Since good shoeing and trimming are vital to keeping your horse sound and healthy it is very important that when the time comes to have your horse trimmed and shod, you trust the person who is working on his feet.? Here are some tips to finding a good and reliable farrier:
- Word of mouth.? Other horse people will clearly tell you who they like, who they don?t, and why.? These are the people who will let you know if a farrier shows up late for appointments or takes weeks to return a phone call.? Be sure to talk to other horse owners who have similar needs as your own, as someone who is showing their horses competitively will have different requirements from their farrier as someone doing casual trail riding.? Other good people to check with are your veterinarian, who will likely have a few people that they are comfortable working with, and also experienced stable managers, trainers, and breeders in your area.
- Look at advertisements.? Some farriers, if they are relatively new or are trying to increase their clientele, will advertise in barns, feed and tack stores, equine publications, or even on the Internet.? Be aware that although this can be a good place to start in collecting names, you will still need to research them to make sure they are a competent farrier.
- Check their certification.? Many farriers now choose to become members of the American Farrier?s Association, so that they can be certified in what they do.? The most extensive certification is the Journeyman Certified Farrier, who must have two years of direct experience and pass a comprehensive exam, both written and practical.
- Ask for references.? A good farrier should have a few clients who are willing to say good things about them.
- Interview your potential candidates.? Trusting your horse to a stranger?s hands is never easy.? Try to get to know your farrier first by talking to them on the phone, and even having them out to meet your horse (at your expense of course).? Discuss with them your horse?s special needs, and find out whether they have experience dealing with these issues.
Finding a farrier is not much different than finding a good doctor.? With a little research and networking, you?ll be sure that your horse is in good hands!