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Does your farrier work when its this cold?

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  • #21
    Normally, my 'go to work temperature range' is from 10 above to 93 above and that includes either the wind chill index or the THI. Exceptions noted. My clients are aware of those parameters so it doesn't create many if any, problems. Also, since many of my clients are rural, they know that road conditions are also a factor. So, during snow storms and the like, they will call me to let me know what the travel conditions in their area are like. 'Round here, north-south roads can blow shut in the blink of an eye and black ice is an ever constant companion.

    Many of the barns where I work are uninsulated metal buildings usually with a concrete aisleway or work area. It has been my experience that in combination, those two things make it even colder or hotter that the actual temperature(exceptions noted). In the winter, once/if my feet get really cold, regardless of the temperature, I'm done. Makes it even worse right now as I'm fighting one of the bugs that are going around and it has laid me low. Been trying to work through it, but between the cold and the bug, I run out of energy quickly so I'm behind right now.

    Won't be working next week as I will be in Cincinnati for the IHCS. Hopefully I'll feel well enough to work this weekend. On the up side, unless horses are in a heated barn and being worked regularly, their hoof growing metabolism slows down and hoof overgrowth is not as much of an issue as it is in the spring and summer.


    • #22
      Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
      Why does it seem that farriers are the hardest to get ahold of, and NEVER show up to appointments as planned, not necessarily being late, but never showing at all!? I understand things come up, a client wanted 4 shoes put on instead of just a trim, and that adds more time. But farriers seem like such an inconsiderate sort when it comes to time and other's time being worth something.
      I'm sorry your farrier was a jerk! That stinks!

      Personally, I think your farrier is inconsiderate, but they aren't all that way. My farrier has cancelled once because it was too cold but he called me the day before and I was so grateful! (I don't want to be out that long either!)
      He's very considerate, and will go out of his way to accommodate my schedule even though I try not to let him. He's never late without a reason and a phone call/text. He's never been a "no show." And texts me when he's on his way so I can meet him at the gate.

      Maybe there is someone else out there you can find?


      • #23
        Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
        For the most part I keep working but with one caveat: legs and feet had better be clean and dry in freezing temps or I am not touching them!

        I cannot believe any client would hand you a wet. muddy horse in this weather & expect you to do the prep before trimming or shoeing!
        My 2 are always in their stalls with clean legs (groomed if I have time) & hooves picked when my shoer gets here.
        It is the least I can do in return for him making the trip to trim my 2.

        He does have other clients in my area, but this Tuesday I was his only appt - everyone else cancelled or he cancelled those that have him working outside.
        With -10F windchills not surprising!
        I did set up an electric heater in the aisle of my small (36X36) unheated barn - aimed to warm shoer & his son as they worked.
        Not much use, but better than nothing.
        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


        • #24
          We have an awesome pair that come out to us, but I've dealt with some real 'winners' in the past. One who told me that the hoof needs to be trimmed to fit the shoe? No, buddy, I don't think so.

          I think, from most that I've met, it all depends on how many horses. One or two trims is no big deal, and they usually don't cancel unless the roads are bad. Some that need special shoes and whatnot and can take a little bit longer in the freezing cold, I can understand a cancel.

          OP- I think that you did the right thing. SuckerforHorses- I have a tingly feeling that I know who you're talking about.


          • #25
            That is how my farrier is too, S1969. He even calls ME before I have a chance to schedule appointments. He's never not shown up and always calls if he's going to be a little bit late. I'm very lucky that I have this guy as my farrier! Although he's been talking about retiring within the next couple years, so I don't know what I'll do then. :'(
            Last edited by NBChoice; Jan. 24, 2013, 02:46 PM.
            http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
            The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
            Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
            Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding


            • #26
              Husband is the Farrier, usually calls to reschedule the unheated barn folks when it is about 10F. Horse holders are frozen quickly in those temps, and it can make the tools brittle in such cold. Real easy to overheat himself, then get chilled in damp clothing. I know he has had a couple pairs of GOOD nippers crack at the blade, when he persisted in working down below 10F and he was quite angry about that. He even had warmed up the nippers under the truck heater driving to the job. Lot of money wasted killing the nippers, they were pretty new, he expected to get at least 18 months out of them before replacing from wear. Being that cold can change how metal works for you.

              He is real good about calling to ASK if customer wants to reschedule in this cold. Most of THEM call first, wanting another time when it gets this darn cold. They always comment on how nice it is he is on schedule, calls if he will be delayed even a few minutes, unlike other Farriers they have dealt with in the past.

              Husband is also attending the Cincinnati Horseshoe gathering, staying current with the new information, catching up on news with friends. Plans on enjoying "being Down South", away from our recent "brisk" temps at home!


              • #27
                My farrier was out - briefly - yesterday. It was -10 F (-24 C) and there's no heat in the barn. He pulled my big mare's shoes, as she was desperately uncomfortable (4 weeks overdue for a reset, due to scheduling problems on the farrier's part). He couldn't do anything more. His hoof knife just bounced off the frozen hoof material. He's coming back next week when it warms up to nearly freezing, to trim all three critters.
                My Equestrian Art Photography page


                • #28
                  Thanks Denise. It is sweet of you to say that. I try really hard to show up on time or communicate with people. Before I started doing farrier work, I had a few farriers I had to deal with that would not show up after I took an afternoon off work, etc... Very aggravating.

                  I just rescheduled an appt for today but have been working out in this weather all week. I woke up sick this am with my head and ears shut down but still have my own animals to care for...and on top of that I had baby chicks showing up to deal with. That is a big issue in this extreme weather for us. Chicks are set up in a brooder box and I'm having a hot late lunch as I just can't seem to warm up.

                  Anyway, my appt for today is a place where you just about have to work outside. The barn aisle are very narrow and dangerous. We have 28F with a wind chill in the teens and snow blowing sideways. That on top of all else and I just had to reschedule. Thankfully I can work them in next week Ok and they were not thrilled with standing outside to trim horses in this weather either... Blessed are those with barns in this kind of weather.

                  I'm supposed to do a full barn tomorrow...and we have more of this in the forecast. Hoping I'm not too sick. Tomorrow is a place that has an inside aisle but it's a cold drafty barn. At least they have a warm lounge and I can take a break and warm my hands, etc...

                  The truth is too that when you do this for a living, you get booked out weeks in advance and it can be very hard to reschedule..espec. a larger client. I've trimmed sick, hurt, wounded and wet several times because I just could not rework it in..and I won't leave my clients hanging.


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post

                    I cannot believe any client would hand you a wet. muddy horse in this weather & expect you to do the prep before trimming or shoeing!
                    My 2 are always in their stalls with clean legs (groomed if I have time) & hooves picked when my shoer gets here.
                    It is the least I can do in return for him making the trip to trim my 2.
                    Your farrier must love you! I really hate working on wet muddy horses too but sometimes it can't be helped. One place turned out the client's horses without their rugs and it was pouring like crazy. She had to go out and get them and they were just vile...but I did them as it was hard for her to get off work and meet me. I carry a towel to dry off hooves and legs as best I can when I have to.

                    I have a funny story from last week about wet and muddy (which is our norm in Tidewater VA this time of year). Normally one of my most fastidious and good clients with two ponies had her ponies out in the paddock when I came...which is quite unusual as usually work in her nice little barn. We'd had some snow which melted and water was everywhere...very messy. She told me her barn entrance was flooded (like a foot deep) and she felt it would be better to work out here and had little hay piles to keep the ponies occupied. OK, I say so we do pony number one..a larger pony and well behaved. The other pony, a little hairy Thelwell type, was quite upset that her friend left and spent the entire trim tearing around and getting wet and muddy. I mean he has long leg hair and it was covered in wet mud now...really bad...

                    My client was appalled and could not stop apologizing. The little bugger was like touching a sponge...I was quickly soaked trying to do him. My towel did not stand a chance. I got him done and managed to keep my nippers dry. I HATE getting my nippers wet.

                    So such is life..it's part of the job sometimes. I have gotten over being muddy and dirty and stopping to run errands after trimming. I simply don't care!


                    • #30
                      Umm, yes. Mine was out today, and she's from Florida! She just brings LOTS of layers, and I told her to put sweatpants on under her coveralls. Much better than long johns and jeans. She is nice enough to let me know what time she thinks she'll be there days ahead. Today, she texted me to let me know what the schedule was, so I wouldn't have to be waiting out in the cold.

                      I don't have a barn she can do the horses in, so I salted the wash rack, shoveled and swept. She texts me when she's leaving the other places, so I can can get a really accurate ETA. AND, she brought my small pony blankets from another client that wanted to give them away. I love her.
                      "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."


                      • #31
                        ^granted, my cold is in the teens with wind chill...not in the double negatives! I wouldn't blame her for not coming in that, lol. She was mentioning how much harder her poor nippers were working with all the frozen hooves, lol.

                        If it was REALLY cold, I would bring my horses to the barn down the road, or set up spotlights in my stalls. I'm baking her cookies next time! She deserves a weeks worth of cookies, haha.
                        "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."


                        • #32
                          Generally speaking, the client knows when I am going to be at their barn so if I show up, on time, and the horse(s) is/are wet/muddy/slimey/layered in manure, old and new, then I'm just not going to work on that/those horse(s). And I charge an 'annoyance fee' that is about equal to the cost of trimming. My clients all know this policy and they violate it at their own peril. Through the years, I have lost some clients because of this, but in retrospect, they were worth losing.

                          When someone presents a service provider with a dirty, muddy, wet, whatever, horse, they are saying/showing that they don't respect said service provider enough to have their horse(s) clean and well mannered for the service provider. ymmv


                          • #33
                            Unfortunately, I am in Vermont, in an area where farriers are few and far between and finding one that can trim a good foot are even harder to find.

                            I had a punctual farrier, who turned my horses' feet into crap.

                            This one does a great job, but has less than stellar customer service response times ;-)
                            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


                            • Original Poster

                              I feel as though I am an excellent client. He gets paid at time of visit, gets a nice Christmas bonus, horse is in and ready for him and someone is there to hold and provide company while he works.

                              He is constanly preaching about "high maintenance owners" and how he does not have time for them etc, etc.

                              I try not to be high maintenance, but my horse IS high maintenance. It is nearly impossible to keep shoes on him. I have had the horse for 7 years and he is well aware it is a persistent problem. I cant help but feel I am being high maintenance when I am calling or texting everyday. I mean, if he would just acknowledge the call, then I wouldn’t have to call everyday.

                              It is also very hard for me to see my horse struggle for days and subsequently feed bute just so he is comfortable and to me, that is unacceptable.

                              I am also fairly certain he knows the rock and hard place I am in as far as farrier options. I am vocal about how appreciative I am of his work and his ability to explore alternative options.

                              Several years ago he literally disappeared and no one knew what happened to him. I was forced to find another farrier (and went through 5) before I blindly called out of desperation. At first, it was strictly just for a second opinion and I was in fact correct that he had been shod for months incorrectly. Life has been grand for the past year, but he is slowly falling into his old habits.

                              I do have another option but I would have to take my horse to him, which is really, really inconvenient and I am just now getting myself comfortable with hauling (I’m still driving around empty)! I have been in contact with this guy on 3 occasions (in desperation, when my current farrier does not call/ no show) and hes been willing to take me on and then mine magically appears with some excuse like my daughter stole my truck (this is a true story and one of the many crazy excuses he had).

                              Rant over.

                              I think just writing this all down has officially pushed me over the edge.


                              • #35
                                I think my farrier's policy is that if you are willing to stand and hold horses, then he is willing to come and trim/shoe. It is a non-issue at my barn as it is heated, although if the roads are horrid I don't expect him to risk his life to do my horses hooves!

                                Yesterday had a crazy cold windchill (-30C), and he trimmed horses outside in a field before coming to my place...because he didn't want to be wimpier than the 70 year old holding them. Of course he had to de-layer at my barn so as to not overheat!
                                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                                • #36
                                  My farrier cancelled yesterday when it was about -12 degrees at 6am (before windchill) and I didn't blame her in the least. It would have been unhealthy to hold nails and metal shoes without gloves in those temps. She has never cancelled due to cold weather before, but it's been very bitter this week even for Maine.
                                  "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                                  • #37
                                    My vet/dentist came out Tuesday when it was 6 degrees F.
                                    I offered to reschedule but he said no let's get it done!
                                    I also offered that we could skip the sheath cleaning, but he said no just get some hot water!
                                    We worked in the barn but it is not heated.

                                    Farrier is coming tomorrow, when it will probably be 20 degrees. Hardest part will be leaving the door open while he shapes the shoes. Brrrrr! But he called me to confirm so he knows what he is getting into.


                                    • #38
                                      OP: If I were you I would use the other farrier that you found. Yeah it will be inconvenient to trailer out to him, but it seems like your current farrier has a lot of baggage that is cutting into his work time.
                                      http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
                                      The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
                                      Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
                                      Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                                        SuperAlter--IMHO, there's no excuse for a no call no show.
                                        Sure there is. I can think of several excuses.

                                        1. The farrier is dead or seriously injured or sick and in the hospital with no access to a phone and nobody to call clients and inform them.
                                        2. The farrier had a death in the family. Until the emotional situation is under control, business is put on hold.
                                        3. The farrier really doesn't want your business that bad.


                                        • #40
                                          It was 17 degrees, windy and snowing this am. I called my farrier to see if he wanted to reschedule. He said his appointments for next week are full, so he came and did my horses. I was impressed.