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Farrier won't give estimate

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  • Farrier won't give estimate

    I have a horse that needs to be shod according to the radiographs. The vet recommended a farrier that he works with. Farrier has agreed to take a look at the rads and come out but cannot give even an estimate as to cost.

    This really bothers me. I am in no position to write a blank check.

    Anyone have experience in a similar situation?

  • #2
    My guess would be that if he/she needs to shoe off x-rays, the type of shoe or anything else he may need to use he wont know until he sees horse and views x-rays.
    My only suggestion would be to tell him the limit money wise you are willing or able to pay but be willing to cover a basic fee for him to come out and evaluate the horse and x-rays and then proceed if it falls within you price. That is if the farrier is willing to do this also.
    Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from behind, or a fool from any direction


    • Original Poster

      We asked for a price range. The vet recommends shoes with pads.

      This farrier works with the vet frequently so he would not be making a special trip.

      A potential buyer owns the rads.

      Meanwhile the horse is barefoot and has excellent hoof quality.


      • #4
        Presumably he will give you the estimate after he sees the horse but before he shoes it.


        • Original Poster

          The horse is sound.

          Shoeing would be done for support of the coffin bone, which shows some deterioration.

          He is benign to hoof tests and a hammer.


          • #6
            ask what his normal basic shoeing cost is

            ask what his normal cost is to add pads

            (If those are acceptable - be prepared for some difference based on meeting demands of shoeing to xrays)

            IMO if he cant or wont tell you that then you cant judge where he falls in the great continuum of price scale

            he could normally be within average range or he could normally be much higher than reasonable

            we used one farrier that we eventually stopped because no two shoeings were the same price for the same job - new shoes with borium on 4 feet. His fees could vary $50 or more per shoeing

            Our current farrier is not cheap but he can tell me what price differences are for things like adding pads, adding caulks, doing bar shoes

            It makes ME uncomfortable when I havent a clue what the price might be


            • Original Poster

              I am extremely uncomfortable. I feel backed into a corner.

              It might be one thing if the horse was exhibiting soundness problems, but this is a prevention issue.

              If the buyer decides to pass on the horse, perhaps she will sell me the rads and I can get another vet/farrier.

              I've never had a vet involved in shoeing choices so I don't know how exacting this needs to be.


              • #8
                I'm not sure my farrier would give me a phone estimate (if I wasn't an existing client) either if asked about shoeing a new horse off of x-rays. Too many variables. But as others have suggested, perhaps you could ask what it would cost to put a set of 4 shoes on an average horse....he must have a rate sheet of some sort. I know my guy is $110 for 4 SS shoes, +$25 for drill and tap, etc, though the cost usually comes out higher for several of mine thanks to the need for pads or special shoes or equilox, or some other adjustment to the foot. Or you could find someone else who uses him (or the vet who referred him) and ask them what they typically pay?
                Flying F Sport Horses
                Horses in the NW


                • #9
                  I think the bigger issue is why should the seller pay to for such specialized shoes/pads for a horse that is sound? Isn't prevention the buyer's responsibility? Is this your vet or the potential buyer's? Can you ask that your vet be allowed to review the rads? If the horse is, as you indicate, completely sound I would get a second opinion. I certainly wouldn't be shelling out a bunch of money just because someone wanted me to.
                  "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp


                  • #10
                    I am curious. Based on one ? set of radiographs, a veterinarian wants pads and shoes on a horse that is, and has been sound, while barefoot.

                    Has this horse been in work?

                    I realize that a sale is hanging in the balance, and under the circumstances a second opinion wouldn't help. But I am sure I would want one.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                    • #11
                      How much does the vet charge to shoe a horse?


                      • Original Poster

                        My farrier charges $80 for front shoes only, including trim.

                        Obviously pads and packing would be extra.

                        Yes, this horse has been in work ... dressage in arenas in good footing, and until he moved to the present location, he was ridden once a week on the trail on hard ground.

                        Buyer has not decided yet on whether to buy or pass. She is getting another opinion from a vet she used in the past.

                        So the horse is still on the market, of course.


                        • Original Poster

                          The vets are chosen by the potential buyer. There are three of them.

                          This farrier was recommended by the two vets who are in the area. One is a surgeon and the other is new to her own practice, and previously an intern with the surgeon.

                          The third vet who will be giving an opinion is the potential buyer's prior vet in another state.


                          • #14
                            For me, this is a buyer situation. She now has the rads that show what they show (for whatever they are worth, for all you know the CB has looked like that since the horse was born ). If she wants the special shoes/pads put on, she buys the horse and puts them on herself, her farrier.

                            Since the horse isn't lame, she cannot use the excuse of wanting this done while in your care to see if it makes the horse sound. Does she think these shoes/pad will make the horse MORE sound?

                            What if you cave, and do the special set up, and she decides not to buy?

                            I don't see this as your problem at all
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            • #15
                              I also don't understand why you'd be putting shoes on the horse you still own. If she wants to buy him and thinks that shoes will keep him sounder longer then that's her problem. If she wants to negotiate a reduced price based on his radiographs, that's for the two of you to work out.


                              • Original Poster

                                Good point, JB. Thanks.

                                A journeyman farrier I used many years ago goes to this barn. I know he has consulted with vets, and if needed, I'll see about him doing the feet. I know he'd tell me what he would charge, and I wouldn't feel like SUCKER is painted on my forehead.


                                • #17
                                  Honestly? I wouldn't have the feet done. Not for prevention for someone who might buy the horse, not unless there is something we (or you) don't know about the xrays that show this is a progressive issue that just hasn't made its presence known.
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                  • #18
                                    Not sure I read this all right, so maybe my advice won't work.

                                    Horse is sound now and barefoot (and has been naked-footed and in work for some time?).

                                    Buyer's group questions rads and wants therapeutic shoeing (to do what in the short term, exactly?)

                                    Buyer's group/vet chose the farrier?

                                    They already did some kind of PPE to get the X-rays? You guys are on some kind of round 2 regarding soundness or movement?

                                    You want the sale to work, or at least not be the one to blow it up. You may or may not get/buy the X-rays. You all haven't talked that far into the deal yet, I take it.

                                    You can't get a price from the farrier.

                                    Why not ask the buyer to split the cost with you, whether they end up buying or not?

                                    It will be a pain. You will more than you would spend otherwise. You do have a reasonable reason for explaining why you'd want. They get what they want for less cost and risk than you saying "shoe him your way when he's yours." (Though JB is right, this isn't your obligation). You look like the nice guy who is doing everything you can to represent your horse fairly and let them inspect him to their satisfaction.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat


                                    • #19
                                      Splitting the cost of doing it is a great idea IF that becomes a make or break aspect of the sale. That way, if the sale does end up falling through, you're only out half.

                                      But YOU get to pick the farrier since the horse is still yours and could very well remain yours.
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I would be totally comfy with the farrier I mentioned since I know him personally and know his reputation. He's been a farrier in the 20-30 year category.

                                        My current farrier rode with that guy before he went out on his own (maybe two years ago).

                                        The concern for this buyer is that she wants to jump. She loves this horse and wants some reassurance that he has a reasonable chance of staying sound for the long term.