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TOPIC: Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe?

Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 01 Apr 2011 19:39 #1

  • Peters Shoeing
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So, is there a specific way to avoid the trainers that act as contractors and dictators, the barn owners who are looking for the deals, and the clients that use whoever is there that day?

Do you guys form any price structuring for the big barns? Do you throw the trainers any incentives or mutual recommendations? Do you recommend certain vets over others? I raised my prices to avoid this hoopla, but in this economy, it happens.

I gained and lost a fairly big barn recently, all good clients, but the one person who organized me working on all the Horses was the one bad client.

Most were Barefoot and having problems, so I shod many of them. The trainer that organized those clients for me needed shoes for her Barefoot Horse as well. She asked me why I charge $150 to shoe with glue-ons when shoes costs $25. She said something like "I know I should pay for your time, travel, and materials, but where are you getting this price from". She said something like, "why does it cost more than trimming, it's just putting on a shoe." She cancelled on me twice, both times I found out when I called her the day prior to the appointment. She moaned about price, but when she recommended me to everyone there, I gave her a deal. Then I had her arthritic horse jumping again and she says "the shoes are OK, I dont notice a difference." The last I heard of her, she said she "had the other guy that was there put shoes on and she will use him and keep in touch." LOL.

Then, one by one, everyone else at the barn said the same. "The other guy already did it." I am assuming the trainer arranged for the other guy to do it like she arranged for me to do them prior. Ohh, ok, the guy who you werent satified with, who doesnt even hot shoe, the guy that missed the WLD and seedy toe, the guy who ignored your Horse's quarter cracks, the hack that told you "this is a process, these problems didnt happen over night and it cant be corrected overnight", but charges just a bit less than me? Awesome.

It happens, I know. They are drifter clients and they will use whatever guy is on the scene and charges less or is recommended by the trainer. I definitely prefer working for private folks and more serious trainers, how about you?
Alan Peters
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 01 Apr 2011 23:32 #2

  • solidrockshoer
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Your going to find out that a lot of clients could care less who shoes their nag, just as long as their feet don't chip, crack and, shoes stay on! Charge em and don't ever turn your back on the back yarders. The only ones I've had since I got out of school and still have are back yarders.
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 03:38 #3

  • Travis Reed
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Its a slipery slope and a fine balancing act..and it can vary wildly..like Nick said keep some small farms on the books..but the other thing is the pay off can be well worth the time and energy.... I have to yet seen a barn that did not expect some kind of discount on lesson lesson horses due to the farm carries that cost..with a little smart priceing and working things out you can manage to keep the farm happy and the clients.. I'm not sure why its treated as taboo to dicount a lesson horse.. you can afford to do that kind of thing if ur not running farm to farm... I have it easy when it comes to keeping up with things... mon...I cxatch all back yarders and fix shoes from weekend or changes ...tues I go to a large farm....wed I go to a large farm .. Thursday I go to a large farm..fri I go to a large farm...I I go to the same 4 farms every week on those days..unless a bad emer comes up then I. Work it out..I know what my gas will run each week and what supplys to stock.. I only deal with one person at the farms and bill the clients... all the above is about as simple as it gets..and well worth a small dicount on lesson horse...the draw back when one gets fired it takes a major hit and something one needs to plan for because getting fired is just part of being a farrier ....don't burn a bridge if fired a lot of times you get re hired
Travis Reed.....


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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 04:46 #4

Has anyone but me noticed a big difference in shoeing for English trainers over western?


I have a couple of big barns and it makes me nervous at times. I think it could actually make it harder to raise prices. The trainers know that they could take up to 1/5 to 1/6 of your work from you in a single swipe. I don't know. Starts to sound like you have a boss then.
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 08:09 #5

  • smitty88
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What do you consider big barns over there
and are they all sets?

and most every yard i go to im the only farrier
Smitty88
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 11:19 #6

  • Travis Reed
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Smitty what I call a large farm is around 30 to 60 head of horses.. what I consider as a large farm is by the time I get done with the horses its time to start over.. 2 of my larger barns show local weekend and 2 of the farms show some A shows..... they usally have a mix of horses ....hunters...jumpers...and dressage.... I re set every 35 days.... at theses farm there is always pne or 2 that another farrier may do and usally its due to price or a client has a long time farrier and will not change..and that is understandable...
Travis Reed.....


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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 11:44 #7

  • smitty88
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Travis Reed wrote:
Smitty what I call a large farm is around 30 to 60 head of horses.. what I consider as a large farm is by the time I get done with the horses its time to start over.. 2 of my larger barns show local weekend and 2 of the farms show some A shows..... they usally have a mix of horses ....hunters...jumpers...and dressage.... I re set every 35 days.... at theses farm there is always pne or 2 that another farrier may do and usally its due to price or a client has a long time farrier and will not change..and that is understandable...

i only have one yard on a 5 week (dressage yard)

the rest of my work is 7/8 weeks at norm
but the way things are at the moment over here

that has been stretched out a bit
Smitty88
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 15:59 #8

  • solidrockshoer
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It must be spring time!

I had a barn call me a couple weeks ago, ran out that night to put a couple shoes on and patch a quarter crack.

Show up the next week and they try haggling the price and say they had another guy come out to do some. After I wouldn't change my pricing they had me shoe some more that day. As I was shoeing one they said they might have the other guy come out to put handmades on the ones they wanted handmades on.

It's a very weird business and get's especially crazy every Spring for some reason.
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 16:04 #9

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Eric Russell wrote:
It must be spring time!

I had a barn call me a couple weeks ago, ran out that night to put a couple shoes on and patch a quarter crack.

Show up the next week and they try haggling the price and say they had another guy come out to do some. After I wouldn't change my pricing they had me shoe some more that day. As I was shoeing one they said they might have the other guy come out to put handmades on the ones they wanted handmades on.

It's a very weird business and get's especially crazy every Spring for some reason.

Eric i would not get myself into that situation
as i said im the only farrier in 99.9 of the yards i go
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 16:12 #10

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No worries Smitty! They're at the back of my list of things to do right now.
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 18:39 #11

  • Travis Reed
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Eric Russell wrote:
It must be spring time!

I had a barn call me a couple weeks ago, ran out that night to put a couple shoes on and patch a quarter crack.

Show up the next week and they try haggling the price and say they had another guy come out to do some. After I wouldn't change my pricing they had me shoe some more that day. As I was shoeing one they said they might have the other guy come out to put handmades on the ones they wanted handmades on.

It's a very weird business and get's especially crazy every Spring for some reason.

Eric does a request for handmades happen often and do u guys that do them on a reg basis charge extra for them?.... I can't count the times and pairs I have made at the horse and thrown them out due to I'm not confident in the work..and I always have a set of kegs in the fire while turning blanks..and I will olny attemt to make a set if the shoes that come off are a reset so if it goes bad I can salvage the time I have lost..
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 19:08 #12

  • Travis Reed
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clearthinkingone wrote:
Has anyone but me noticed a big difference in shoeing for English trainers over western?


I have a couple of big barns and it makes me nervous at times. I think it could actually make it harder to raise prices. The trainers know that they could take up to 1/5 to 1/6 of your work from you in a single swipe. I don't know. Starts to sound like you have a boss then.

Your damn right there is a diff..over the years I have shod at western types..and its a cluster at best ..its a couple of know it alls ...its a mix bag of nags and a price haggle is the norm..good to fill books until u can replace them..I would never dig my heels in at a western nor boarding type barn..but that's just me and I do not live out west where western types are of great vaule...where I'm at its a bunch of wanna be cowboys but I'm in a metro type area..or maybe I'm just not in the western loop because I would not give two flips for a western horse..when I deal with a english farm that has trainers and clients I know the score and how it works so I feel like I know what agles work and who to take care of and baby along to keep all happy.... these trainers are just like us ..trying to beat out a living while doing what we love... let's pretend for a min.... let's say a horse springs a shoe fri afternoon and they call and ask can u get it back on before morn...u say nope I'm 60 miles away and eating with my family...... well they where to show sat on the local shows... well the farm gets 75 a head to haul the horse 40 miles so they are gonna fill the trailer if they can....then they charge a cleaning stall fee... 80 a day in mane and tail braids.. 20 for washing and grooming a day.. then for each class the trainer is gonna get a 75 schooling fee...hell the kid may do 4 classes... so long story short the horse can't go because the small local show they not gonna pay a show farrier to sit there 2 or 3 days..or 1 day even....so a parent ain't gonna send the kid and horse on a maybe a farrier will just happen to be there...... that starts happen you can bet they will find a farrier that will get horses to the show
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 02 Apr 2011 19:22 #13

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Travis Reed wrote:
Eric does a request for handmades happen often and do u guys that do them on a reg basis charge extra for them?

It's rare that someone asks for them. It depends why I'm putting them on and if i feel like putting them on as to what I charge for them.
.... I can't count the times and pairs I have made at the horse and thrown them out

I prefer to make shoes at the shop and bring them. If I do make them at the horse it's almost always out of 3/8 x 1. 3/8 x 1 gives me a lot of wiggle room. The end product might not be exactly as I pictured it but I can generally still get it on the foot.
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RE:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 04 Apr 2011 03:44 #14

  • Red Amor
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I didn't ask the owner to buy the flash float and 4x4 to tow it
nor the flash saddle nor the new show horse when the brat couldn't ride the 5 or 6 other bastards they'd bought

I shoe 6 at the one place I might drop the travel charge
I don't drop my standards in my work from start to finish
and I'm not dropping my fees
IF you look after Me well enough and long enough and by this I mean just show me a little respect n gratitude n loyalty you will by far reap bigger benefits the a few dollars in discounts believe me
I look after good folks
Mind you I have never been asked to do more than 8 at one stop
there was a mob looking for someone to trim thirty odd head at ten dollars each twice a year they didnt bother to ask me
thats ok the horses were mostly unhandled
Ive been knocked around enough as it is I recon yeah ;)
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:Big Barns, Trainers, and Vets...friend or foe? 04 Apr 2011 05:00 #15

  • Anthony_Lawrence
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Big Barns friend or foe?

Nice when thing are going well, but any dispute that ends the relationship puts a big dent in your business.

I just walked from a $4k p/m account that has been going downhill for months.

Big trainer wants me to get under feral untrained puke. I say nope, get it trained or get someone else to do it.

Big trainer wants things done how he thinks it should be. I like to discuss these things, but trainer thinks he knows more about farriery than the farrier.

Big trainer isn't doing so well apart from one horse, must be the farrier's fault.

Big trainer insists that I am at his beck and call, but doesn't mind making me wait.

Horse 3 weeks into cycle gets a stone bruise, somehow big trainer thinks this is farrier's fault. :confused:

That was the last straw.

Won't take me long to replace him thankfully, but still a dent while I find another 40 horses to do.

They virtually own you... or think they do anyway.

I won't be keen to take on another big barn that's for sure.

On balance, foe IMO.
Ant.
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