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Do you tip your farrier/trimmer at every visit?

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  • #41
    I love my farrier but I'm not planning on tipping him. I pay $240 every 5 weeks for 4 shoes and front pads. He's worth every penny but I don't feel like I need to tip an independent professional businessman and that is exactly what he is.
    "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple Barry Switzer

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    • #42
      When I last boarded my horse (2001) at a very nice private barn (private farm with several arenas, on-site trainer, many amenities in upscale county), it was expected to tip the farrier. Which I was unaware of the first time I had my new horse shod. The farrier gave me a funny look when I paid the $200 bill with a check. Not knowing what I'd done wrong, I asked around to other boarders, and found that it was typical to tip an additional $20 to $50 (depending on what he was doing - barefoot, shoes, pads). Well, I felt horribly embarrassed. I'd never heard of such a thing.

      After we moved to my own farm, I have never tipped my farrier. I do give them something extra around Christmas (homemade candy, small gift).

      My horses are all up in the barn, clean, fed and ready for the farrier. I do all the getting in/out of stalls and holding. We are fairly remote, and I do expect them to charge me a little more because of where we are. So I probably pay a bit more than others in my general area (and am happy to do so). I've been paying $140 - $170 for three fairly straightforward barefoot trims.

      ChocoMare I'd LOVE to learn how to touch-up my own own horses - how to properly use a rasp, trim a shedding frog, etc. If I ever have the funds to pay for lessons, I may contact you! I'm right up I-24 from you, in Middle TN. It would be very useful to add those skills to my equine knowledge base.
      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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      • #43
        Originally posted by 4LeafCloverFarm View Post

        ChocoMare I'd LOVE to learn how to touch-up my own own horses - how to properly use a rasp, trim a shedding frog, etc. If I ever have the funds to pay for lessons, I may contact you! I'm right up I-24 from you, in Middle TN. It would be very useful to add those skills to my equine knowledge base.
        I'd be glad to hold class! I'll even include a "How to Trim With An Angle Grinder" session
        And my man would gladly accompany me, since he grew up in Bristol TN
        <>< 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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        • #44
          No...no tip. I did give her a raise on my own ($40 —> $50) last year. She hadn’t changed my price since she started trimming for me over 10 years ago. I know that EVERYTHING else has gone up so I decided to give her a raise (what she charges new clients). I know she will take clients back as long as they are willing to do regular trims and not feel their horses can go 3 months in between .

          I do give her a small Christmas bonus.

          Susan

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          • #45
            I have never given a tip either or felt the need to.

            The only exception I would make is if I had a horse that was really, really difficult to handle and I had a farrier who was willing to come back again and again despite that.

            That is over and above what a farrier should have to go through.

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            • #46
              Definitely not appropriate or necessary to tip the farrier.

              Although, if you are a smaller client or have a poorly mannered/ difficult to deal with horse and worried that your farrier might drop you, then in that case a tip might be a good idea.

              Trimming every 3 weeks seems nuts to me, though.

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              • #47
                Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post

                I'd be glad to hold class! I'll even include a "How to Trim With An Angle Grinder" session
                And my man would gladly accompany me, since he grew up in Bristol TN
                If y'all ever do this, count me in! I'd love to be able to trim up my retirees myself! I went to school near Bristol so would be happy to take a trip there!

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                • #48
                  I do because I thought you were supposed to. He charges $35 for a trim and I give him $40 per horse.

                  When I started this, I had one young draft horse who wasn't the best about her feet. Now I have 4 horses but feel it's worth it. He doesn't trim everyone every time he comes.

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by stb View Post
                    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.
                    I don't care for people who give absolutes about things in life that change- like a horse's hoof care. I probably would not stick with someone who has that attitude, charges a lot, and then expects a tip too.

                    My farrier is the opposite- very giving and give me a free touch up on occasion or doesn't charge full price for shoes. So yeah, he will get a nice tip and Christmas gift. Give to those who don't expect it in life, they are deserving.

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                    • #50
                      I have never heard of this. Why would you tip someone who sets their own income (i.e rates for services)? i thought tipping was for people who had no power to change their low wage?

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                      • #51
                        I don't tip as a general rule but ...

                        Good farriers are hard to come by in the places I've lived recently and for that reason it's important for me not to be a PITA client to the good farrier I have. So I've tipped a few times:

                        -When I had car trouble and showed up to the barn 20 min. late, and farrier had to get horse out and get started without me
                        -When horse was reluctant to hold up one hind due to an acute lameness issue and tried out the idea of leaning full weight on farrier in spite of his patience and plenty of breaks (quickly corrected, but still unpleasant)
                        -When vet showed up early for appointment and assistants tasked with taking basic vitals refused to be ushered away until farrier was done, cramping workspace and slowing down the last clinching and rasping
                        -When farrier has spent time at the forge customizing shoes for corrective purposes without charge

                        When these kinds of things have happened I've just added $15-25 to my check and said the extra is to make up for the extra time/effort it took that day. Farrier never expects it but it has always been welcome.

                        For the holidays I give homemade goodies and give a general (gas, Target, Amazon, local outdoors store) gift card.

                        As a teacher I've tended to notice that colleagues who have the strictest policies enumerated in the longest explicit lists to create a respectful classroom (the 20 page syllabus full of policies and rules) tend to be the colleagues who don't command respect by teaching well. I'd be worried that a farrier/trimmer who has to create policies about taking clients back and tries to set expectations w.r.t. tipping is similarly having to enforce loyalty and nudge clients to express their approval in financial ways because they're not generating loyalty and satisfaction simply by being a good farrier/trimmer...

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                        • #52
                          I have not previously tipped my farrier. I am considering getting him a small thank you gift as he went above and beyond to provide a most excellent substitute while he was injured recently. But I’m general, I do not think tips are expected.

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                          • #53
                            I do not tip on a regular basis but I do give him a $200 - $300 cash gift at Christmas. He is so dependable and he does a fantastic job with my horses.

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                            • #54
                              I do not tip my farrier except at the holidays but I do try to find things that will make her life easier. I have given her a CBD cream because she is sore, or sometimes I make my own lotions and conditioners that she likes.
                              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

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                              • #55
                                Interesting. I have had horses in 4 far-flung states and never heard of tipping. Especially not a veterinarian. Shoes every 5 weeks aren't cheap (!) and I use dormosedan (requested by my farrier, this horse has always been annoying to shoe). It adds up.
                                Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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                                • #56
                                  No. My farrier is self employed. He sets the prices and I pay them. He is between 165 and 180 for a full set and he makes all of his steel shoes by hand. I know I pay a little more than going rate but I know my horses are shoes correctly....he has also came down (3 hours round trip) to put a shoe on a horse that was leaving for a show the next day. He had done him the day before and horse got cast in his stall and ripped it off....not expected but greatly appreciated.
                                  In turn, we are a very large account, he comes once a week and leaves with a check for $500+ every time.
                                  All the horses are well behaved, clean and are all ridden/exercised before he gets there so they are not fresh or stiff.
                                  If he needed to increase his rates due to travel or general cost increase I would understand, however I’m not tipping him additional every week, it’s up to him to decide how much he needs to make.

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                                  • #57
                                    For my last farrier who was fantastic, dependable, on-time, and had great communication I would usually tip $10-$15 on top of the $40-$45 trim. Then at Christmas I gave the cost of two trims plus baked goods. My farrier was always appreciative but yelled at me for always tipping. One day he said “ONLY the cost of the trim!” and when I tried to use the excuse or “well I only have $60 instead of $45”, he said “that’s fine, I have change”... but I sure tried! Funnily enough, at Christmas he was super excited over the hand-made card with my horse’s picture on it. He said he’s never received anything like it.

                                    For my current farrier who trims my four horses, I pay $40/trim for three and then (to sweeten the deal to get him to take me back) I offered to pay $90/trim (his normal price was $50) for my Belgian gelding who isn’t the easiest to trim. So I do not tip him every time. Occasionally I will throw him $10 on top of the normal price, and I always do something at Christmas, but I consider $90 for one trim tip enough.
                                    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

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                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by caryledee View Post

                                      If y'all ever do this, count me in! I'd love to be able to trim up my retirees myself! I went to school near Bristol so would be happy to take a trip there!
                                      and @4LeafCloverFarm

                                      How about Saturday, December 7th? No I'm not kidding.
                                      I love to teach and share!!!

                                      OR if you'd like to come to me in Georgia, I have 2 lovely guest bedrooms and 3 horses to play with.
                                      <>< 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


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                                        I have never given a tip either or felt the need to.

                                        The only exception I would make is if I had a horse that was really, really difficult to handle and I had a farrier who was willing to come back again and again despite that.

                                        That is over and above what a farrier should have to go through.
                                        This is exactly why I DID tip. My horse reared multiple times when I first switched farriers. My previous farrier was very rough and a major reason why I switched. The new one never raised his voice or got upset, in fact he told me he does not hold their behavior against us. He agreed to come back so he continued to get tips. After trim #2 we started using Dormosedan but I still tipped mainly because he kept coming back. After the first trim my horse was still very nervous but had improved tremendously with the new guy. He certainly in my opinion, earned his tips.
                                        Lovebug "Bugs" 2006-2019

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                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post

                                          and @4LeafCloverFarm

                                          How about Saturday, December 7th? No I'm not kidding.
                                          I love to teach and share!!!

                                          OR if you'd like to come to me in Georgia, I have 2 lovely guest bedrooms and 3 horses to play with.
                                          I would love this! Let me see if I could work it into my schedule.

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