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.
Even though there hasn’t been a major shift in U.S. horse numbers in recent years, the age of owners is trending higher due in part to their higher incomes as it continues to take more dollars to support an equine hobby or business each year.
When it comes to their attitudes about farriers, survey data indicates horse owners have made major gains over the past 3 decades. It’s apparently because farriers are placing more emphasis on developing their hoof-care skills, acting more professional, becoming better business managers and adopting the latest technology to make farrier-to-client communication much easier.
Out of the blue, a client texts to say they’ve found another farrier. They may have a reason, whether good or bad, and explain to you why they’ve decided to switch farriers. Or you may never know why they made a change.
Two years ago, the gross annual income for full-time farriers crossed the $100,000 mark for the first time in the American Farriers Journal Farrier Business Practices Survey. For 2019, the full-time farrier yearly income increased by an $14,283 compared with that 2017 figure.
When it comes to setting prices, everyone has a different approach. Advertising copywriter and marketing consultant Bob Bly follows the golden rule that says you should do unto others as you want others to do unto you. What hoof-care pricing structure do you follow?
When Aretha Franklin, Howard Hughes and Prince died without having bothered to create a legal will, they left their huge estates in a disastrous legal mess. While a farrier’s assets and property aren’t likely to be anywhere close to the value of what these three well-known individuals left behind, you want the legal protection that can be yours by taking a few hours to pull together a needed legal document.
A few weeks ago, a young farrier posted a message on Facebook seeking advice on how to expand his hoof-care knowledge. While his apprenticeship was going well, he wanted to learn about other areas of equine footcare that weren’t a specialty for the veteran farrier with whom he is working.
While most everyone recognizes the federal bureaucracy moves slowly, the Department of Justice may hold the record as it brings an end to some of its long-open cases regarding monopolistic practices and unfair competition.
Each November and December, Red Renchin’s footcare clients always asked how much he was going to increase trimming and shoeing prices at the start of the new year. They knew the farrier from Mequon, Wis., would be bumping up his prices anywhere from 3%-6%.
Campbell, Texas, farrier and American Farriers Team member Sawyer Spradling demonstrates his approach to tuning a distorted pritchel to a punch, a skill that has served him well when he travels to clinics and competitions.
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