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Know What It Costs You To Trim And Shoe


Pictured Above: When billing clients, start with a flat charge that compensates you for your fixed and variable costs. Then determine what the horse needs and bill the client accordingly. 

While a new farrier’s top priority is the care of hooves, you’ve got to be equally concerned with earning a living and dealing with the numerous business aspects of the profession. This means knowing what it really costs you to trim and shoe horses.

The obvious answer includes the price of shoes, nails, pads, adhesives and other items. But there is much more to it than just those costs. In fact, many farriers fail to fully understand how the prices they charge should be determined.

Troy Kerr, who handles 1,500 trimmings and shoeings per year in the Pueblo, Colo., area knows he’s already spent $48 to trim and shoe a horse before he ever climbs out of his truck at the barn. That figure includes his costs for supplies, equipment, fuel and other items such as a retirement plan along with life, health and liability insurance.

“This means you have to figure out what it’s going to cost you for working on each horse in your area and go from there,” says Kerr.

Kerr says too many farriers fail to treat their work as a business. While they see the number of dollars being earned every day, paying attention to expenses is critical.

Wrong Approach

“We tend to set prices for the wrong reasons because our pricing structure is limited…

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Frank_lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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