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TOPIC: Rural area farriers

Rural area farriers 11 Apr 2012 15:01 #1

Just wondering how many of you are shoeing in rural areas? Around here we don't have show barns or any upscale horse facilities. An entire business is typically centered around the backyard horse or ranches, packstations, etc. So my real questions are: If you're in a rural area how long did it take you to get your business built up? How many horses will you do in an average day? How far will you drive in an average day? What was the most effective form of advertising for you when you started out? How do you keep busy through the winter?
"Follow your dreams and they will take you where you want to be".

"Whether you think you can - or think you can't - You're right!"
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Re: Rural area farriers 11 Apr 2012 16:03 #2

  • MPLdyCop
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I work in a rural area. I got some signs, banners, and cards.

1st month ........... 5 horses.
2nd ...................... 2
3rd ....................... 5
4th ....................... 25
5th ....................... 24
6th ....................... 30
7th ....................... 14
8th ....................... 31

I drove 11,367 miles total for those 8 months.

I don't have harsh winters in my area so work stayed the same.
That was my first year.

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Kim Turner

www.totalhorsecare.net



Dr. House "You were right, Counts for nothing if you can't defend it."
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Re: Rural area farriers 12 Apr 2012 08:18 #3

i drive max hour from home i try to work a days work in that area, which a day for me is around 6-7 horses, when i started up i would go that distance for one til my name got around, i travel around 20min most days till first stop
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Re: Rural area farriers 03 May 2012 04:39 #4

  • Travis Morgan
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Keep ads going on Craigslist. Put out business cards everywhere you go. If there's a bulletin board, put up cards. Leave some next to the register everywhere ya go. Everyone you meet gets a couple cards. They may not have horses, but they probably know someone who does. If you're done for the day, stop at every place you see that has horses, introduce yourself, hand out cards.
When you're not shoeing, your job is sales. I've even cold called folks on craigslist that were selling horses or saddles and told them someone gave me their number and said they might be looking.
Go to rodeos, horse shows, and barrel races, set up, and just hang out. That anvil is a calling card. Practice making shoes. People will be drawn like flies and ask for cards, and some will come over to ****** about their shoer and ask if you can fix it. People that want one shoe nailed back on pay $30. If it's a kid show or fun show, let the folks running it know that you're there, and will fix loose shoes for free.
At shows and rodeos, post a sign with your prices to save time.

The show and rodeo people are pretty good about hauling to you, and you can get them to show up early or drop horses off to be worked on at your leisure. Save a ton of fuel and time.
Copenhagen. You can see it in my smile!
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Re: Rural area farriers 06 May 2012 05:16 #5

Your kidding right?

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Cody Gilreath, CF
www.certifiedtexasfarrier.com
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Re: Rural area farriers 06 May 2012 13:14 #6

  • Mark_Gough
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Kim, just for fun I ran the numbers using your data (# of horses, distance traveled) and what I know are my own travel/depreciation/material costs.

Using those numbers, my costs would have worked out to about $60 per horse.

Net income (after tax profit) would have averaged around $7 per horse or roughly $3.00/hr.

If you ignore your start-up costs, you're in the black!

Congratulations! :woohoo:

Cheers,
Mark
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Re: Rural area farriers 06 May 2012 13:29 #7

  • Mark_Gough
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Redhorseshoe wrote:
Just wondering how many of you are shoeing in rural areas?

I do.
If you're in a rural area how long did it take you to get your business built up?

Three years.
How many horses will you do in an average day?

5
How far will you drive in an average day?

30 miles
What was the most effective form of advertising for you when you started out?

Horses that walked off better than they walked up, dependable scheduling, professional and friendly business demeanor.
How do you keep busy through the winter?

Trim horses, attend clinics, read/study. Oh, and I shiver a lot. :blink:

Cheers,
Mark
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Re: Rural area farriers 23 May 2012 11:34 #8

  • dgrimwoo
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The best advise I ever got about 20 years ago was to not turn down work in your own backyard. Don't stretch yourself so thin that you can accomodate a customer in a 30 mile radius. Also, your prices, although have to represent your skill level, should be in the range of other farriers in your area. I moved into a rural area about 13 years ago. After a few years I was Shoeing/Trimming around 50 horses a month part time. Currently my business consists around 70 horses a month and I am still part time. I average about 15 on the weekend and some through out the week. Since I am so close to home I have very little driving time.
Derek Grimwood, CF
Grimwood's Farrier Service
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Re: Rural area farriers 23 May 2012 16:00 #9

Hey thanks everybody for the replies. One thing I haven't done is try to set up at rodeos, shows, etc. I like the idea of it so maybe I'll give it a try this summer. When you set up somewhere like that do you just park with all the contestants and then hang out at your rig the whole time?
"Follow your dreams and they will take you where you want to be".

"Whether you think you can - or think you can't - You're right!"
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Re: Rural area farriers 23 May 2012 17:11 #10

  • Jack Evers
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Redhorseshoe wrote:
Hey thanks everybody for the replies. One thing I haven't done is try to set up at rodeos, shows, etc. I like the idea of it so maybe I'll give it a try this summer. When you set up somewhere like that do you just park with all the contestants and then hang out at your rig the whole time?

Area dependent and worth a try, treated me well 40 years ago but in this area would be a waste of time today. Back then folks came to a show or rodeo hoping to find a farrier and I could do a full two days work on a weekend. Today most folks are on a regular schedule with at least decent shoeing and at the show where I volunteer to be around, I'll replace one or two shoes in a weekend. My best show in the old days was when our PRCA rodeo coincided with our AQHA show. I hung out with the AQHA folks because I was showing at other shows (my wife managed this show so I couldn't show).

If you have shoe making skills just set up and start making shoes, You'll get noticed.
Jack Evers CJF AFA#426

The best things about the good old days -- I wasn't good and I wasn't old.

The older I get, the more horses I shoe, the fewer things that I can absolutely, positively fix.
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Re: Rural area farriers 23 May 2012 17:39 #11

  • Travis Morgan
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Ryan,

I park near the chutes. Close enough that the timed event people will see you, but far enough away that you don't end up with a crazy barrel horse sitting in your truck. Put out a cooler of bottled water, put up a banner, and set your anvil out. Be ready to work at a moment's notice. Also, wear a shirt that clearly says on the back, in big letters, that you're a shoer. Make sure the announcer and the timers know you're there; they'll put the word out.
Hand out some cards at the end of the bleachers near the chutes. That's where a lot of parents sit.
Worst case scenario is that you spend the day talking to people who own horses and getting your name out.
And eat a hot dog; rodeo hot dogs are lucky!
Copenhagen. You can see it in my smile!
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