Before i start, don’t get me wrong!! I enjoy trimming and shoeing all of the horses in my customer list. If every horse stood quietly with its feet raised, just waiting for me to start work, my life would be A LOT easier. There would of course be a lot more farriers, and less work to go around. I would like to also make it clear that this is by no way a complaint or comment about a particular customer or situation. Regard this more as an tiny piece of honest, friendly advice on how to become your farriers favourite customer. If you live in an area where farriers live all around you and it is easy for you to get an appointment, you can probably stop reading now. If however, you live, like most people, in an area where it is not always easy to get a farrier to come round to trim or shoe your horse, this advice could be a real gem.
Many farriers are working long hours and on a very tight schedule. Very often I hear that the only complaint a horse owner has regarding their farrier, is that “he always turns up late!!” which brings me to my first tip..
When your farrier turns up, have you already caught your horse and have him ready to be trimmed/shod? If the answer is No, it is probably because you have been let down before and why should you stand around waiting only for your farrier to turn up late?! This unfortunately creates the very problem that you, as a customer hate. Another reason that your farrier could get held up is when a customer has an appointment for 2 horses and these 2 horses magically become 3 or 4. Your farrier will want to do them straight away, to save on fuel costs and time but he will then be late for his next appointment and so on. If there is any change in the number of horses to be trimmed/shod, let your farrier know in advance. There are of course times when farriers make a mistake or don’t plan enough time for an appointment. I think it then also good manners to contact the customer(s) that will be affected as soon as it is known that there is a hold up.
Do you have a place for your farrier to work that is clean, dry and providing the necessary amenities such as water and electric? It is not always possible to have such a work area for your farrier and your farrier more than likely understands that. It does however make a big difference when your farrier doesn’t have to walk around in circles or get soaking wet..
I love dogs! I really do!! I love them so much that the thought of your lovely dog being flattened by your horse really turns my stomach. Horses (even the bomb-proof ones) will, from time to time be startled or put their foot down unexpectedly. Please make sure your other four-footed friend is not in the vicinity when this occurs..
If you would like to pay your farrier at a later date, let them know before work commences. We live in a digital age where many people no longer carry cash, and many farriers have a payment machine in the car. However not all farriers work digitally and they would expect to get ‘the butter with the fish’ as they say in Holland. If you want to get credit in shops etc. You would probably be first subject to a credit check. I for one would not know where to begin when checking a customers credit rating. I also have no problem at all if my customers pay at a later date, but to expect credit without first asking is a little bit cheeky..
Once again, I would like to say that this is by no means a rant. Why would it be?? All of my customers are ‘perfect’ customers!! It is however the small details that make a business relationship a good one.
I would like to write an article on how to be the customers favourite farrier and I invite you to send me your ‘tips and advice’ to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!!