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Firing a farrier?

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  • Firing a farrier?

    How did you "fire" yours? This is the 2nd time a diff't farrier has had to tack a shoe back on my horse. I feel this person is a little intimidated by my boy, they don't work superfast and he gets bored easily and fidgets. The shoes have not been fitting feet well and hopefully this time the sole will not get abcessed because of the clip that gauged his foot.

    I feel I should at least talk with them and give them a chance to explain why they think this is happening (although I feel I know what they will say), but when the other farrier's work stays on for the whole 6 weeks and theirs doesn't, well......I feel I have justification for using the one who can keep a shoe on the horse and keep the horse's hoof in good health.

    Sorry if this post seems out of sorts, but I am out of sorts and angry.....
    So how have you "fired" your farrier?

  • #2
    I sent a letter.

    Dear Mr. Farrier,

    I want to first thank you for your services with Dobbin this past year. However, at this time we are moving a different direction and will no longer need your services.

    Thank you,
    Owner of Dobbin

    Of course the guy I fired that way came back enraged, and things had to get a little tougher... I had to actually point out that my horse had been lame since he last touched her and took off way too much sole, leading to bruises and abcesses and the need for $300 in medicated pads... but hopefully you can get it done with less conflict

    You don't owe the guy anything. he was providing you a service, you're his customer. You're unhappy, so you go elsewhere. All part of the game.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


    • #3
      Being able to keep a shoe on for six weeks isn't necessarily a sign of good farriery, nor is one coming off a sign of bad. There's more to it than that.


      • #4
        Back to firing him.. the persons is in your employ, you can fire them for whatever reason you want and he/she needs no detailed explanations. it just business.
        So either just send the note or call and politely explain that you have decided to try someone else so thank you for the past work .
        Be sure to give plenty of notice because farriers are busy and a cancellation only a few days from the scheduled appointment may leave an unpaid gap in their schedule.

        Any fired farrier who throws a fit , argues about, or whatever, is acting in an unprofessional manner. . Most farriers just accept it and say "best of luck with the new farrier, thank you for having used my services. And please call if you decide you need my services in the future".
        Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
        Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.


        • #5
          It's simple, don't call and make an appointment next month.


          • #6
            Or, just call and cancel the appointment. "Hi. This is Mary, I'm calling to cancel my appointment." He says "Ok". You say "Thanks" and hang up the phone.

            BUT as previously mentioned, there really is a lot more to shoes falling off, and the speed that he works does not indicate quality. Are the angles the same on the other foot? Also, was it the same foot that the shoe came off of with the other farrier? Is the horse a young rambuncious horse that plays alot in turned out in mud, slippery footing, or uneven hilly ground? If the later, that's more operator error than farrier. When some of my horses where in shoes and younger, there were certain ones that I would not turn out in the pasture because they'd loose shoes in my pasture. They were only turned out in mud free flat sand paddocks.


            • #7
              As he is an independent contractor, you can't fire him (unless you have a written contract with him -which is almost unheard of). You can only fire employees.

              So, as someone said. No skin off of anyone's nose. You don't call him or you cancel the apointment and it is done. No hard feelings. The beauty of this method is that down the road, when your new farrier doesn't show up or doesn't call back, you are free to call the old farrier up and have him come on over!

              He has a zillion clients, and he probably won't hardly even notice your one horse. It is just another horse along the way for him.
              Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


              • #8
                Originally posted by Androcles View Post
                Being able to keep a shoe on for six weeks isn't necessarily a sign of good farriery, nor is one coming off a sign of bad. There's more to it than that.
                Unfortunately some farrier just can not seem to put a shoe on to stay while others have no problems. The barn right beside ours just fired their farrier last week because she couldn't seem to keep a shoe on any horse for the full term while our barn, even though alot larger never seemed to have a problem with lost shoes. Same cross section of riders, same fences, same mud.


                • #9
                  Just don't call him to book the next appt.
                  If they call you to book, politely say I've decided to try another farrier, thanks. Appreciate you calling.

                  Repeat til done. Neither of you owes the other anything beyond that. I declined to use several farriers over a 3-4 yr period until I found my current guy. There's nothing gained by an ugly call or scene. Just say no, thank you, thanks for calling.


                  • #10
                    Originally Posted by Androcles
                    Being able to keep a shoe on for six weeks isn't necessarily a sign of good farriery, nor is one coming off a sign of bad. There's more to it than that.

                    Unfortunately some farrier just can not seem to put a shoe on to stay while others have no problems. The barn right beside ours just fired their farrier last week because she couldn't seem to keep a shoe on any horse for the full term while our barn, even though alot larger never seemed to have a problem with lost shoes. Same cross section of riders, same fences, same mud.
                    yes, there are bad farriers who can't keep a shoe on because the horses foot is unbalanced, and their are shoes that fall off for a myriad of other reasons.

                    My farrier was telling me a story of a shoe that "fell off" he was putting it back on, and asked what happened to a post in the ground that was no longer standing upright. The owners of the horse with the shoe that "fell off" mentioned that they had tied the horse to the post, and he had pulled back. that's when the shoe "fell off". :lol How much torque are those nails supposed to handle?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                      It's simple, don't call and make an appointment next month.
                      Yes, communication is key.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Androcles View Post
                        Being able to keep a shoe on for six weeks isn't necessarily a sign of good farriery, nor is one coming off a sign of bad. There's more to it than that.
                        Perhaps, but a cast shoe (absent unusual circumstances) puts the burden of explanation on the farrier.

                        Unless the farrier is an employee you don't "fire" them. You just cancel what is likely an oral contract (and an "at will" one, at that). If there is a specific reason then I'd tell the farrier (it is the fair thing to do and may give the farrier a hint that they have an area of professional expertise that needs improvement).

                        At any given time we've got between two and five horses shod. In the last 10 years we've had one cast shoe from two farriers (the second trained by the first). Our horses (except for the stallion) are field kept and our weather runs from wet, muddy winters to dry, late summers where the ground takes on the consistency of asphalt. Also, we've never had a horse walk off from a shoeing (or a trim) more sore than when it walked up (and we've had little soreness, lameness, etc.). Needless to say we're pretty happy with our farrier!

                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                        • #13
                          I was keeping a barn of 25 shod for years and I can only think of one lost shoe and that was a draft with big feet that we managed to get under control after a few shoings.
                          My old endurance horse ran 17 years and over 30,000 logged miles and only lost one shoe in his long career.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks everyone and yes there is more to the foot than I have said and the issues are being worked on/out, but when the fill in farrier has been able to keep his shoe on the weaker foot and the horse is still balanced, moving well, etc... I have to think that I need to go with another person.

                            I have used my farrier for a previous horse, who really didn't have the foot issues this guy has, and the work was great. I am just not feeling he has a good understanding of how to shoe my new guy. I have voiced concern over the shoe not fitting like it should and of course there was an answer that sounded good, but when it comes down to my horse losing the shoe 1/2 way and the clip sticking the sole, then, I am losing confidence in them. His methods are just not working that well.

                            I guess fire was too rough a word, I was saying it kind of tongue in cheek. I try to be considerate when dealing with professionals who give me a service as my DH is a dentist and I know what they go through with irritated/frustrated/angry clients. I know I cannot really fire him.

                            That being said, I appreciate all the ways mentioned and will probably call and discuss it with said farrier.


                            • #15
                              pfft over this fussing about firing. It's a joking term, I use it about firing lesson students, firing friends, firing boyfriends, lol. It's just a joking way of talking about ending a relationship.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                Perhaps, but a cast shoe (absent unusual circumstances) puts the burden of explanation on the farrier.
                                Which he won't be able to do when the OP never calls him back for an appointment.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Androcles View Post
                                  Which he won't be able to do when the OP never calls him back for an appointment.
                                  The OP has indicated she has experience with this farrier and it's more than one foot. Why, then, would her actions be a problem?

                                  If a horse throws a shoe then call the farrier and have it put back (that's what I did for our one loss). No big deal. If it is a repetative problem the address the problem.

                                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                  • #18
                                    In almost any farrier's custom, 90% of the shoes cast are cast by 10% of the horses. And its the same 10% over and over again.

                                    Hi/Lo syndrome are among the worst about casting a shoe and usually its the shoe on the "High" side.

                                    Horses that are built with a long top line and a short bottom line are also prone to casting shoes.

                                    etc, etc, etc.


                                    • #19
                                      There was a farrier around here (now retired) who prided himself on horses he shod never throwing their shoes. I saw plenty of his work, and contracted heels were common. The shoes stayed on, but at a price to the horses. If you make it a big issue with the next farrier, he may try to please you by fitting the shoes tight. Be careful what you ask for.
                                      "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                                      • #20
                                        Don't call or if he's like my farrier and calls you asking why you aren't using him anymore just tell the truth. I just said his way of shoeing my horses wasn't working and I needed to move on and find a better situation.

                                        It IS possible to have a horse in the correct sized shoes and shod very,very well without throwing shoes. Most farriers/vets/owners refuse to believe that and of course shoes will always be lost occasionally but it shouldn't happen every single cycle on every single horse. It took me a long time to find my current farrier. He costs a fortune and I have to trailer to him but he's worth every penny.