Another farrier bit the dust and boy I'm mad

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Marty

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Nobody can have as many problems keeping a farrier as me. I swear I have dumb luck when it comes to farriers.

I've had them up here drunk, high on dope, no shows, left horses crippled, you name it. My biggest problem is getting a farrier that will not leave big high heels on my horses like the local racking horses. I've had farriers build up my horse's feet like you cannot imagine no matter what I said and cut the frogs clean off! I swear to you I could tear my hair out. During the phone pre-interview I would question them about these things and they know just how I want them done......yea sure, that's bull.

The only farrier I had that was really good and nice was "Bubba"......he was self taught, a big old hillbilly and was the funniest guy around. He would come complete with two picnic baskets and coolers and his daddy and wife and "fart machine" which kept me in stitches. He looked like a cross between a heck's Angel and a real hillbilly farmer and he sure knew how to do a horse's foot,. all 400 lbs of him. Problem with him was that he couldn't remember his appointments, would leave me standing there for days, but when he came, he took all day and into the night. Why?

.......because he would do one foot, then sit on the tail gate and have him a moon pie and a coke, then do another foot, then sit on the tail gate and have him another moon pie and a coke, then do another foot, then sit on the tail gate and have him some fried chicken and bisquit and some apple pie. By the time he was done here, it would be into the dark of the night and he didn't need that fart machine at all.


I finally hit on a farrier this spring that I thought we were going to click. He was retired Army and just brand new out of Oklahoma Farrier School. He was trying to build up a clientele here in this area. I didn't like him as "a person" because of his "militant ora" he had, such as the way he would "order" his wife around like a solider to bring him this and bring him that. Also, just being out of school, he seemed to know "way too much" as if he was trying to impress me. In other words, this guy was full of himself and was a braggart and loaded with a lot of mis-information such as telling me that Sonny had this and that......which of course I would be the expert on Sonny's feet, not him.

But I shut up and let him trim because he did show up and do a good job.

He came prompty, each time increasing his price, but never telling me before hand. Then he began to add milage. I know some of his other clients and they were all beginning to pay through the nose and dropped him. But I just shut up and paid the bill.

I always kept the horses up and haltered and ready.

I provided a shady, cool area in the new barn with a fan to keep him comfortable.

I put down mats for his convience to work on.

I provided soft drinks, water, or ice tea and a chair for him to take breaks in.

I paid him on the spot. But due to his constant increases, I no longer was giving him a tip.

I have tried to contact him since August 3rd because he missed our appointment. I have made countless numbers of phone calls and left messages on his answer phone to no avail. He never called me back. So here I am with my horses with super long feet, weeks over do and I can't locate him. So yestarday, I drove some 40 miles one way to his mother's place of business. She got him on the phone and said "you have a customer here."

He would not accept the call and told her to say that he no longer is doing horse's feet. No explaination, no "i'm sorry" and the rat didn't even have the common curtesy to get on the phone and speak to me himself.

I've exhausted my list of farriers to call. Most of the good ones won't come into my county. It's also amazing how many people will not do the minis. I was even told that "they were too mean" by one man. Actually, I really wanted to call "Bubba" back so I did. Problem is that I didn't have minis when he used to come and he said he would be way too fat to be able to bend over to do them.

We aren't going to do this ourselves because we are chicken we'll screw up and mostly because we still need someone that can do Sonny right with his foot issues.

So back on the phone today for me trying to find another farrier. Wish me luck.
 

lvponies

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How awful!!! I hope you're able to find a reliable, responsible, reasonable and knowledgeble farrier real soon.
 

OldStageMinis

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I hear ya, our last "new" farrier was a nice, young girl who promptly sliced her forearm with her shiny, new, hoof knife and had to be transported by my husband and I to the nearest ER where she had to have surgery for cutting a tendon!

She says "she'll call when she gets feeling better"--I don't think so!
 
T

Triggy&Blue&Daisy Too

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Ok Marty, I really think you can learn to do this yourself. With your attention to detail I'd bet you'd make a better farrier than 99% of the ones you've fired over the years. My farrier taught me the elements of the basic natural balance trim in just a few sessions. It's really not that hard to learn and all you have to remember is to be conservative not much comes off each time. Unless your horses are doing some tough performance stuff a basic trim is all they'll ever need anyway and you already have the eye for a good foot.
 

ILoveMyGelding

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We have been on a hunt for farriers too! The last one we had to schedule our appointment months in advance! When he finally came he was an hour late. He was really nice but it rubbed me the wrong way when he started telling us how to handle our own horses. He also wanted to restrain every single one of my horses before even trying to trim them in a relaxed way. Most of them stood still but the ones who hate to be restrained. Also, I didn't agree with the way he trimmed them. I've never seen anyone trim them that way. Three of my horses didn't want to do anything but lay down the next day. Needless to say he won't be coming back.
 

whitney

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Marty you probably won't listen but.......................when you do find someone have them trim. Then you rasp them every 2 weeks and you'll never need them back.

You KNOW what the correct angle LOOKS like, your scared so you'll be careful and not take off too much. A couple of quick hits with a rasp every 2 weeks will keep their hoofs in good shape.

GRAB THAT BULL BY THE HORNS WOMAN! I'll bet your better at it than any farrier you've ever had.
 

Margaret

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Marty, wouldnt it be nice to know -if you just could not come up with a farrier, either for this reason or what not,... that you could just bite the bullet, and do it yourself...rather than hold your breath for the next farrier to stroll along.. The only reason I am saying this is because you are in a remote area, and a good reliable farrier can even be hard to find in a populated area. I think it would be a good investment for you to find someone- who can not only do your horses, but also help you to learn how to do it, in the event of another unexpected farrier loss.. JMO
 
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Marty

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Marty you probably won't listen but.......................when you do find someone have them trim. Then you rasp them every 2 weeks and you'll never need them back.

Whitney I have thought about this for years and years and I am thinking about it yet today. If I can get just one person to fix them all up really good, then I am going to try to keep them up myself as long as I can just just a rasp and not a knife or nippers. Knives and nippers scare the heck outta me. Right now, they are way over grown badly so I can't go doing it now by myself, but boy I am really tempted. Just think at all that money I'd be saving that I could put towards Timmy's college education!
 

hhpminis

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The only thing about "just a rasp every couple weeks" is eventually you have to trim the frog and the sole.

I understand what you mean Marty, I can handle the rasp and even some of the nippers but the knife just scares the heck out of me. Plus it is really hard work. It takes me about an hour a horse to do it and I do an OK job but I really hate doing it.

Right now I have a good farrier and have had for about 2 yrs now so I hope he lasts. He schedules me every 3rd Wednesday and we just rotate through the herd. During foaling season he is willing to drop by for the new foals and touch them up weekly if I need it. I do agree though a good farrier is worth their weight in gold. He does not finish them as nicely as I have had in the past but he shows up on time and is only 15 bucks a horse.

Good Luck finding someone and perhaps you could rasp in between and only have to have a farrier out every 3 or 4 months or so.
 

Jill

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Marty --

I also think you can, and need to, learn to do trimming yourself. Even if it's just so you can get the horses done in a pinch. You can order some good farrier equipment (note: don't get cheap, under $30 nippers), a short / mini rasp, a handle for it, a hoof knife, a decent set of nippers, and the video about miniature horse trimming and try it yourself. I am pretty pleased with the job Harvey does on ours. I love our Farrier, but he's not totally dependable to show up and also, it's A LOT more convenient for us to do a few of ours at a time, vs. trying to do all or most of them when the farrier is here. I know how the hooves should look, I'm used to making sure they look "right" before a show (looking at them as critically as I can), and if WE can do it with our decade only of horse ownership, then I know you all can do it, too.

Jill
 

Margaret

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Just a word of encouragment guys, but I found that investing in both a "left hand knife", and a "right hand knife", and dishing "away" from your body, (and wearing gloves) really "lessens" the injury factor. Also each hoof can be dished out easier with water soaking first, and both knives do the job much better than the traditional right hand one. I use the left hand knife- in my right hand also to dish out the left side of the hoof...and use the right one to dish out the right side of the hoof.- Allways cutting down and away from me, elliminates the danger of being cut. It is important to dish the hoof, as you dont want the weight of the horse on the sole of their feet, as that can cause them to be tender footed..
 
T

Triggy&Blue&Daisy Too

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hhpminis said:
The only thing about "just a rasp every couple weeks" is eventually you have to trim the frog and the sole.
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Annette I do have to disagree. Mine have never had their soles pared both 3 years old so if that were true they should have 6 inch tall feet by now. Both have perfect and extremley tough feet even though the footing is fairly soft the soles slough away just like a wild horse's would.

My big mare has been trimmed in that same manner all of her life. She's never has had shoes put on, been ridden on some of the roughest terrain in Eastern WA under working ranch conditions and has never had cracks, soreness or any type of foot problems. Plus she's got the best feet I've ever seen on a quarter horse.

There is a lot to be said for the natural balance trimming method.
 

Gameela

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I agree, you should learn to do it yourself. I've lived in somewhat remote areas and also lived in very populated areas. In California, by the time I found a good farrier, something happened and they'd stop showing up (sually an argument with a barn owner). Calling new farriers left me with a 6 week waiting list or longer, when my mare ALREADY was overdue because the last farrier couldn't make it. Forget about scheduling a day or specific time.....if you get a specific time and they stick to it, your one lucky person! I also, really need to learn how to do a good trim.

My current farrier is pretty good, but, he changes the dates to get a horse trimmed all the time (at least my horse), so the day your due to get trimmed, he'll show up and schedule a different day to do it....or, he wont show up...and doesn't call. He is always hours late.....but I haven't met a farrier yet that DOESN'T do any of this stuff.

By the way, I pay $35.00 or so a trim...and I tip on top of it~! Those that only have to pay a much smaller ammount are very lucky!!!
 

RebelsHope

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I know how you feel Marty. I have never had just bad luck till I got the minis. The first one yell at him and told me I was a bad owner because the horses wouldn't stand perfect for him I have two and they were 5 and 6 months respective. I had only had them a month and they had never had their feet done. I told him to leave after two feet.

Next I found a nice guy, but after I moved he wouldn't return our call.

Finally I found someone around here that is will to come, he was supposed to come today, but forgot. He did call and he said he could be here in 30 -45 min, or tomorrow, we just said he could come tomorrow. Hopefully he will show.

I do have a rasp, and took a farrier training class in college. I just got a book as a refreasher and I am going to let this guy set them up and then I am going to try to maintain them. I am used to big horse feet, but I am afraid of cutting too much on these little mini feet.

I agree Marty learn to do at least some of it yourself. Even if it just enough so you can wait a few extra weeks to get another farrier if you need to.
 

Fred

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Marty I'd gladly do your horses if you lived closer but I just can't commute

that far. You can trim your own horses and do a decent job. If you need help

e-mail me. If you were going to nationals I'd give you lessons. Good luck,

and yes mst farriers will not touch a mini they think its beneath them. I don't

understand it either as I also do many "large" horses besides minis. LInda B
 

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