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TOPIC: life as a farrier, two questions..?

life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 04:19 #1

Hi all,

I really wanted to ask some working farriers two questions about their way of life...they might seem trivial, but the answers are pretty important to me as far as committing to a career...lets assume for just a minute that I have the passion and the drive and I find a way to pick up the education, skill and experience to be a farrier...

one.... is it possible to have a dog if he's well trained and well mannered? Would he have to stay in the truck at all the stops? I'm thinking it wouldn't go well at some farms with their own dogs..

two...assuming you have built up a practice that is a fairly light full time, say four days a week...is it possible to get away for a few weeks time off now and then? By juggling shoeing cycles and maybe having a farrier friend take care of emergencies? How long can you responsibly leave a practice and have satisified customers to come back to?


thanks so much for your comments...
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 04:26 #2

  • Gary Hill
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Building a clientale is very important. Be on time, keep them on schedule and work hard to prove yourself to them. Keep up with all info and go to clinics and tell your customers about what you are learning. Scheduling time off gets alot easier when you earn your clients trust. I would leave the dog at home. Some folks will not mind but awhole lot of others really do. You don't want your dog fighting or breeding their dogs and usually barn dogs are already up your donkey the whole time you work, so why add another. Having them stay in your truck the whole time you work is hard on your dog as well as the side of your truck, (scratches from the barn dogs). Good Luck!
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 04:55 #3

  • Bryan McElwee
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I have a 11 month old red heeler that goes to every stop with me. He hasnt missed a day of work since he was 5 weeks old. All of my clients look forward to having him there. When they call to book appointments they ask how he is doing and usually have something waiting for him when we get there. He is really well mannered. He stay out of the barn most of the time. He might come in and wait for a peice of foot but he doesnt get under horses or in the work area. He loves kids so if there are kids around he stays with them. When I get ready to leave I whistle for him and he gets in the truck and off to the next stop.
Good judgement comes from experience... And a lot of that comes from bad judgement

Annoy a barefooter... SHOE horses!
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 05:36 #4

  • T. Wm. HALL
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Good Questions!

When I was shoeing full time, I would work hard to get ahead of my schedule, and strategically schedule horses accordingly, (do some sooner, hold some non-pressing clients over to later) just so that I could have a few days off about every 10-12 weeks. Mostly a 4 day weekend was all I was ever really able to accomplish. Now I have all the time off in the world, and trying hard to fill up the days. I do have a busy schedule the remainder of the week, but slow next week with Christmas on up through the first of the year. Time in the shop to play! :)

I used to take my dogs with me pretty much everywhere I went, and they were often welcome guests. But now, I no longer take them because, 1. I don't have room in my truck now, and 2. While I trust the behavior and mannerisms of my dogs, I don't always trust the same from other dogs. I don't think that it is unprofessional, (Brian takes his and his dog is welcome at his stops, and while that works fine for him), I don't want the added risk or distraction while I am working with my clients. I still take a dog or two on rare occasion, but I think the choice to take a dog should depend on the client and facility. What may be acceptable at one client may not be at the other.

I once had a young boy severely burn his hand while climbing in the back of my truck to pet my dog. He grabbed the base of the inlet just above the top of the forge box, as he was climbing in (after being asked and told several times not to) My forge was still pretty hot. I heard him scream from inside the barn! Ever since then, although not my fault, I have left the dogs at home, and while his Mom wasn't mad at me, she blistered his butt for not minding her. So he had a red butt to match his red hand! :eek:

Stay safe and warm!

Trevor

This is about the furthest extent of my dog's activities when they happened to venture out on trips shoeing with me. (Summer of '05) They were pretty laid back.

Trevor Wm. Hall, CF
Hall's Horseshoeing
Redmond, Oregon U.S.A.
www.Hallshorseshoeing.com


He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. ~Confuscius
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 13:08 #5

  • Jeff Crane
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I have a 140 pound Swiss Mountain Dog that goes everyday(unless it is too hot or rainy). My customers love him. There are some places he can't go but for the most part he is welcome. I work a 5 day work week. I do not take alot of time off because its too hard playing catch up. I don't work weekends unless I need time off during the week for holidays or convention.

Jeff
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 13:32 #6

  • Mike Ferrara
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I couldn't see taking a dog with me. Most barns already have too many dogs and all sorts of other animals running around getting in the way. In any case, I have enough to do without having to look out after a dog while I'm working.

As a matter of common curtesy, I would never bring a dog to anyone's place without clearing it ahead of time.
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 13:32 #7

  • Jeff Crane
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Here he is. This is my dog who rides with me.
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 16:02 #8

  • Kaydence
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I have two dogs who ride with me sometimes, depending on the day and the clients. If it is going to be a long day in the summer, and in locations where either I or the client doesn't want them out of the vehicle, I'll often leave them home as I don't want to worry about how hot they are getting in the vehicle. As a general rule, well trained dogs who lay under the truck or just meander a bit, in quiet barns, are often welcome in my area. I do leave my truck door open for them at the barns where it is convenient and both of my dogs are usually asleep on the seat within 15 min of me starting to work so they aren't a distraction for me.

Personally, I can't stand dogs near me when I work as it is such a hazard so I've got my dogs in the habit of staying closer to the vehicle than to me while I work.

Also, if you plan on bringing a dog with you at any time, be prepared to accept that other people's dogs will jump up and scratch your vehicle (and owners won't care). Even on the days when your dogs are left at home, the other dogs will have to jump up just to check since they are used to you having an interesting vehicle.

For holidays, it is a lot of pre-planning to make schedules work and I work extra hard for a couple of week before and after my holidays but I can get away for 2 weeks fairly comfortably and I have stretched it as much as 3 weeks at times. Because I like taking my holidays in the fall, it makes it easier. I do take a week off every spring and every fall for a clinic as well and those are relatively easy to schedule in as I have dates 6 months in advance. Next year I'm slipping back home for 2 - 3 weeks over Christmas/New Years because it is quiet enough that I doubt I'll be missed much. Once there is snow on the roads around here, many client reschedule their appointments. We're very wimpy on the Wet Coast. :)

Cheri
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 18:55 #9

  • blueflames
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I take my 12 week old heeler with me to most appointments, I leave him in my truck and he passes out in the seat within a few minutes, he is my driving companion. I have been leaving him home on really busy days when i hardly have time for lunch and on real cold days (minus 20) because I have to leave the truck running for him and my truck is a diesel so everyone complains about the noise, so I leave him home if I am going to be at a stop for a while, but everyone love my heeler and asks if he can come out and I let him out after I am all done.

It depends on where you live and what time of year if is to get the time off, I find winter time is easier because no one is jumping the gun to have their horses trimmed in the cold. So I plan early for trims or go a little longer if I need some time off. I am planning a whole month off in May and will be doing all my horses early and shoeing early if people want to start riding when I am gone and will ask one of the other farriers to help me out for emergencys.
Hope this helps.

We all have to have time off and a life at some point.
Never underestimate a womans love for shoes, especially steel ones!
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 19:08 #10

  • Jack Evers
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Where you work has a lot to do with both questions. I have always travelled with a dog, but there are some barns where I don't let him out. It's mostly been a poodle. I would expect there are some hi end areas that wouldn't care for a dog. I know one place that won't even allow a dog in your truck. You need to play that by ear.

The time off can be worked out as mentioned, but in starting out, I remember one bright young man starting on the Front Range area of Colorado. When I asked him how it was going, he said that there were a lot of very good farriers in the area - hard for a Newby to compete on quality, but he could compete on service by not over scheduling, being on time and being available for emergencies. Don't let time off upset this consideration.
Jack Evers CJF AFA#426

The best things about the good old days -- I wasn't good and I wasn't old.

The older I get, the more horses I shoe, the fewer things that I can absolutely, positively fix.
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 19:09 #11

  • Ray_Knightley
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We have one dog with us everyday ,and sometimes two..sometimes they stay inside the rig ,and in winter my small dog has a coat and wax jacket because of the cold ..does not need it when other dogs are about because she runs alot ,some horses don`t like dogs but only a few..she is very good at really bad smells sometimes and stinks alot off the time from rolling in stuff..

With holidays I just make them its always possible with planing ,you have a rush before and after and no more than 2 weeks is ever possible really ..but we are with 3 workers and one is a farrier aswell so here its okay at the moment!!

regards ray
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 19:41 #12

  • Jack Evers
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Don't know if you're aware Ray, but European attitudes toward dogs are generaly much different and more accepting than American attitudes. For example few public buildings or businesses allow any dogs other than those helping the disabled. That said, in horse neighborhoods dogs are usually acceptable.
Jack Evers CJF AFA#426

The best things about the good old days -- I wasn't good and I wasn't old.

The older I get, the more horses I shoe, the fewer things that I can absolutely, positively fix.
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 17 Dec 2008 20:49 #13

  • Ray_Knightley
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Yes ,i was not sure how it is in USA with dogs .Thanks.
Horses and dogs are hand in hand all over .
very small dogs are popular here now because of Paris Hilton .
because of the nature of horse owners here ,they more than oftern have not only a Horse but also a dog ..
In dressage and show jumping stables and profi clients the Dogs are more or less kept out of the way ..
I always see myself as a guest at any stables and if they have anything against a dog then she is in the rig straight away.
If i leave her at home she does not talk to me until the next morning!!

ray knightley.

Here she is with a very small dallric glue on with toe exstention at a clinic done with dallmer here at home :D
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 25 Dec 2008 20:28 #14

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. And it was fun seeing the canines too!
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RE:life as a farrier, two questions..? 25 Dec 2008 20:51 #15

I love my dogs, very well mannered and people and animal friendly but they stay at home when shoeing, but when it comes to horseback riding and moving cows there right there.



Thanks,
Jarred
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Jarred Oates
Oates Equine Service's
Farrier-Massage-Aromathearpy-Training

Hocking College Equine Science
(farrier, equine health, and wilderness horsemanship)
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