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Do you tip your farrier/trimmer at every visit?

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  • Do you tip your farrier/trimmer at every visit?

    My trimmer happens to be on a Facebook hoof care page that I follow. Twice lately I have seen comments she has made that lead me to believe that she expects a tip at each visit. Is this common practice? Have I totally missed the boat here? She always wants to trim at short intervals, which is ok with me, but sometimes shorter than I think is necessary. (As in, I would prefer 4 weeks and she wants to return at 3)

    I should also add that her fees are already above average for my area. (She charges $50.00 per trim, most others around here are in the $35.00 range). On the plus side, she is very dependable, does a good job, and always comes when I need her.

    I do tip at Christmas. I generally give the amount of an extra trim and often a baked good or similar as well.

    Am I in the wrong here? I have to say that I am feeling like she's a bit entitled at this point, but if I'm the one who is wrong I would like to hear it.

    Edited to add: My trimmer has also recently commented that she will never take a client back that has left her for any reason. So, if a horse needs shoes, for example, and you go to a farrier for that then you will not be able to return to her if shoes are no longer needed. I'm just getting an uncomfortable feeling here. Is this normal? I would think that a true professional would understand that kind of situation.
    Last edited by stb; Oct. 22, 2019, 07:18 AM. Reason: Another thought.

  • #2
    No. I pay $60 for a trim (rate just went up again). No way am I adding to that. I'll send a gift card at Christmas time but that's it.
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

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    • #3
      I am a part-time Trimmer and NEVER expect a tip or gratuity. I charge a fair rate of $35 for horses, $40 for draft-x's and $50 for full drafts... everyone is on a four-week trim cycle.

      If a client chooses to pay me a little extra, I am extremely grateful. A few of mine will often give me a gift card at Christmas.

      And if a client chose to go back to shoes, that's fine. Their horse, their choice and I'd gladly have them back should they choose to pull those shoes again. Why burn a bridge?
      Last edited by ChocoMare; Oct. 22, 2019, 01:43 PM.
      <>< 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.

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      • #4
        No, I don't - and I'm sure he wouldn't expect it any more than a vet would expect it.

        My farrier's an independent professional who's perfectly capable of setting his own rates and running his own business without charity from me. "Tipping" that kind of person, as if he was a waiter or a chamber maid or something, actually seems kind of insulting.

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        • #5
          I don't tip. Of course anyone providing a specific "one time" service (yes, farrier visits are recurring but with chunks of time in between) would appreciate getting a tip, but the fee they are charging should be enough to cover their time, equipment, effort, and knowledge. If it isn't, they should just consider charging more. Expecting a tip in this situation is a little unfair, IMO.
          Now that being said... If I have a farrier appt scheduled, I always have the horses in or at least very close to the barn, CLEAN, DRY, and they behave themselves. I also provide a tidy and safe place to work out of the elements, and I try to remember to offer a water/gatorade/other (sometimes I forget this part but farrier knows they're available). If this wasn't the case, I would be offering up whatever I had and begging my farrier not to lose my number.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
            I am a part-time Trimmer and NEVER expect a tip or gratuity. I charge a fair rate of $35 for horses, $40 for draft-x's and $50 for full drafts... everyone is on a four-week trim cycle.

            If a client choose to pay me a little extra, I am extremely grateful. A few of mine will often give me a gift card at Christmas.

            And if a client chose to go back to shoes, that's fine. Their horse, their choice and I'd gladly have them back should they choose to pull those shoes again. Why burn a bridge?
            This is what I thought, as well.

            As far as the shoes went - part of the reason that I tried that horse in shoes was that this trimmer kept trimming him too short and laming him. Repeatedly. Turns out the shoes didn't work because overall hoof quality was poor and had trouble holding a shoe on his club foot. Anyway, I ended up returning to her after a while and made sure I was at every visit to reiterate that the club foot had to be left longer than what she thought was optimal. She is a good trimmer for average feet, but doesn't have a lot of experience with feet with chronic issues.

            I am glad to here a trimmer's perspective. I was worried I was in the wrong here.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I do also have my horses ready to go at the time of the visit. Barn is clean (trimmer actually always says that I have the cleanest barn she sees). Horses have fly spray if needed. I do offer water, use of bathroom, etc.

              I just assumed that by paying promptly at the time of service I was doing what needed to be done. It honestly never occurred to me that a trimmer/farrier would expect a tip on top of their stated fees. I'm getting the feeling that I am a second class client because I'm not paying extra.

              Also, this is yet another case where Facebook changed my opinion of someone. Sometimes it's better not to know. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

              Comment


              • #8
                To be perfectly honest, OP, this woman sounds like a jerk.

                Comment


                • #9
                  After a forum thread like this I asked my farrier if he expected a tip and he was shocked I was asking. He said most certainly not, he set his prices for the job he is doing. Then he joked that he will not say no to extra money.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Heavens, I pay $120 for front shoes. I’m not going to tip! It would never occur to me. It concerns me that the farrier wants to trim every 3 weeks. How much foot is there to trim?
                    Proud member of Appendix QH clique

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                    • #11
                      I apparently am the odd ball out, I tip every time! My horse was a true handful which was part of my tipping. We did use a standing sedative for the farrier after the second visit but I had already set the precedence for tipping by then. Now that I lost my first horse I will still plan to continue tipping once I get the next one, even if they are good for the farrier. I see it as the same situation as my hair dresser, yes they set their own rates etc, but appreciation for a job well done never hurt anything. I know after years with my hair dresser and generous tips (30%+) she will move her schedule to fit me in. In general I tend to over tip any service unless that service is terrible then I still tip at least 10%

                      I want to add I am by no means made of money, I have to budget carefully to afford a horse and understand that every penny helps. This is probably why I tend to tip more.
                      Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                      • #12
                        I don't tip. OP, I'd find a new trimmer given this woman has lamed the horse repeatedly. a one-off hot nail? it happens. but repeatedly trimming too short is a no go for me.

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                        • #13
                          I have never tipped a farrier nor has it ever even occurred to me to tip a farrier.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We don’t tip every time, but I also have the luxury of being good friends with my farrier so we try to pay for dinner when we all go out.

                            Last at time we went out, she managed to get away with paying for dinner (6 of us, sushi and lots of drinks) so her next check will have some extra added on.

                            Heck, she feels bad charging me as much as she does because she is out every 3 weeks to reset my boy. 4 shoes all around and his feet grow at an insane rate, sometimes I have to insist on paying her!
                            "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I never tip the owner of any business who does the work themselves. When I get the bill I pay the bill -- since bills already include business owner's time & materials, a tip on top of that means I basically overpaid.

                              However, if business owner goes beyond the call of duty = provides a very special service like coming to my home in the middle of the night in a snow storm on Christmas eve to fix my broken boiler, I would give them extra 'thank you' bucks so long as a hefty emergency service call fee wasn't already included in the bill.

                              Sounds to me like your trimmer is greedy and is looking for a sneaky way to raise her fees -- by suggesting she get tips -- rather than just outright charging more which could result in her losing customers.

                              And any trimmer/farrier who says they will not take a client back who has left them for any reason, which obviously includes the welfare of horses, obviously has no concern for the welfare of horses.

                              She sounds like a jerk to me too.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                No .... $60.00 a trim ..... a tip at Christmas equal to one trim.
                                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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                                • #17
                                  In general...the blanket rule for one who owns their own business regardless of industry is that tips are never expected (however always appreciated, if the client feels so inclined).

                                  The reasoning is that a business owner sets their own rates and has much more control over how they pay themselves than someone working as an employee. I am a bodyworker in business for myself. Some clients tip, some don't. I am always appreciative but never expectant.

                                  I would go on pretending like you don't know. If the person does good work, I try and ignore the rest, despite how unsavory her attitude appears to be.
                                  Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by stb View Post

                                    This is what I thought, as well.

                                    As far as the shoes went - part of the reason that I tried that horse in shoes was that this trimmer kept trimming him too short and laming him. Repeatedly. Turns out the shoes didn't work because overall hoof quality was poor and had trouble holding a shoe on his club foot. Anyway, I ended up returning to her after a while and made sure I was at every visit to reiterate that the club foot had to be left longer than what she thought was optimal. She is a good trimmer for average feet, but doesn't have a lot of experience with feet with chronic issues.

                                    I am glad to here a trimmer's perspective. I was worried I was in the wrong here.
                                    You're right on target and it's time to find a better trained, experienced trimmer.

                                    In the 8 years I've been trimming for outside clients, I have NEVER left a horse sore from a trim. I've done several club footed horses, a couple bad founder rehabs and TONS of long toe/under-run heel. None were lame.
                                    <>< 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.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Nope--my herd is always in, haltered, de-mudded and/or fly sprayed depending on the season. I'm always home for farrier visits, gate is open for her access, and I pay cash each time. I stick to a prearranged 6 week schedule so trims are easy and quick. I have a barn for bad weather. Warm weather visits are done by my run in shed in the corral--I make sure all manure is picked up before she arrives. She texts me when she is on her way to my place, I acknowledge and text back "shed" or "barn". Doing the above is way more important to her than a tip because it makes her job easier. She said she would like to clone me.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        We do, call it "gas money".

                                        One reason, he was trimming around 7-8 horses.
                                        We are down to two and we are way out of the way of anywhere.
                                        He has to come all the way here just for our now two.

                                        A trim is $45, front shoes $75 on the 21 year old Cushing's horse.
                                        He is fine without shoes, but getting old and with shoes just more active.
                                        He was bucking all over the place this morning.
                                        He may not barefoot all around when the ground is so dry and hard.

                                        We are glad he still comes by for just two, why the extra gas money.

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