This week’s installment to my blog will begin a mini-series of posts designed for either the beginner horse owner or as gentle reminders for those more experienced owners.
Rules for Establishing a Solid Farrier/Client Relationship
Taking the necessary steps to establish a good relationship with your farrier are some of the most important ones you’ll make for your horse. While there are many ways to go “above and beyond” to show your appreciation and respect for this important member of your horse’s caregiver team, most farriers value a down-to-earth approach. On the most basic level, it should go without saying that your horse should already stand quietly and doesn’t object to having his feet handled. Beyond that, the list below should be considered essential as to what you should expect to provide whether you are seeking to establish or maintain this relationship:
- If your horse is turned out, have him brought in and secured prior to your farrier’s visit. Either place your horse in a stall, in crossties under supervision, or even handholding his lead will work.
- While a thorough all-over grooming session isn’t necessary, at a minimum your horse’s feet and legs should be clean and dry in preparation for your farrier’s work.
- If it is fly season, apply your choice of repellant to your horse while you wait on your farrier’s arrival. This will prevent excessive tail swishing and leg stomping and promote in your horse a greater willingness to stand still.
- Provide your farrier with an ideal work space. A dry area with a level surface is ideal. If your farrier will be working during inclement weather be prepared to provide him or her with protection from the elements, otherwise a shady area during the summer months will be all that’s necessary. Whatever area that you choose, make sure that it is free of obstacles and distractions and that it provides adequate room to work.
- Establish a schedule with your farrier and stick to it if at all possible.
- Pay your bill promptly.
- After your farrier leaves be certain to follow any special instructions asking questions beforehand of anything you don’t understand.
By demonstrating to your farrier that you value the role he or she plays in your horse’s life you’ll also be helping to ensure your own value as a client.