Ideas For Improving The Perceived Value Of Your Farrier Practice

Yes, you need to keep horses sound, but how your clients perceive you may have more to do with other factors



Pictured Above: Bob Smith gave attendees at Life Data Labs valuable advice on how to bolster hoof-care clients’ perception of your services.

Teaching someone how to nail on a keg shoe, according to Bob Smith of Plymouth, Calif., isn’t the most difficult lesson. Of course, that doesn’t account for selecting the correct shoe, shaping it properly to the trim and other aspects of doing that job well. But to successfully run a farrier business takes investment — you need to know more than just how to shoe a horse.

About 15 years ago Smith surveyed clients asking why they fired their farriers. He received 318 responses. Every respondent had fired a farrier for that shoer’s failure to show up on time. More than 90% discharged their farrier for not returning a phone call in a timely fashion. Showing up more than 2 hours late resulted in 85% firings. In cases where the farrier was confrontational with the owner or veterinarian or abusive to the horse resulted in 60% being fired. Nearly half were fired because the horse lost a shoe or was lame after the appointment.

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished with your achievements or how beautiful your work is, but if you lose a shoe, the client doesn’t care,” he says. “It is amazing to me, but we get judged for how long a shoe stays on.”

Farrier Takeaways

If you have trouble understanding what you offer clients that other farriers in your area fail to do, try…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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