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Switching farriers when it's not your horse

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  • Switching farriers when it's not your horse

    I am riding a young horse that is owned by a very, very novice owner/rider. This owner/rider is an adult who doesn't know much about horse care but is very willing/open to learn.

    Farrier A is the one who is currently working on the horse. He used to do a number of barns in the area I used to board. I dropped him because the decreasing quality of his work (to poor) and pricing of his work (high) was becoming a problem. He was also dropped from the other local big barns. Nice guy, just not a great farrier.

    The horse is now having problems with toe dragging, flare and tripping. I'd like the owner to consider using Farrier B (my former farrier, certified by all major Farrier associations, always up-to-date with new info, etc).

    Obviously I will talk to owner about my suggestion, however I feel sort of bad taking more business away from Farrier A. I'm not trying to be difficult, Farrier A is a nice person, but just not someone I would want doing my horses (or this horse either!)

    Farrier A still does several other clients at this particular barn, so chances are he will put two and two together I was the one responsible for the switch. *facepalm*
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing

  • #2
    It's just business. And it is only one horse.


    • #3
      If he is busy enough, he may not noticed one horse that doesn't call back for a reschedule, and may not care.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


      • #4
        I just made a farrier switch and had been using my former farrier since I first got my gelding 5 years ago, and he still shoes another horse at my farm so I do run into him. Yes it's awkward and yes you feel bad especially if you have a good relationship with the former farrier, but "you gotta do whatcha gotta do" and do what's best for the horse. Barns, vets, farriers, trainiers - there will be changes through the life of the horse and while trying not to burn bridges, doing what is best for the horse is ALWAYS the right answer even if it's awkward for the owner/rider.
        "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


        • #5
          Another effing growth opportunity!

          For the HO: You can suggest the switch to the novice HO and explain why. Personally, if I were packing for a trip to a desert island and I couldn't fit both water and a great farrier in my back pack, I'd have to think long and hard about which one I'd leave home. Good shoeing is a big, big deal for keeping a horse sound over the long haul.

          For you: This isn't your horse so be prepared to compromise and not let that get under your skin. Suggest, but don't insist. It's a great skill to learn.

          For the farrier: As others have said, it's just business. OTOH, how amenable is the guy to having some input from you, the horse's rider? I have worked fine with farriers who weren't the most technical guys in the world but who were good horsemen and wanted to do a good job. I tread carefully, showing great respect for their status as a professional. But good pros can work on a team without getting their egos overly involved.

          If a switch is in order, technically the HO should get that done. If the HO is a sissy and you are a diplomat, step up and do it.

          I hope this works out for you guys.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat