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How long would you wait?

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  • How long would you wait?

    So this is getting kind of ridiculous. Last week, I got scheduled with the farrier to come out and trim my horse's hooves (and he was going to come and do the shoes on somebody else's horse too) for this past Monday.

    Monday rolls around and he calls to confirm the time he'll be there. No big. Then when I'm getting ready to leave work and head down to the farm he calls and says that he's about halfway to the farm but he's hearing a metal on metal type noise on his truck and so he's stopped and he's getting a nearby mechanic friend to look at it so he'd have to call me back again and let me know what the verdict is and we'll likely have to reschedule for later. Okay, no big. I mean...stuff happens, right? And my horse's feet aren't dire so he can wait another day or two.

    Well, he said he was going to call back in a half hour or so and let me know what was going on. After an hour passed, I tried calling him and got voicemail. Shrugged, left a message, went back to work. Got no call back by the time I left work that evening (four hours later or so) and left one more message just to say I guessed we'd have to schedule some other day.

    Tuesday passed with no call, so Wednesday I called again, got voicemail again, left another message to let me know when he'd be out this way again.

    It's Friday now and I haven't heard from him. I'm getting the "he's just not that into you" vibe but I don't understand why since, you know, I've always paid up front and been agreeable, etc and even if he just doesn't want to do it anymore, I don't know why he couldn't call back and be like, 'yeah, I just can't do it, I'm really sorry'. Or something.

    Because at this point I'm not sure if I should try to get ahold of him once more or if I should just forget about it and try to find another farrier to come out.

    It's annoying because he does a good job and I like how he does my guy's feet and he's always been communicative in the past so I have no idea what this is about.

    What would you do?
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

  • #2
    I've had a similar experience. I had one horse, kept at the boarding barn where I worked. I had been using this farrier before I started the job, so kept him instead of switching to the barn's main guy. Well, he did a race barn down the road on the same schedule as my horse. If the race barn went long, he often woulnd't have time to get to me. That didn't bother me. The fact that he never once called to say he couldn't come did bother me. After the third time, I called to see where he was, got the same excuse, told him I would have the other farrier do my horse from now on. He did great work, but the other guy did, too. I just couldn't spend my entire life hunting down my farrier.
    "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams


    • #3
      The immediate issue at hand is the horse's feet. I'd go ahead and find someone do that, if I were you.

      With regard to the farrier, I expect professionalism, which means returning a call or at least sending a quick text. Has your farrier ever done this type of thing to you before? If it's really out of character, he may have a legitimate excuse for not calling back. But if he doesn't, then it's time to find a new guy. I'd be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt till you hear from him.
      "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh


      • #4
        I had a similar experience. I had a great farrier who was always there when he said he would be, did a fantastic job and was good with the horses.

        My mare lost a shoe about a week (the Saturday) before a trail trial. I called and left him a message that I had a show on the following Saturday so anytime in the week would be fine if he could come out. Two days later, I did the same. I got nothing. Two days before the show I started looking for other farriers and found a guy who could come out at 6 am the day of the show to put it back on. True to his word he was there at 6 and put new shoes all around (she was almost due).

        A week after the show the 1st farrier finally calls and said he could come out. I said, thanks but I got someone else. He asked if he could have another shot and I said I'd think about it. I never did call him again - he never apologized for not calling me back and to go two weeks, well, it peeved me off. Heard later that he had major personal problems with his SO and was not taking care of business at all. A lot of people were left hanging and getting no response from him. He eventually left the area.

        And the Farrier who came at 6 am - he's still shoeing for me 6 years later. He calls when he's late or needs to reschedule and will come for emergencies or last minute problems. He's a good kid and works hard. He knew the other guy and said my experience was not unusual for the other guy at that time.

        So, if I were in your shoes, I'd call another guy. If the 1st Farrier calls you, see what he has to say and go from there.


        • #5
          I wouldn't wait. If he STILL hasn't called you back, fire him. Maybe he just doesn't want to do your horse's anymore, I dunno. But as far as I'm concerned, I set up a schedule because my horse's feet can't go two weeks (even a week, really) while I try to hunt down my farrier. I guess I just have a low tolerance for these things...


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Aggie4Bar View Post
            The immediate issue at hand is the horse's feet. I'd go ahead and find someone do that, if I were you.

            With regard to the farrier, I expect professionalism, which means returning a call or at least sending a quick text. Has your farrier ever done this type of thing to you before? If it's really out of character, he may have a legitimate excuse for not calling back. But if he doesn't, then it's time to find a new guy. I'd be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt till you hear from him.
            No, it's pretty out of character. He usually gets back to me quickly and the other time he wasn't able to make it out, he was pretty quick to keep me informed and reschedule for another time.

            I've been willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because I don't really like the guy the barn uses and I don't want to have to go back to using the barn-guy but it's hard to find farriers in this area willing to come out here (most of the farriers seem to be over on the other side of Aiken and not particularly thrilled about coming over south of Augusta to trim a horse) and I do really like how my horse's feet have improved since I've started using this guy.

            But if he won't talk to me, that's kind of a problem too. :\
            The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
            Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


            • #7
              If this is really out of character I would wait until the first of next week at least. your horse should be fine going a week or two over unless he is having some major problems.


              • #8
                If you have someone else who can do the job and do it well, then yes. Find someone else.

                I have used my farrier for almost 20 years (scary thought). And I've probably waited on him for about 6 months of those years. He'll never schedule something and not show up. That has never happened. He will, however, not return phone calls. Does it drive me nuts? Sure. But he's always apologetic and never tries to make excuses. So I let it go. From a business sense it's beyond annoying and unacceptable; but his work makes up for it so I keep my mouth shut. I've never had a lame horse or a hot nail, and if I've needed him in an absolute pinch, he works me in.

                So pick you battles and make sure you can find someone just as good if not better before you jump ship.


                • #9
                  If it's really out of character, I'd be worried that his wrecked his truck and is in the hospital or something!

                  Just this last week, someone posted about her vet not calling her back...turns out the gal had been hospitalized!

                  If it's truly out of character, I would still find a backup for now, then when you DO talk to him say, "Wow, I was really worried about you. You okay?"

                  Also, I don't know about anyone else, but my phone can be wonky sometimes. I miss texts from my husband...and obviously I'm not trying to ignore hiim.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                    If it's really out of character, I'd be worried that his wrecked his truck and is in the hospital or something!
                    Me too! I was going to say "send out a search party, the mechanic guy probably did him in and sold his tools!"


                    • #11
                      If your horse's feet can wait a bit longer I would try to keep getting a hold of the farrier you like. Do you know anyone else who uses him? They may have heard something about what is going on.
                      My blog: Crackerdog Farm


                      • Original Poster

                        So it's sort of moot at this point, the other boarder has told me she wants to just go back and use the regular barn farrier (because the BO will hold horses when he comes out and it's hard for her to get off work to come hold her horse when the other guy comes out) so that just leaves us and dude has already said he won't be able to come out for just one horse.

                        I suppose it would still be polite to call one more time and let him know I'm going to have to go with using someone else instead of just...not calling. But I do kind of feel like the ball is in his court if he's even interested since I've left him a couple messages and he hasn't responded to them (or to the other boarder). So I guess it doesn't matter either way as I don't expect he's planning on coming out again at this point or we would have heard something.
                        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.