Call the Farrier

iSpyHorses --  Sun, 05-May-2019

Horses come with hooves, and with hooves, come farriers.   Most of us adore our farriers and of course we can’t own horses without them.  But engaging them is often a costly business.   Never fear though because here we have provided you with some great DIY ideas and advice that will better your farrier experiences and cut costs.


  • To make sure that you get your money’s worth, you should always request that on the farrier’s arrival they train your horse to lift its feet.  Never feel bad or concerned when your horse moves about and kicks out. You’re paying your farrier a lot of money and handling horses is what they’re supposed to be good at.


  • It is a common wives tale that you need your farrier in winter.  Studies show that horses' feet do not grow in the colder months, especially when they have mud on their hooves.  Save your $ and your farrier the trip out in the winter and only give them a call when the sun has been out for more than a week!


  • If you are short on cash there is an easy way to get your horses hooves done on the cheap.  Ask your farrier for a set of new shoes.  Then when they start to appear to need a reset just remove one shoe and ask your farrier to pop your ‘thrown’ shoe back on.  Repeat this 3 more times over the next few weeks.  And all four feet will be trimmed for free and as good as new for at least another 8 weeks!


  • Often farriers take a long time to reply to your call.  To make it easier for them and their schedule, simply book your horse in for a 6:30 pm visit.  There’s bound to be a free schedule at this time!


  • It can be lonely for a farrier on the road and often they are met by loveless horses.  Ensure you encourage your horse to nibble your farriers back.  They also think it’s cute.  They adore the love and seeing the resulting Facebook pics of your special horse nibbling the seat of their jeans while they’re head down and bum up.


  • After being cooped up in the car for a long time between jobs, farriers love a bit of a stretch of their legs. To cater for this, they really appreciate walking miles and catching your horse from the paddock for you.  Even better if the horse is hard to catch and the farrier must run after it with a bucket of feed.


  • Travel consumes a lot of a farrier’s day.  To help ease the diesel miles, book them for one horse then have a further 3 lined up to be done. Even if they act like they have other bookings – they probably don’t.  They love the words, “While you’re here….”



  • Between all the work your farrier does, he hasn’t got time to study.  So, here’s how you can help.  Recite your new-found Facebook shoeing knowledge and what your trainer told you.   This will ensure your horse has the best.  And yes, in this century hoof angles are meant to be at 180 degrees.


  • If your horse has an undiagnosed lameness for the last six weeks, don’t whatever you do call the vet.  The farrier is always a much cheaper option and they can arrive in less time.


  • Moisture is great for your horses' hooves.  Leave all mud and wetness on the hooves for as long as possible.  Let the farrier see that you care and know your stuff – be sure to leave the mud on for when your farrier arrives to shoe.   


  • After running their farriery business for a while they forget how often you must pay for their services.  The best way to keep the pricing affordable is to be sure to openly moan about their pricing, to their face.  Often you will get a discount from doing this!


  • Remember to frequently rotate the farrier you use; this ensures your horse gets used to lots of different people and you receive an abundance of different ideas and shoeing techniques and hoof knowledge.


  • Finally, if your farrier is taking a while to respond to your messages, the fastest way to get what you want is by texting their partner, mum, dad, sister, brother, uncle and/or aunt.  You will have your request responded to in a jiffy.




With all of this said, the most economical way to keep your horse shod to your satisfaction is to pick up a rasp and train yourself, this being the ultimate way to save money and eliminate the hassles of chasing your farrier!  You may even branch out and start shoeing other horses and before you know it, you’ll be able to set up your on farriery business.


WRITTEN BY Nikole Robson