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TOPIC: Watching Each Other's Backs

Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 04:01 #1

  • Box Forge
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Just wanted to share. I'm not sure how everyone's different area's work, but in our area, we have a pretty tight-knit group of farriers. We communicate with each other all the time on anything from bad horses to watch out for, price increases, or non-paying clients.

Last week I received a call from a lady requesting that I take over her whole barn, but when she was giving me directions to the place the last thing she said was that I'd see the sign the bore the name of her barn. The name of her barn just sounded far too familiar to me so a red flag came up. As soon as I got off the phone I called two other farriers trying to find out who the last person was that shod the horses there. Upon talking to the farrier, I found out that she had written him $250 worth of bad checks. I simply called the lady back and told her I would be unable to work for her until her debt with the previous farrier was settled. I took quite a talking to and maintained calm and professional and simply repeated myself telling her she would have to settle the debt. The next day she called back and apologized to me for talking to me the way she did and the farrier got paid. I did inform her that I would still not work for her due to the way she talked to me. Anyway, she got another farrier and the previous farrier got paid.


Two years ago, I was shoeing for a lady and she was given a bill for $205 and she didn't pay. I found out that her "old" farrier was back in town from FL and she was back to using him. I called him and let him know about the lady's debt with me and he didn't seem to think it was his problem. I simply said, sometime down the road it will be your problem. I let all of the local farriers know about this debt and left it at that. Then, today the farrier who I had assisted in collecting the $250 called me saying that this lady had called him and asked if she still owed me. I said yes and told him the amount. And he is now returning the favor of denying work until her debt to me is settled.

I know there are a lot of people who, "don't think it's their problem", but if we don't watch each other's backs, there is no one out there to do it. It is within the nature of our job that we WILL, at some point in time, get stuck by a client. But once they find that they can't just get the next guy down the street, it makes it a lot easier to collect.

Just something to think on.
Phillip Box, Jr., CJF
AFA#9007
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 04:32 #2

  • Rick Talbert
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in my area we have a small number of farriers, and several others who would presume to classify themselves as such. Amongst our small group we communicate daily. We help eachother out when needed, shoe each-other's clients if possible when one of us has to go out of town, and we regularly do a sort of quick background check on prospective new clients. The other sort of "farriers" we have around here are hungry for work, and this sort of professional courtesy would be quite foreign to their way of thinking. They view other farriers as "the competition". There is of course a reason why they are "hungry" for work and a reason why they feel they have to "compete". :rolleyes:
Rick Talbert
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 04:58 #3

Man I wish my area was like all of yours. In my area there's not a certified farrier within a fifty mile range, maybe more than that...many of them wouldn't even know what the AFA is, or our state's chapter of the AFA. There are a lot of amazing CJF's and CF's but they're either really north or really south of me. I love driving to clinics and hammer ins though, because it's the only place I get to interact with educated farriers. I always have a ton of fun. But in my immediate area I'm known as the "new guy" (been working for almost a year under cjf mentors) and the other two farriers around here have nothing to say to me, and even try to spread bad (untrue) things about me. :mad:One of the farriers is a major heel chopper, and I believe knows nothing about balance or physiology of the horse's foot....but I keep my mouth shut about that and just smile as his customers come my way. I just wish I didn't have to drive 2+ hours to get the fellowship that you folks talk about.
Mary Miller
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 05:20 #4

  • Rick Talbert
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Mary, I have worked in a few different states and been in the same situation you describe as far as not really having any local mentors. I am in the same situation here, in part. I have one good friend in my area that is also a CF, aside from us, there is only one other CF to my knowldge in the entire southern half of the state. We try to travel together to the convention and clinics and certs etc (hopefully to the summit this year) but we are really the only game in town. We have encouraged eachother to pass different parts of the CJF, but neither of us have accomplished all 3 parts yet (we really haven't tried this year), but now he is moving out of state and that is gonna leave me in the same boat your in, so I know what you mean. There are some other farriers in my area, but none that have impressed me, and none that I can look to for answers. Looks like 2010 may bring some road trips for me to meet up with some of the north georgia boys who can forge circles around me, lol.:eek:
Rick Talbert
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 09:25 #5

  • chris bunting
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on the whole farriers in my area are great when it comes to issues like this .
the major problem here is undoubtedly owners.they will import farriers from anywhere to to satisfy their tiny little whims by offering them free holidays for shoes.most of these horseshoers are not worth a toss damage the horse etc so the owner\trainer just imports another person.as i say the majority of locally based men including myself are aware of these facts and enjoy a beer or two discussing all these issues
chris
common sense is not needed when you have rules
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 14:24 #6

Hi Phillip

You done good, but!!!!! Appears to me your being a little over dramatic about 250.00.

250.00 dollars worth of bad checks, could be one bounced check. That has happened to me, but in most cases it was a simple error and easily resolved with a phone call. If you do not call the person they may not be aware that you did not get paid and the perception is the person is not paying. If this was the case, I can understand this lady being upset with your lecture and holier than thow attitude. To her credit she did apologize to you. Just a different point of view from your buddy up north. :)
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 14:45 #7

Phil Armitage wrote:
Appears to me your being a little over dramatic about 250.00.
I get dramatic over ten bucks,
and have dropped a client over that same ten bucks.

Nobody tells me what I charge.
Mr.Box . . .
I took quite a talking to . . .
And nobody gives me a good talking to either.

Mr.Box
I am with you.

Mr. Armitage totaly you're out to lunch here.
Like you didn't even read his post ? ? ? :confused:

If they stiffed the last guy
They'll stiff you.
If they complain about the last guy incessantly
They will complain about you incessantly.

How's that for a poem ? ? ?
Bradley SaintJohn

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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 14:48 #8

  • calshoer
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My experiences have been like Phillip's. Almost everyone in our 'family' of farriers here tries to help each other and not allow deadbeat clients to jump from farrier to farrier without paying their entire bill. I have done exactly as Phil did. It is really a wake up call for those kind of clients when they find out everybody takes care of each other.
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 15:13 #9

Rick Talbert wrote:
Mary, I have worked in a few different states and been in the same situation you describe as far as not really having any local mentors. I am in the same situation here, in part. I have one good friend in my area that is also a CF, aside from us, there is only one other CF to my knowldge in the entire southern half of the state. We try to travel together to the convention and clinics and certs etc (hopefully to the summit this year) but we are really the only game in town. We have encouraged eachother to pass different parts of the CJF, but neither of us have accomplished all 3 parts yet (we really haven't tried this year), but now he is moving out of state and that is gonna leave me in the same boat your in, so I know what you mean. There are some other farriers in my area, but none that have impressed me, and none that I can look to for answers. Looks like 2010 may bring some road trips for me to meet up with some of the north georgia boys who can forge circles around me, lol.:eek:

Good to know there's someone who's in the same boat, but also discouraging. I have also tried talking to one of the local farriers and tried to get him to consider going for some type of certification, but he just blew up on me and continued saying how the afa is all snooty farriers that don't care about anyone but themselves. Ugh. Roadtrips are always fun though, and in my experience the ones who can forge circles around me are also the most humble and helpful. I am looking forward to flying to Portland for the 2010 AFA convention, I had so much fun at the last one in Chattanooga. I was thinking about going to the Summit because I could just drive there, but I don't see any option of bringing my mom as a guest, like convention provides. And she loves going with me to clinics and such, I just can't see paying $300 for a guest to come too!

And I get what the rest of you are saying too. Being the new farrier in the area I have been called in to many deadbeat clients places just because I'm "fresh meat" for them. However I have turned down many of the people my mom has known from the local show circuit who are known not to pay. One of them has a $400 unpaid bill to a farrier around here, and she called me up asking me to do 9 horses. I just had to laugh. There was one lady I turned down because I knew she had a dangerous horse, so she called the heel chopping farrier...and through the grapevine (I try to take everything I hear with a grain of salt) I was informed that he told her I turned her down because I just didn't have the skill. However I'd rather stay in good health and pass a few horses by that try and be the big bad farrier who can shoe any horse.
Mary Miller
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 21:59 #10

  • Gary Hill
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Phillip what a great approach! Too bad the "hoofcare providers" in my area are only interested in stealing work. The newbies all have a standing offer to come ride along with me. I will encourage them to get in the forge to make their lifes easier and all they want to know is how many we are doing today and how much am I going to pay them to help!?! Thats why I stay the course with the tortoise and hare approach. I crawl around daily taking care of my clients and the others seem to rush around trying to do as many as they can with no regard to anyone else in the area.:rolleyes:
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 22:06 #11

hearttohooffarrier wrote:
so she called the heel chopping farrier...and through the grapevine (I try to take everything I hear with a grain of salt) I was informed that he told her I turned her down because I just didn't have the skill.

Where, in relation to some anatomical structure (for example the widest part of the frog) does the "heel chopping" farrier prepare the heels?
George Spear
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".....and I said to the horse: Trust no man in whose eyes you do not see yourself reflected as an equal."
Don Vincenzo Giobbe
CA. 1700

"What people do not appreciate is that every time a horse submits to...
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 24 Nov 2009 23:34 #12

  • Box Forge
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Phil Armitage wrote:
Hi Phillip

You done good, but!!!!! Appears to me your being a little over dramatic about 250.00.

250.00 dollars worth of bad checks, could be one bounced check. That has happened to me, but in most cases it was a simple error and easily resolved with a phone call. If you do not call the person they may not be aware that you did not get paid and the perception is the person is not paying. If this was the case, I can understand this lady being upset with your lecture and holier than thow attitude. To her credit she did apologize to you. Just a different point of view from your buddy up north. :)

I could have only hoped this was the case Phil. She was upset b/c she got caught. And she was well aware that she had not paid him. I didn't give her any lecture and certainly never had an attitude as I hardly said one sentence before she went on her rant. And regardless of the amount, if it is money owed, it is money owed. Period! And I don't think that's overly dramatic. And another thing, I found out today that the farrier still hasn't been paid and she conned another farrier from across the state to come do the work. So I wouldn't be too hasty to come to her defense as she lied to the vet and this other farrier, stating that she had already sent the money and the debt was clear. Unfortunately, they didn't call the farrier and confirm until after the fact.
Phillip Box, Jr., CJF
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 00:57 #13

Dances with Hooves wrote:
Where, in relation to some anatomical structure (for example the widest part of the frog) does the "heel chopping" farrier prepare the heels?

I've seen quite a few horses he's done, and most of them he ends up drawing blood on the heels. The donkeys I work on in my avatar pic he had one of them bleeding for 3 days. I don't really think he knows where to start, he learned everything he knows from his dad, no formal schooling. Creates a lot of problems, and like I said I tried talking to him about the AFA and looking towards getting schooled for certification of some sort, that got me nowhere. He's a pretty good guy, just likes to trash-talk and do his own thing I guess.

In relation to some anatomical structure...I'd say he probably goes about it by gutting the bars quite a bit, and I would have to guess that he tries to make the heels match that. I've been trying to keep up with my picture taking so I can keep records and maybe figure it out. However until I see him trim I guess I can't know for sure how he prepares the heels, sir.
Mary Miller
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 01:05 #14

Gary Hill wrote:
Phillip what a great approach! Too bad the "hoofcare providers" in my area are only interested in stealing work. The newbies all have a standing offer to come ride along with me. I will encourage them to get in the forge to make their lifes easier and all they want to know is how many we are doing today and how much am I going to pay them to help!?! Thats why I stay the course with the tortoise and hare approach. I crawl around daily taking care of my clients and the others seem to rush around trying to do as many as they can with no regard to anyone else in the area.:rolleyes:

Gary,
As a newbie farrier I can say people like you are lifesavers! The veterans who actually offer to let newbies ride around with them are the best! It's unfortunate that many of them are money oriented...I had to pick up my jaw the first time my mentor paid me, I wasn't even expecting pay! I just want to learn, and be an asset to all of my mentor. The tortoise and hare approach is a new one to me, but that's the path I'm striving for!
Mary Miller
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 01:12 #15

  • Clint Burrell
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stuff deletedhearttohooffarrier wrote:
he learned everything he knows from his dad, no formal schooling.

Easy now, schooling and learning are two different things.;)
Clint Burrell

"You say your from collage,
but you don't seem to bright.
You just brought a swichblade
to a pistol fight"
Move On by Chris Knight
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