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