Sorry to creep you out, but it’s true. With all the hubbub these days about privacy, huge measures are being taken to manage what various business entities are allowed to do with a person’s personal information. As a marketer who uses this information to help make decisions about products & promotions, it is very valuable to me in terms of being profitable to be able to accurately target folks who are likely to be interested in what we have to offer. But there’s a whole ‘nother privacy thing that can come under the microscope when you work for the public. Like a farrier does. Every day, all across the world farriers make appearances at various folks’ farms to do their work. And they’re being observed. And sometimes (probably most times) those folks form an opinion about what they see. If it’s interesting enough, they tell their friends. With the advent of the internet, they can tell a LOT of friends.
Consider A Farrier Tale from Horse & Man blog. This blogger tells an interesting account of a routine farrier visit – doesn’t much mention the actual work being done – (are they being shod? barefoot? does everybody stand well? etc – typical stuff that farriers would think focus would be on) Instead, she describes her farriers’ wardrobe, his grooming, even the behavior of his kids. How well he parks his truck. She becomes aware that the working conditions she’s provided for him are less than stellar. It’s a fascinating chronicle of how someone else views an ordinary interaction – you can read the rest here
Farriers are being talked about on another online group that I belong to – this is a very technical group that discusses (often in detail way over my head) things like operant conditioning, bridge & target training, perception modification, and more. These are highly educated folks who are on the cutting edge of animal training research. I hang out there and read all this stuff that’s light years ahead of my own skills – hoping a particle or two will rub off on me? There’s one gal who’s blind – she writes fascinating posts about her relationship with her service dog. Amazing stuff. Another gal works with troubled horses. She’s rehabbed a number of “hopeless” cases. Including a mustang who’d been so traumatized by someone’s effort to do “natural horsemanship” on him that he was afraid of even the water in his bucket.
The discussion has recently shifted to hoof care. This gal shared her story – she’d spent eons of time getting this horse comfortable enough that she could even touch his feet. Finally she can pick them up and hold for a short time. She arranges for her farrier to come and give it a try. They discuss beforehand – he (the farrier) will do as much as he can on one foot, and they will consider the session a success and quit for the day. The farrier comes. The horse allows him to trim without much trouble. Farrier thinks he can do more. Against her better judgement, owner allows him to try. This is too much for the horse and he “misbehaves”. Farrier HITS HIM with the rasp. Ugh. Of course, this negates months of work that’s been done to gain this horse’s trust. Fortunately for the farrier, the owner did not share his name. That wasn’t really the point of her post – to trash the farrier – but to emphasize how very important it is that farrier interactions go successfully for a previously-traumatized horse in “recovery.
There’s even a Facebook Group dedicated exclusively to Farriers Butts! With members all posting photos of their farriers butts. Of course I had to get in on the action. Shown above is my husband Rob trimming Billy , while Lucy cleans up. Rob stopped shoeing years ago because of a back injury, but he still trims ours. We’ve found that the HoofJack really helps with working on Billy’s hind feet. His hocks and hips are arthritic and he is very heavy to hold up. This device lets him lean all he wants without strain on the farriers’ back. So, farriers, remember that folks are watching everything you do. Maybe even taking pictures. Make sure the fodder that they have to share is something you’re proud of!
With all that said, I belong to several online horse groups, and nearly every day someone is looking for a farrier.
There are many reasons for this – and I think we are quick to assume the worst when the “I can’t find a farrier…” scenario comes up. Sometimes there’s a reason that owners can’t get a farrier to come, (bad working conditions, slow to pay, etc) or sometimes it’s the farrier (won’t show up on time, is rough with the horse(s), etc.) and we tend to gravitate toward that kind of thinking. But the fact is, there are lots of reasons farriers and owners need to “shop around” until they find a good fit. And they aren’t all negative. For every story I hear about a farrier that won’t keep appointments, or an owner who has unruly horses, I also hear stories about wonderful relationships between owners, farriers and their horses. If you take the time to get it right, hoof care can be a whole lot less of a headache for everybody involved.
Since I started listing the business cards on Facebook as well as in the directory) I am delighted that our followers frequently take the time to chime in a kind word about their farrier. So, it’s in that spirit that I list below our current batch of directory additions. (The cards shown here are for illustration purposes, were randomly chosen and are in no particular order.) Click on the state to view details for each farrier listed below:
- Alabama – Barry Faulk
- Arizona – Chris Nicoll
- California – Chevals Farrier Service, Christopher Naron, Brad Payne
- Colorado – Joe Boucher, Charles Garcia, Steve Schneiderman
- Florida – Oskar’s Feather & Fur Friends Rescue
- Georgia – Clayton Atkins, Susan Auten
- Illinois – Don Ellis, Casey Kantenwein, Billy Walther
- Indiana – Dan Helton, Bradley Langhofer
- Maryland – Jeanne Geisler, Dan Garner
- Maine – Susan Walker
- Minnesota – Elijah Cyphers
- Missouri – Jesse Gartman
- Montana – Joshua Bidlack
- North Carolina – James Hunter, Dwayne Lankford
- New Jersey – Gina Edwards
- New Mexico – Adriano Duran
- New York – Patrick Fargnoli, Jay Mathews, Jospeh Oishei
- Nebraska – Dollys Legacy Animal Rescue
- Ohio – Craig Counselman, Galen Houser, Mose Wengerd
- Oklahoma – Jeremiah Thacker
- Oregon – Kyle Lane
- Pennsylvania – Dave Fisher, Mike Fisher, Elvin Smoker, Moses Zook
- Tennessee – Roy C. Davis, Coy Garten
- Texas – Lance Bland, Tyson Pate, Stephanie Abbott, Jeremy Woodhouse
- Utah – Cooper Williams
- Vermont – Natalie Chapla
- Washington – Tracy Sorenson, Ann Szolas, Jesse Wilson, Chris Wilson
- Wyoming – Nate Munger
There you have it, at least for now. I’ll feature the next batch of cards once I get some accumulated. If you’re a farrier (or other equine professional) and are interested in ordering custom business cards, we have dozens of lovely full color logos to choose from here.
Wanna read more?
Is this all I do? Post pictures and stories about life here on the farm? Nope! HoofPrints.com is my “real” job.
You can read more posts about horses here
For more fun on the farm, go here
Adventures in remodeling are here
Is the house haunted? There are some stories about that here
Laughable housekeeping advice is here
Having had a farrier who with his wife were also my friends – can certainly sympathize with so many of the different comments. I remember seeing lots of lax owners – very few harsh or untrustworthy farriers. Its a really hard job – physically (as you know). I remember thinking years ago – there should be hard & fast rules of the knowledge REQUIRED before someone can “own” a horse (well there should be with kids too – but thats another story).
You dont know what you dont know & sadly, far too many people just dont want to learn.
Anyhow, great blog – lots of stories & lots of good “stuff”!
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I have a wonderful relationship with our farrier. He came into our lives the afternoon our 6 months pregnant Icelandic pinto was kicked in the right front cannon bone and broke her leg. We had no available trailer and the vet called this man and he got to our farm and drove her to an equine hospital 60 miles away. He became our farrier when our vet recommended him to take care of our mare when she came home from the hospital.
Now he and his wife are going to take the responsibility to get our horses and our cats to the places they need to be if both myself and my husband die at the same time. I found a wonderful farm in Shelbyville, KY that takes retired horses and our cats will go to a no kill shelter for a fee and will hopefully get adopted.
I love our farrier and would trust him with anything! Plus he has a great sense of humor and is very funny. It is always a good day when Scott comes to the barn. I always feel good after a visit by him. I am blessed to have him in my life. I wish everyone could have a farrier like our friend Scott French.
Gina: could you please tell me which online group you belong to that talks about animal training research? The one you said was over your head? Thank you. BTW my farrier was here on Monday and we were talking about how nice Rob and you fixed up your house. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer.
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Thanks for the kind words! The group is a Yahoo! group, and it’s not very active these days but the discussions are archived, and are very interesting. That’s here https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/bridgeandtarget2/info there’s a Facebook page here with more current discussion and links to outside webpages on the same topics https://www.facebook.com/SynAlia/ Hope this helps!
Thank you, Gina.