In 2012, we surveyed horse owners on the most common reasons they’ve fired farriers. The leading answer was that the farrier didn’t return phone calls.

This was no surprise — I’ve heard this complaint before. While the answer isn’t a shock, I am amazed it still persists. An extremely common tool on a farrier rig that isn’t used on a foot is a cell phone. With the ease and accessibility of this technology, there really isn’t an excuse to not return phone calls.

As professions go, farriery offers a great deal of independence. You can set the hours and determine the operation of your practice. But independence comes at a practice. You have to be a self-starter. And part of that means returning phone calls. Yes, you don’t HAVE to return calls or show up on time. However, see how far that mentality will carry you.

It is critical for farriers to realize this early in a career, as it is difficult to change behavior. That’s why we created Getting Started In Hoof Care. In its third edition, this is an introductory guide to building a successful farrier practice. It won’t tell you how to trim a foot or what shoe to use for a particular case. Instead, it focuses on those on-footcare aspects of farriery.

Read this guide and let us know what you think. Better yet, pass it along to a colleague who may have concerns in one of these areas.

By recognizing these issues exist and committing to improvement with a positive attitude, any farrier will enjoy the independence that this profession can provide.