I told my new farrier that my horse was showing signs her toes were a bit long and asked him if we could bring her back...and he said yes! And now the horse is happier. No whining, no getting defensive, no telling me no way in hell. Whoa.
Kevin shows up on time. I don't have to call him, he calls me to let me know when he is coming.
Imp stepped on a hind shoe that had been drilled and tapped 2 weeks prior to her compteting at Poplar, leaving the shoe intact but pulling out 3 nails (talent, huh?) He was out of town but arranged for a friend to show up at a clinic we were at the weekend before Poplar. The farrier pulled up, put in 3 nails and drove off, all in under 10 minutes! Kevin called that night to make sure it was taken care of, again before we left and then again after we got home to make sure all went well.
He got up at 5am to drive 2 hours to where my daughter's new horse is boarded at college to reset his shoes because Bates has crappy feet and we are not ready to turn him over to the barn farrier.
Because Bates was sore after doing glue on shoes the first time, since he was in Orlando for a conference (he lives an hour and a half away), he came at 5:00 and spent 2 hours trying to figure what went wrong and correct it (the glue expanded onto the sole, putting pressure and his new dremmel he bought broke so he had to fix it without the dremmel).
He came the following week to reset all my other horses while suffering kidney stones.
He is funny, cute, is really into his job, he sings, loves his wife and just adopted a 4 year old boy! Those of us who use him always gush about him!
Mine can actually balance their feet. I know that sounds ridiculous, but the previous one left my horses' feet in a mess (only used him for three shoeings)...My current farrier got them going better than ever (took him about a year to fix what the other one had done)
Actually shows an interest if you ask a question instead of blowing you off.
I love that he does an excellent job on my gelding, just as he did on my senior guy before he passed over the bridge. My guy is barefoot and has never taken a sore step in the four years that I have owned him.
I love that he is patient with my gelding. And I love that he actually has working relationships with the equine vets in this area. He is not afraid to look at x-rays and goes out of his way to coordinate his schedule to meet with the vet (I learned this when my senior guy fractured both front coffin bones).
I love that he knows my horse's name and what we are up to. And I love that he always remembers my name, even when I run into him at the grocery store!
I love that mine really takes her time with my old gelding, who has many many issues. Because he gets very stiff and has a harder time balancing on three legs now, she works in very short bursts of only 20 or 30 seconds and gives him time to rest. When we noticed that he was having a hard time standing on his right front while getting his left front trimmed and shod, she raided her uncle's workshop and brought out a 2" thick piece of fiber insulation for my guy to stand on while we worked on the left front. And because he has a hard time really picking his hind feet up (35 year old hips and stifles, plus that whole balance thing), she gets down on her hands and knees to do his hind feet while I hold them 4 inches off the ground. She's also worked SO hard to keep him sound despite multiple old-man issues.
She's young but always working to learn, and I appreciate that she takes such great care of both my horse and me!
My former farrier did not get along with my horse. He got into the habit of jerking a foot away from her, she'd drop it and hit him. He gets combative if you fight with him like that, and his behaviour got worse and worse. I tried a new farrier, my current one. Sam tried to pull his foot away, and the new farrier just didn't let him. So Sam stopped, and the farrier moved along, and all was right with the world again. He just has the calm, unhurried personality that my horse responds to, rather than turning everything into a battle of wills. He still tried a few things here and there, but now he's one of the best horses in the barn again for the farrier. Plus, my farrier noticed his back hooves being unbalanced and evened them out.
Always worked within my horse's limits....especially my Percheron while dealing with EPSM. She'd use a rock to trim her hooves on since she simply could not balance herself on a traditional stand, then as she improved moved up in height to a crate, etc.
Also worked with me in my desire to learn trimming on my own. Guided me to good info, watched over my shoulder as I grabbed a rasp the first time and now comes quarterly to monitor, tweak and advise. How many farriers/trimmers do you know that would willingly teach their clients how to trim, knowing it cuts into their income?
The sign of true character.
<>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.
He is absolutely professional and highly skilled. Not so easy to find here.
What I really love about him though is he has been around the horse world for so long it seems sometimes like he knows almost everything and everyone. At first I thought he was just opinionated and a little prejudiced toward his way of doing things and then one day it just hit me that I was working with a walking encyclopedia. I've learned quite a bit from him and he's been a lifesaver in terms of raising my first foal. I feel very lucky to be on his client list and that he chooses to share his knowledge with me.
He's a consummate professional and very skilled at his craft. My horses' feet have never been better, they've never been sounder and I can't remember the last time someone lost a shoe (knock on wood). He comes when he's supposed to, calls when he can't. He's respectful and fair to my horses, without letting them get away with any BS. I'm convinced I won the farrier lottery!
"You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.
Not only does my farrier do a good job but he wants to make sure I understand why he's doing something if it's different or new, or if I ever just have a question. He will rearrange his schedule or come right over if there is any problem; my mare pulled a shoe on a Saturday afternoon and he was here within 30 minutes. He has never been late and never forgotten an appointment. And he attends farrier conferences routinely to make sure he's doing the best job he can - I like that!
I used to not like my farrier, actually quit using him for 2 years. But now I couldn't do without him. When I changed barns last year, I talked to my farrier to make sure he would do my horses at the new barn before I gave notice.
What I like about him
When we got my daughters new horse he was a mess, hunter pony who had been incorrectly shod in Qtr horse shoes by a farrier who usually only shoed the families reining horses, very upright, had a clubby foot and a dished foot, and a stifle issue and a mid back sprain (and no he did not pass the PPE, but thats another story with a extremely happy ending) Anyhow my farrier worked very closely with the chiropractor and my vet for about 6 months getting this horse straightened out. There was no ego involved, farrier was totally onboard with anything and everything the vet recommended.
My mare used to be a total brat to shoe, farrier is very patient with her, will walk her out to help her chill and take a break, one of the few horses he will give treats to, and he now hugs on her. He was quick to understand her, realized she felt confined in the farrier area, he put her out in the open and she quickly calmed down. She loves him and is now a very good girl when getting her feet done.
Both my horses have good feet, they are going great, I can't tell you the last time either one has lost a shoe.
First and foremost the patient of a saint with my babies. He's always calm and talks in a soothing voice throughout the process. He also comes out every 15-30 days to look in on the foals, just to make sure they don't need any minor filings and to handle their feet giving them more experience and confidence and will not take any money. Then he always acts so suprised when I give him a nice Christmas bonus.
Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses
#1 is my "old" farrier who has cut back on barns and who took care of Cloudy and Callie for years when they were healthy, and when Callie got a dex shot and got laminitis and rotated, he nursed her thru a hard year and prayed for her and worked on her hooves, resectioning, etc., and was there for me when others said give up because of her age, and Gerald got her healthy again; and
#2 in my farrier who had Cloudy and Callie when I first got them, at our first barn our first year barn and then has Cloudy again now after my "old" farrier having C&C for 7 yrs.
He is almost as good as Gerald, no one can be as good as Gerald cause he could do anything, but Darian can shoe problem hooves and is much younger, so he is already very good and on his way to being as good as #1.
Both put up with my wb which counts for a lot (since unlike my ottb mare Callie, Cloudy tends to lean all his weight on the farrier) as well as being able to put on 4 shoes and pads and work on all kinds of hoof issues.