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TOPIC: Watching Each Other's Backs

RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 01:51 #16

  • halfmiler
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a good mentor will get you further than any school will. i aprenticed for allmost 5 years.
J.M.Shrader
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 02:10 #17

  • cuttinshoer
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hearttohooffarrier wrote:
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.

Just because one has letters behind their name does not necessarily make them a good farrier. Their are countless individuals on here that don't have any certification letters behind their names that are world class farriers and some of them learned from their Dad. Easy where you tread the water can get deep real quick around here.:eek:
Justin Decker

"As I see it, good enough is never good enough, it's just an excuse for mediocrity. If every shoeing ain't worth your best shot, you're just going through the motions." Tom Stovall, CJF
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 02:25 #18

  • solidrockshoer
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Philip, this is an interesting thread you've started. Here's a few bits of information I've gathered over the years. First, we're all a pretty independent bunch. Definitely opinionated, hard nosed or we won't last long in this trade. Have many reasons for getting into this trade, so our agenda's are often different than the other guys. Most of us rarely get to see each others work or working first hand, simply because of the way calls are scheduled, therefore we often get second hand info about each other.
There are over 380,000 horses in Ontario alone, translating in a huge number of farriers of every description, most of which we don't know personally at all. A few we get to know and even fewer we get to trust. This results in us watching out for number one, as selfish and mercenary as that sounds. That is why we keep on learning and developing our skills and passions in this trade, of which sites such as the F&HRC are an intrical part of the learning process. Where you operate from sounds as though there's only a handful of farriers and all after the same client base. Is there other places similar in structure out there? I've read where different one's on this board have commented that such and such happens by all the other farriers around their area, and I just can't relate because of the large horse and farrier population here. Can't even imagine knowing half the guys around doing shoeing, let alone be able to say what they would do in any given situation.
Personally I wouldn't change the way things are, because I've learned to adapt to this environment. Just some thoughts.
John
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 02:31 #19

mr box you live in some sort of farrier utopia.i wish i was there with you sometimes.here it is much like gary hill described.i have pards like gilreath to the south,whitman and andy to the north and jbar to the east but right here its every man for himself.the bottom feeders will do whatever it takes to get ahead.the afa is just a good ol boys club right?could be but every body i mentioned is in it.coincidence?-gary
Gary W. Atchison-Mustang Farrier Service-Hillsboro Texas
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 04:38 #20

Box Forge wrote:
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.

Simple solution with a lot less drama. Watch you own back. Inform people of what you charge and your policy. Reading horses is easier than reading people. Good luck and stay safe.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We have allot to be thankful for. :)
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 25 Nov 2009 04:55 #21

  • Rick Talbert
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There are farriers that are constantly pursueing horse owners, and then there are farriers that are constantly pursued by horse owners. Each category of farrier would pobably view this subject differently. The group in any given area that are pursued constantly by owners, has the freedom of being a little more picky about who they choose to work for. In any area I've worked there may be a countless number of the first type, but only a handful of top guys, who ussually form a sort of bond of mutual respect. What Phillip is talking about is professional courtesy. Who is "professional" enough in your particular area to be treated with professional courtesy depends on your opinion of what defines a professional. This is a free market economy, you don't have to play nice if it doesn't suit you. But making some friends amongst peers can be mutually beneficial.
Rick Talbert
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 10:01 #22

  • ThomasRideandDrive
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I'm not sure I'd have insisted the former was paid before I undertook the work.

However I've been in situations where I've made it very clear that I'm aware there's a previous debt. I'd be prepared to listen to their reason why and if I was thinking "bad debt, taking what you can't afford" then I'd not accept them as a client and I'd suggest they need to pay their bill before they end up in court. If it sounded like a plausible reason or something broken down in the client relationship then I'd just ensure the new client understands my terms and is absolutely nailed down from a contractual point of view.

Likewise if I've booted one for bad debt then I've ensured others know my side of the story and are prepared to look out if they come looking to them for a subsidy on their lifestyle choice!

Round here we do make phone calls to each other when someone is touting for a "sucker".
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 11:24 #23

  • Scott Chaney
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I always try to see if the last guy was paid. If he wasn't, the day may come when I'm not. If I can, I try and find out why he left. I take both sides with a grain of salt and make up my own mind. Sometimes its logistics, sometimes its personality, sometimes it's the owner tryin to pull a fast one and acting all innocent.
And, I bounced a check or two in my life by mistake. Funny thing is, I was always the first one to know.
So if I have to chase money when they KNOW they bounced a check...that's their last use of that privilege...and check writing is a privilege in my view.
I'll still do their work, but they pay cash.
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 13:50 #24

  • Bryan McElwee
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Phil Armitage wrote:
Simple solution with a lot less drama. Watch you own back. Inform people of what you charge and your policy. Reading horses is easier than reading people. Good luck and stay safe.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We have allot to be thankful for. :)

So what your saying Phil is me and Phillip shouldnt share info on who owes us money and just worry about getting paid? We work some in the same area and talk a lot on horses and owners to avoid. I think it has saved both of us a little headache in the long run. That attitude you have is the exact thing that is the problem in this business. Like Rick Talbert said its professional courtesy. You might want to look into that "professional" part Phil.
Good judgement comes from experience... And a lot of that comes from bad judgement

Annoy a barefooter... SHOE horses!
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 15:46 #25

Clint Burrell wrote:
stuff deleted

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

Oh I know...that wasn't a poke at anyone. I just kinda wanted to give a good description of him. And I'm sure he did learn quite a bit of great info from his dad, but I wish he would want to keep learning.
Mary Miller
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 15:51 #26

cuttinshoer wrote:
Just because one has letters behind their name does not necessarily make them a good farrier. Their are countless individuals on here that don't have any certification letters behind their names that are world class farriers and some of them learned from their Dad. Easy where you tread the water can get deep real quick around here.:eek:

I'm not trying to step on anybody's toes. Apprenticing goes far further than any school in my opinion. I learned SO much from my mentor after I got outta school. Teachers can only teach so much in the time they have, but a mentor can really show you the ins and outs of everything. I agree with you that some really great farriers have no cjf or cf behind their names...But that's not the point I was trying to make. I guess what really bothers me about this guy is that he doesn't seem to want to learn anything new, and is pretty much a know-it-all. I am not trying to get in deep with you guys, but thanks all for keeping me on my toes.
Mary Miller
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 18:10 #27

Box Forge wrote:
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.

That is what the Union does! especially on the racetracks.
If a trainer/owner owes a lot of money to a blacksmith and fires him/her; the other platers stick together until the shoeing bill is paid off; and when the racetracks were Union; the stewards would give the trainer days, and he couldn't skip out and take the horses of the track until the bill was paid!!!!
Also under a "Union" track; you would have an escrow account set up with the bookkeeper's office; so that in an emergency the trainer is thrown off the track; the plater's, the vet's ect would get paid out of the escrow account for any uncollected bills that were due!!
Not anymore; and now there is no one watching any one's backs any more.
There is something to be said about being UNIONIZED!!

Linda Muggleworth, IUJH
Union Blacksmith
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 21:36 #28

Box Forge wrote:
... 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. ...

Just something to think on.


It is something to think on.

There is much benefit from communicating, interacting in a positive manner, on a regular basis. Everybody has their place and something to contribute. The horses benefit. We should be talking to each other anyway.


Business communications, safety tips, good shop talk and another pair of eyes can make a difference.



Julie :-)
Julie Plaster
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 25 Nov 2009 23:30 #29

Where I am in Central Texas, as far as I know no one consults each other about anything. I have met only a couple of the many horseshoers around here and they were really nice guys, but the rest of the heel hookers are out for themselves only.
When I take on a new client I usually ask who the previous farrier was but by looking at the shoeing job I know without asking who did it.
As far as I know we are not really cut-throat here, but I know other horseshoers have taken my business cards out of the places I have put them.
So after saying all this, my point is... I fly solo, mind my own business, and I'm sticking to my guns. Friends welcome :)
Cody Gilreath, CF
www.certifiedtexasfarrier.com
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RE:Watching Each Other's Backs 26 Nov 2009 00:16 #30

Bryan McElwee wrote:
So what your saying Phil is me and Phillip shouldnt share info on who owes us money and just worry about getting paid? We work some in the same area and talk a lot on horses and owners to avoid. I think it has saved both of us a little headache in the long run. That attitude you have is the exact thing that is the problem in this business. Like Rick Talbert said its professional courtesy. You might want to look into that "professional" part Phil.

I'm not sure if I would consider two farriers talking about folks owning you money professional. Why would you consider taking care of your own backside unprofessional? I have experienced a few situations where the horse or horse owner get along with me just fine and did not get along with the former farrier and vice versa.

So Brian your telling me if you ever have the opportunity to take a good account away from your buddy Phillip that you wouldn't? :)

In my sandpile we all get along, however we also realize that we are all competing for business and have bills to pay.
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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