I will have to come back and read all of the posts...
BUT - I've paid as much as $35 (years ago) for my smaller shetlands and mini sized Shetlands and $50 for full size horses. Currently I pay $20/current year foals; $25 for Shetlands & $30 for my large horses. On days when any of my guys "act up" (have had as many as 4 w/ major weather changes), I'm charged anywhere from $5 to $20 based on "how bad" they are. I've also tipped my farrier - though not every time. I give a Christmas gift to my farrier(s) - now, most times a card that can be used for fuel is most appreciated - amounts have varied depending on where we are at at the time financially.
Generally, all of my ponies are caught and tied up in their pastures before the farrier arrives (I feed in the morning, they stand tied at their buckets). I then halter them w/ MY halters and we either trim them in their pastures (fair weather - summer or winter) or I bring them into the barn or under a tree. I currently don't have lights/electricity in my barn - so we've changed a few appointments based on that (dark/rainy/freezing weather). Now it's more difficult to do that - I have a "real" work schedule since starting this new job - I'm not as flexible as I had been the last 4 years when working a part time job that I could swap days around if needed. We have a standing appointment every other Friday right now and I track who gets done. Sometimes, we determine that I have one (& this year as many as 3 at a time) that need to be done again w/i 2 to 4 weeks. Usually, every one is rotated thru in an 8 week period. The early part of this year when first she and then I was sick, we missed a few appointments and they were off schedule - going up to 12 weeks between appointments (not everyone). We've done as few as 4 and as many as 9 in one day. Even in the ones that aren't being worked, I've had a lot of popped abscesses coming thru the hoof walls and some weird growing patterns w/ this wonky weather and resulting living arrangements.
I have one mare that she has refused to do. Seems the more I handle her, the worse she becomes. I've talked to my vet about some tranquilizer like trainers use for clipping - but we don't seem to be on the same sheet of music there... I've been able to trim the mares' hooves myself on the fronts - I'm glad that she generally breaks off in back. It's not pretty, but she's never gotten very tall hooves or elf slippers, so we are doing alright. No, she is not where she should be, but again, I do the best I can do.
If necessary, I have twitched mine - a squeeze w/ my hand on the muzzle or a shoulder roll twitch, a "humane" twitch, a chain twitch or a rope twitch. I have used a nylon halter w/ a chain - over the nose or run so that the chain rests under the upper lip. I have "eared" my own - only on ones I KNOW not to be overly sensitive in the ears and I don't twist or pull them down. I have grabbed them at the base of the tail and lifted/held. I've picked a couple of foals completely off the ground w/ the tail hold and an arm under the neck/throat latch.
All the farriers that I've had since 1995 have carried their own halters/lead ropes in their vehicles. They have all stated that they have used them - in some instances even when an owner has provided one - simply because they trust their equipment more. Some have also carried twitches, leg ropes or hobbles, and fly spray along with any tools required for their trade.
I have had to ask the farrier to put down the pony's hoof a couple of times while working. She likes to keep each hoof completely off the ground while she shifts around. I prefer that they get to stand on their hoof between doing the bottom and then bringing them forward to do. I have quite a number of ponies that this does upset and I don't consider it fair to them.
Both in MT and here in NC - I've had many farriers just plain say "NO" to doing ponies and arabians. I've got a friend who is using a farrier now (and he's GOOD) that I spoke to several years ago. He charges very reasonable/competitive rates NOW for this area - but when I paid to have him stop by and give me a consult when I was looking for a new farrier - he wanted $50 for the ponies and $75 for the Arabs - all just trims and coming out and doing them every 8 weeks. I didn't have that kind of money.
I have had a large number of farriers not show up and not call. When I took an unpaid day off from work - that hurt - and after two appointments, I was looking for a new farrier. This happens a LOT here - I don't know about other states. This was occurring even with cell phones and appointment books. This just flat out amazes me! Currently, my farrier and I keep in touch not only by phone (she doesn't get texts or email on her phone and I don't generally text anyway) but by computer based email. Both she and I have called the night previous to an appointment - to verify we are "on" for the next day. A couple of times, one or the other of us has been running late in the morning - either due to a family emergency or to horse stuff or (gasp,
) just waking up late. We CALL and let each other know!! A couple of times, we've then switched our appointment. One time, I got the call that our youngest daughter had connected my baby truck to a tree - we put ponies away, she rode w/ my hubby and I (extra person for vehicle/person extraction if needed, she didn't have another client after me that day) while we went to deal with the accident. W/ us then following, my hubby was able to drive my little truck home, daughter stayed at her friends' house and they brought her home later. When we had the truck repaired, we didn't drive it the rest of the way into town, but had it towed. I covered lunch for my farrier that day! We did the rest of the ponies due that day during the week following.
On a normal month - my farrier comes out 2 or 3 times. BUT w/ weather changes, health and changed appointments - she has come out as many times as 6 while working to catch up if needed (after she/i were sick and when she was out of commission w/ a badly sprained wrist).
I've also been surprised by the number of farriers and vets that go to clients where the client isn't at home... And the farrier or vet has to catch the horse in a pasture before they can perform the days' necessary work. WOW! I can't even imagine that - I don't want my horses done when I'm not there, personally. Guess I'm different that way.
I don't have a problem with a farrier raising their rates. I'm expecting mine to go up this year. BUT don't wait until we've done all my beasties and then tell me. Please make sure that I know before we do them all - I pay cash and I have to budget for each one that is done. IF you wait to tell me, I may not have the correct amount - making both of us very unhappy!!