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TOPIC: I need to vent...forgive me

I need to vent...forgive me 19 Nov 2005 17:03 #1

  • Skinfaxi
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I swear, I don't know why some people even have horses! I get called out to trim 4 horses. I couldn't get there until late since I work full time. I get there and the shed the horses are in is tidy, but none of the 4 stalls had shavings and the floors were wet and black, hmmm. Anyway there is an 18yr brood mare, a skinny old mare, a big boned/footed stud and his filly(that they said was 18 mos but looked like 6 mos) They all are overgrown with false soles and have WLD, even the baby. This took longer than expected so I only did three. The whole time I was there the man was drinking beer and getting rather inebriated. I declined the beer he offered and said I was a member of the coalition against drunk shoeing. Then he began to tell me how to do my job, and how the other farriers were men, and how they got "too big for thier britches" and won't come out anymore. I was also informed about how I was way too slow(I am slow but said so on the phone before I went out), and how I had no right charging what everyone else did (25) since I am new at trimming professionally. He also told me proffusely that I was doing a good and thorough job. He wasn't mean just annoying. His wife appologized after he went in and said she had always been left out of the hoof care before 'cause the guys would sit around and I guess drink and bull****. I talked to her about how important hoof care is, esspecially for the baby. I scheduled to come back in three days to do the broodmare and talk about treating the WLD. I got rained out and was told that they would call me soon. No call. So, fine ****py owners right. Walk away. But I really need every call I get so when they call me in December or January to come back out should I charge 30?
I mean what can I do about these catch 22's? I need the work, they need the trim. I know about weather it is worth the trouble. I know I do a good job, but so far this kind of work is all I have had and I haven't been called back even once yet. It is discourageing. Keep on keepin' on right? Anyway, just venting
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 19 Nov 2005 18:56 #2

DON'T GO BACK! These are the kinds of i-d-i-o-t-s that you do NOT want on your roster! Yes, I understand you'd like to build a clientele base and maybe even quit your "regular" job to become a full time farrier; but these clients will only drop you at the next cheapest "guy" and doing that extra work on overgrown , poorly maintained hooves is NOT included in the cost of a regular, maintenance trim on decent hooves!

As far as being "slow" - tell them you don't get paid by the hour, you get paid by the job and quality work takes time.

I've been doing this full time since 1998 and I still hear comments about how the previous farrier shod all 4 horses in two hours. To which I reply, "Yeah, I can tell."

Then I'll get to the next barn and they are amazed at how well the horses stand for me and how quickly the shoeing goes! So, its all relative anyway.

Do a good job, be conscientious and don't work CHEAP!

Tell them they'd have more money for beer if they sold the horses!

Stay away from them! Far, far away!

Their previous farriers left them in the lurch too- regardless that they plied them with beer and comaradery. Your exception is that you have the integrity to stay away from the booze while working! Good for you!

WHile many of my clients here in hot and humid Florida will offer a beer, I always tell them- only if you are my last stop and after the last hoof is done - unless you want your horse to walk like he is drunk!
Regards,
Kim

Those who only consider cost, do NOT consider the cost to the horse!

The more we know, the more we know we need to know more! Ya know?
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 19 Nov 2005 19:00 #3

  • Noreaster
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edited****
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 19 Nov 2005 21:03 #4

  • Gary_Miller
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I think you need to rase your prices anyway you can get more money for your work. Around here most full time farriers charge $35 to $40 to trim.

As for going back what do you have to lose. Yes they are not the perfict client, don't take real good care, and may leave you for another farrier some day. But look at it this way, you gain experiance by getting under horses. If the horses stand good for you then you get that much more experiance by taking care of them when they call. Someday you will be so busy you won't have time. Then you can send them down the road by raising your fees.

Gary
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 19 Nov 2005 22:47 #5

  • Red Amor
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Honney stand up straight Look this fatgutted wife abuseing boozie chovenistic blow hard in the eye and tell him that you usually tell his type to go and get arterfically insamminated with a big proznoztercater but today you dont have time to mess around SO GO AND GET FFFFFFfired;)
Mark Anthony Amor
If we want anymore excrement like that outta you we'll squeese ya head :eek:
Mind how ya go now ;)
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 20 Nov 2005 02:43 #6

  • Donnie Walker
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A friend gave me a bumper sticker that states:

"LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO DRINK CHEAP BOOZE AND ARGUE WITH ****** PEOPLE"

I have found that to be quite true, more so with people than beer. If I were you I would just move on down the road.
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 20 Nov 2005 04:58 #7

As someone who is not a farrier but owns a horse....yes, charge more, no, do not put up with the abuse but go back!!!! because it sounds like the horses really do need you!!!!
Jules. :)
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 20 Nov 2005 08:12 #8

  • Rick Burten
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Charge 'em 'till you like 'em.

Wen I was younger(much younger)I too suffered these fools. I thought I needed to because I had to put food on the table, clothes on my back and a roof over my head. Occasionally it worked out and I was able to help both the horses and the owners. Mostly, I got rid of those folks as quickly as I could. Why? Well, first of all, who wants to work under those conditions? Second and more importantly, if you keep working for those kinds of people, word gets out and soon you find that those are the only kind of people calling you.

If and when these people call you to come out again, set the ground rules on the phone. Horses and stalls clean and dry, no drinking while you are there, no sidewalk supervising, and the horses have to be on a regular schedule throughout the year. Add any other conditions you feel are appropriate or necessary.
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 20 Nov 2005 18:44 #9

  • John Barney
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How are the horses? If they stand well it's worth it even if it is not a perfect situation. If they only want the horses done 3 or 4 times a year let them know it will be more due to more work. Explain how the horses will be far better with regular care and they will actually save money in the long run. As for being slow I too went through that and always explained it before starting. Speed comes with expirence and follow up on the same horse over time. Some horses though still take longer than others. Maybe try to schedule them on a weekend morning before he's had to many. Good luck and hang in there.

JB
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 21 Nov 2005 08:22 #10

  • Bill Adams
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I vote for going back, but on your terms. Maybe in a lucid moment the guy will realize why the others won't come back if it looks like you won't eather. If word gets out that you won't put up with their cr*ap it will be a positive for you. If word get out that you will, well then what Rick said.
I tell'em that I have two speeds, and if they don't like this one, I know they aint' gona like the other one.
Bill

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 21 Nov 2005 18:11 #11

I think you should go back. It sounds like your clients just don't understand. I would try expaining your concerns to them. Let them know the environment your prefer to work in, and the importance of proper hoof care. I get a great response from communicating with my clients. I tell them everything I am doing and why. I also (depending on the client) ask for their input. I have found that most of them just don't understand. One of my first mentors told me that horse people are great people because they have compassion for living things. I think for the most part this is true. It doesn't sound like they are into horses for the money so my guess is that they care for their animals they just don't understand.
As far as being slow I wouldn't worry about. I am slow as well but I am proud of my job when I am done. I would rather do the job the best I can and feel confident when I leave than do it as quick as possible and worry until I see the horse again. Again the communication thing, I believe your clients would prefer you to take your time and do a great job. They really do like being talked to. They want to understand. I think it also develops a sense of trust. Your speed will come with time, as will mine I hope.
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 21 Nov 2005 22:52 #12

  • Skinfaxi
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RGX and Red, LOL. Nice photo:) It cheered me up. I have wanted to call them, as people forget but I don't want to seem pushy. I have never been a social person, so figuring out how to manage and promote myself to others and handle others, has been WAY more difficult for me than understanding the hoof(im obsessed, I eat, drink, breathe, sleep and get distracted at work by feet...Its Fun :D ). Hey, Gary, where is "around here" for you??
I have tried to do everything on the weekend, but sometimes when you are starting out you just do it when you can. I don't think the guy was trying to be a jerk. Just trying to be helpful and involved, and since I wasn't BSing he might have taken it the wrong way. So what. And if he can't get anyone else to come out then he can pay for me. I think 25 is average, I mean people complain about it so it must be on par right? Plus despite the eye slanting conditions of the stalls, and the owners, the horses were as good as my own. No horse is perfect, but they were no problem. Even the baby was good and they said they weren't sure about how she'd be. I'm going to send them a
X-mas card. They really were nice people and the wife was surprised and happy to be included. I talked with her about the problems of impacted bars and irregular care, particularly how it applies to the growing filly. I have an inkling that the reason I've not been back is that I won't do the hanging out thing. And that I talked to his wife about scheduling instead of him...tough, he was drunk and went inside, and he said his idea of a schedual is every 10 wks. I was tempted to be irritated, and be "too busy" if they call again, but what's the harm. Even if that is the kind of work I get for a while, if I do my best work all the time it will show, and eventually I can weed the garden, so to speak. I'll just have to vent periodicaly, and on the general board next time. Thanks for the support everyone. These boards mean alot to me.

Oh and the check cleared.

Sarah
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 22 Nov 2005 03:14 #13

I think you should go back also, wait until they call you though. :) When they call, give a day and time that works best for you, don't budge on this make them take it or leave it, tell them your very buisy and would like to help them out. You need to factor in the extra time it takes to properly deal with the problems, so I think at a minimum you need to double your price. Even though your starting out, your still working hard and putting up with alot of abuse. Keep educateing them about proper care and they will either get sick of you and let you go or take your advice and you will have a good client. Hang in there, it is a tough trade, but a very rewarding one.

You just have to learn how to be fare but firm. Just observe how other professionals do buisness. Learn how to be blunt with a smile on your face. Stay safe and don't worry your buisness will grow.
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:I need to vent...forgive me 24 Nov 2005 15:26 #14

  • wwhite1973
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If you can deal with the horses then by all means go back, but however add a little to your prices for owner aggrevation. I know people are supposed to be smarter than horses, however in this business you will find that, that's not always true. When you run into this kind of client just shrug it off (think to yourselve, this is what makes me appreciate my good customers even more) and charge them double. Good luck with your business.
Wayne
AFA Member #10310 IRB Thoroughbred Licensed Blacksmith
Please! Don't steal. The government doesn't like the competition!
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RE:I need to vent...forgive me 24 Nov 2005 20:21 #15

  • Gary_Miller
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Skinfaxi wrote:
Hey, Gary, where is "around here" for you??
Boise Idaho area.Skinfaxi wrote:
I think 25 is average, I mean people complain about it so it must be on par right?
Sarah, call/ask other farriers in the area what they charge. Make sure you talk to those who are doing farrier work full time. Don't worry about people complaining that you are to high people will complain no matter what especally if they can make you think you charge to much. Just charge what you feel to be correct based on the current going rate. If you show up on time, return calls, and reschedule before you leave you soon will have more business than you can handle. The biggest problem in the industry is people not charging what they are worth just so they can get more busness. People like this tend to think the more horse I do the more money I can make. I think you should charge more money because you are worth it. Then you can do less horses and still make the same with less work.

Gary
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Ride hard, shoot straight, and always speak the truth.
Gunfighter Motto

"Our level of quality is how well our eye can see it." (Eric Russell, Oct 2008, Horseshoes.com)

"Discover what it is that makes you passionate then grab a firm...
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