Farrier, blacksmith, trimmer - whatever your hoof care professional's title, it is important to be a good customer and have a positive relationship. Your horse's hooves are vital to its health, and your farrier keeps their hooves healthy. How do you keep your farrier happy?
A farrier's job can be dangerous - so it is your job to make sure your horse behaves safely and courteously. Work with and handle your horse's hooves and legs regularly. Train them to stand quietly without pawing, biting, rearing, kicking, etc. Hire a trainer if you need assistance with teaching your horse to stand for the farrier.
Your horse does not need show ring ready hooves for the farrier, but they sure will appreciate it if your horse's hooves and legs are clean and dry. Avoid asking your farrier to work on your horse's sticky, muddy, dripping legs. Filthy hooves dull your farrier's tools and take longer to work on.
Does your farrier have a safe place to work that is protected from the elements? Your "hoof care zone" does not need to be fancy, but make sure it is free of dangerous debris, loose horses, and inclement weather like rain, snow, or extreme heat. A flat surface is best for your farrier to work on.
Even well behaved horses can struggle in a chaotic environment. If possible, try to avoid scheduling your farrier visit during feeding times or when the horses are being turned out to pasture. These can distract your horse, and you want to minimize distractions. Set your horse up for success - and do not fire up that new leaf blower while your farrier is shoeing your horse!
This one may seem simple, but you would be surprised how often farriers experience owners who do not pay fully and promptly. Your farrier is providing a highly valuable service, and deserves prompt payment, every time.
No hoof, no horse. This saying is so true! Keep your farrier happy with the above tips, for a sound and healthy horse.
The Info Pony