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TOPIC: emigration

emigration 20 Jun 2011 14:04 #1

Hello everyone!
I am a full time farrier in the Netherlands.(I hope you understand my "dutch" english)
My wife (she will be a master saddler in about 2 years) and I are thinking about moving to the US. We have been in the US a few times and we love the country and the mentality. Of course is moving to another continent a big step, so we have a lot of questions. Maybe you can help us with a few.
First we would like to know the average monthly income of a full time farrier (50-60 hours a week. In Holland I maintain about 500 horses=about 40 hours)
What about social insurance? If you get sick, no work no income?
What about other insurances? What if you injure a horse?
What is the best part of the US to find a job as a farrier?
Is there a lot of competition?
These are just a few of many questions...
Thanks!
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 14:51 #2

  • Travis Reed
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In no order I will do the best I can...1..we supply our own health ins..you can buy many kinds to sute ur needs ..like u can get major medical and pay the doc office out of pocket for colds and such..but if u have cancer major medical will cover what ever policy you may have....if you have kids they have a thing called all kids that a lot of people use..not sure how it works but I'm sure you could google it...2.. lib ins if you hurt a horse can be got for around 350 a year and they is a co that offers it on this site in fact....3.. the income in the states can swing widely ..depending on where one lives..cost of living swings widely..in my area a house on 10acers can be got for 150k to 200k....land can be got for 5k an ac....say somewhere like south fl the same thing could be one mill dollars..ur gonna need to figure out where ur going to figure out cost of living....3..month of income in my area shoeing I would guess around 6 to 8k and that's not really hitting it hard...one could double that if he was not lazy like me..but I like to wake up at 10am and stop at 9pm and I'm slow..but also in my area the month to month income say for a labor job would be 3k... ...4.. if ur wife gets on with a major saddle co they could supply the family with health ins...5.. you will find the price to shoe a horse varys wide from 50bucks for 4 feet to 330 bucks for 4 feet..welcome to the land of the free..
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 15:35 #3

  • Mark_Gough
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dutchsmith wrote:
Hello everyone!
I am a full time farrier in the Netherlands.(I hope you understand my "dutch" english)

Your English is a LOT better than my Dutch! :D
My wife (she will be a master saddler in about 2 years) and I are thinking about moving to the US. We have been in the US a few times and we love the country and the mentality.

There is a job market for saddlers but it is small and competitive. Best paying positions in the United States are usually entrepreneurial.

What part of the United States have you visited? It's a big country and work/lifestyle/environment can vary dramatically depending on where a person decides to locate. I came to the midwest from the New Mexico area and felt like I had landed on an alien planet. It took awhile to realize that I may as well had!
First we would like to know the average monthly income of a full time farrier (50-60 hours a week. In Holland I maintain about 500 horses=about 40 hours)

Since you will be self-employed, your income on day 1 will be.... zero! :D

Expect to invest at least a year and probably more before building a business large enough to provide a "living wage". Depending on where you locate, it could take as long as three years. A lot of variables will influence your business growth.

You'll need "stake" money to get you by until you can earn your own way here. Personally, I wouldn't try it with less than a $100,000 seed money.
What about social insurance? If you get sick, no work no income?

There is a HUGE difference in managing health costs here versus countries that have formal, socialized medicine. In most states, hospitals cannot turn you away if you are seriously injured or sick, but who pays is complicated and varies a lot.

The general expectation is that you either purchase health insurance (generally expensive) or have employer provided insurance (not available if you're self employed). If you have no insurance you are left to either pay cash (extremely expensive) or fall back on whatever federal or state programs are available in your area.

It's a "hodge-podge" collection of programs that represent a complicated and sometimes difficult to access means of covering health costs. Many such programs depend on factors such as age (the elderly or very young), dependencies (children) and income level. Socialized medicine in America is a political football.
What about other insurances? What if you injure a horse?

There are a only a few companies that offer liability insurance specific to the care/custody/control of horses. In my experience, the coverage is somewhat minimal with a lot of loop-holes. A broader coverage liability insurance policy, combined with a business limited liability status is your best protection.
What is the best part of the US to find a job as a farrier?

Obviously, you want to go where the horses are. :D More seriously, I think it has less to do with where you are located and a lot more to do with your ability to meet customer expectations.
Is there a lot of competition?

Depending on area, sure. Again, your "competition" will ultimately prove to have less to do with how many "farriers" there are in a given area and a lot more to do with your ability to meet customer expectations. Top hands don't seem to have any trouble keeping their books filled.
These are just a few of many questions... Thanks!

You're welcome and best luck! Best advice I can give you is that you're going to find that living in America is, in many ways, still a journey into the frontier. While we have more than our fair share of big cities, big government and "civilization", it's still a "every man for himself" kind of country. You'll succeed or fail based on your own personal drive, work ethic and good or bad luck.

Perhaps the biggest difference between living here and in more socialized countries is the freedom to either succeed or fail to greater extremes.

In socialized countries there is more of a "safety net" for those that fail. Success is more limited by the requirement to "share" a greater percentage of that success.

In America, the "safety net" is smaller and the fall is a lot harder. The climb to the top is also a lot higher with nearly unlimited potential.

In my opinion, it's a tougher country populated by some of the nicest, most generous and sometimes, hardest people you'll ever meet.

Pick your climate (we've got 'em all), pick your pony and saddle up. For good or bad, you're in for a ride that will change your life forever.

Cheers,
Mark
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 17:23 #4

  • dana fenn
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We'd love to have you in Minnesota. :D Maybe appr 150 miles north of St. Paul/Minneapolis?

I have friends over by Nimrod/Leader area who came here from Switzerland 35 years ago. they say it's the best place to raise horses!
Live your life in such a way, that when your feet hit the floor in the morning,
Satan shudders and says "Oh, No, she's Awake!"
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 21:59 #5

  • Ray_Knightley
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Don't forget you can sell you account of horses to a new farrier in NL

Here in Germany it would be about 30% of a annual income after shoes and nails etc are taken off ,before tax I think ....
Time will be needed to introduce the new farrier to your clients and a little back up ...the rest is what the new guy makes of it !
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 22:11 #6

Ray, I'm puzzled by your post. If a farrier is leaving an area, why would someone buy his business? Couldn't one just pick up the business, without paying the guy who is leaving? Do the clients have to stay with a new farrier who has bought the previous farriers business. I guess maybe I just don't understand the system over there. :o I do find it very interesting.

Thanks in advance for the explanations.

Regards
Rick Shepherd

Although we know what we believe, we may only believe what we know. Dr William Moyers
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 22:43 #7

  • Rachael Kane
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Hi dutchsmith, Its a pity you don't want to emigrate to Australia, I'd love to swap places with you. I have also thought about going to America and very well might in the next few years, the population and opportunities there are far better than here. But I've been waiting 15 years for an opportunity to go back to holland, i love it there. Started learning Dutch recently, just in case :).
Rachael :)
CF

'Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you going.' (Jim Ryan).
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 22:46 #8

  • Travis Reed
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Rick ya know when I seen ur post I thought well it would be know diff than say a co that does pool cleaning..or a house cleaning service...but the more I think of it ur right...what to hell is to buy...the farrier takes all his skills ..he takes the company name..unless the farrier has a shop that has some haul ins ..and all tools ..and supplys..and or a brand name that is well known ...one would have to be crazy to buy a business..unless you have contracts to fill a bank would never find worth in the business therfore imho it would not be wise for a person to pay 30 percent of a farrier business...imo if a bank or loan office can't find worth it would not be a wise investment.....also if you do not do things just as the other farrier did then a client will more than likely pull out...and dare anyone to find two farriers that do things just alike..lol..
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:emigration 20 Jun 2011 23:14 #9

Pretty much my thoughts, Travis. Maybe there are different "rules" in Germany or Holland, just can't picture how things might work there.

Regards
Rick Shepherd

Although we know what we believe, we may only believe what we know. Dr William Moyers
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RE:emigration 21 Jun 2011 07:10 #10

Mark_Gough wrote:
Pick your climate (we've got 'em all), pick your pony and saddle up. For good or bad, you're in for a ride that will change your life forever.

Cheers,
Mark

Great advice, but one matter is left undiscussed. As far as I know you can not just start working in the US unless you have a very specific field of expertise. I doubt horse shoeing qualifies as such a field.

I'm far from being an expert on US immigration laws, but I suggest you need to spend some time at the US embassy to find out if you can work in the US at all.

Also there is this matter of what you will have to offer. It's a really big country, and in the US they have a horse density that might get close to what we have in Europe, but you need to find customers that will pay enough for you to have a life, especially if you have kids as well.

Just as a thought, in Holland a lot of shoers would charge like 85 euro for a horse, 4 shoes. You might charge a similar amount of money. My charge, 125 euro, makes me "expensive" compared to the mainstream. (There is a reason for that ;)) But even a "normal" rate of 85 euro is in US like $120.00. Down where I spend a some time, OK and TX, that would be considered a lot of money.

Also you need to think about what type of horse you want to be shoeing. I was asked to shoe reiners, because that's what I do. So I ended up in Texoma. But if you do not have a lot of experience shoeing Western horses you may want to decide on an area where dressage or jumpers are more popular. As Dutch shoers we have a lot of experience shoeing those.


Ronald Aalders
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RE:emigration 21 Jun 2011 07:45 #11

Thanks Ronald, and of course everyone else!
We once sold a horse to the US, and after a few years went back to see how the horse was doing. This was in Wellington, FL. I was shocked when I saw in what terrible condition his feet were.The owner of the barn asked me to look at some other horses, most of them Grand Prix horses, and again I was shocked... Most of the feet were to far backwards (I don't know the technical farrier language, but I hope you know what I mean)
The owner had told his farrier many times he didn't like the way the horses were shod, and said that he would love to have a Dutch farrier do his horses because they are better educated. I don't know if that is true, but having seen the feet of his horses this could be true...
When we were at this place there was a farrier at work. That gave me a chance to ask him some questions about his work and income. He was very honest about everything I asked him. But what also shocked me was that he mostly did what the owner wants, and not what is best for the horse... That is NOT how I work! In the mean time the horse we sold is back in Holland, and his feet are much better now.

All your answers are very usefull, thanks again! Except the shortened english of some of you I don't understand completely...
Is there a list of "farrier language"? Technical terms etc.?
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RE:emigration 21 Jun 2011 10:06 #12

  • Mike Ferrara
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You'll find that we have a dirersity of markets and a diversity of farrier "types" (for lack of a better term) to service those markets.

There are farriers shoeing back yard horses out in the country for $40 but most of those horses are barefoot anyway so most are trimmed for $15. Or you can shoe higher-end show horses or something where people pay some pretty big money.

dutchsmith wrote:
He was very honest about everything I asked him. But what also shocked me was that he mostly did what the owner wants, and not what is best for the horse... That is NOT how I work! In the mean time the horse we sold is back in Holland, and his feet are much better now.


You're free to do what you think is best for the horse as long as you can convince the owner (the one paying your fee) that it's what's best for them. If you can't, they'll send you on down the road and get somebody who will do what they want.
The owner had told his farrier many times he didn't like the way the horses were shod, and said that he would love to have a Dutch farrier do his horses because they are better educated.

If you think Dutch farriers are better educated, you might be in for something of an education yourself. We have some people shoeing horses who probably aren't very well educated or very good at shoeing horses but we also have some of the best.

If you come here, I think you will find plenty of competition.
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RE:emigration 21 Jun 2011 13:32 #13

  • Travis Reed
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Like mike said I think you may find a bit more comp than you may think...I'm not so sure I would base my whole move and put all my eggs one basket on a shoeing job you seen in wellinton..........on a side note ..Ron was saying it may be tuff to get in the USA ...not true just vaction in mexico and then just walk across the boarder ....find the guy who makes SScards and then ur ready to roll...lol.
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:emigration 21 Jun 2011 15:07 #14

  • Steve Swain
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Don't worry about immigrating leagally, just come on down south here and walk across the border. We will happily provide you with free health care, housing and teach your young'uns in their native language. We'll even let you vote if you want.
I stink, therefore I am.............a farrier.
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RE:emigration 21 Jun 2011 17:02 #15

  • Mark_Gough
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dutchsmith wrote:
Is there a list of "farrier language"? Technical terms etc.?

Ask and you shall receive...

http://www.horseshoes.com/glossary/glossary.htm

or, for a hard copy....

http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Farrier-Terms-Technical-Language/dp/1449594689

Cheers,
Mark
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