he will not give me a discount. He will sell the steaks to someone else.

— Robert Hollasch, Bonnyville, Alberta Canada

A: No, I do not offer multi-horse discounts. I am a barefoot trimmer and all efforts and counseling are in the price. I charge $50 for a regularly scheduled trim and $60 for the first trim and counseling.

I will not go back to places where the counseling has had no effect. It’s not worth my time or efforts to help the horse if diet and exercise have not helped the situation for the horse.

— Angie Brummett, Lafayette County, Miss.