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TOPIC: Any advice on starting out?

Any advice on starting out? 15 Sep 2004 15:15 #1

Hi!
I am considering attending an 8 week farrier course and have hopes to begin my own business. I have a few questions for those who are experienced in this field. My first question is, how difficult is it to build a client base for a new horseshoeing business? Second, what is the average charge per job? Or does it vary depending on differnt cir***stances? Also, I am thinking of going into the business with a partner, is this a smart move?
Thank you for any advice you can give!
Jeff Woliver
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 15 Sep 2004 17:09 #2

Well 1st off I hope you love horses. You need to in order to do this job and do it well. To take a horse that walks up to you lame and walk away either sound or much better then he was is a very satisfying thing within itself. You must also love to work hard, work while ppl constantly talk to you, be open minded (to an extent) LOL! , know when to bite your tounge off, know when to speak your mind and when to pack up and go on to another barn.

Going to a school is a very wise thing. It will give you all of the basics so when you graduate you can then learn to start shoeing horses. What I mean is that you will have to learn what works for the horse and you. Everything is not always the same. After you graduate school it is wise to find a well established farrier that you can apprentice under and cultivate your skills under the horse and in the fire as well. He/She can teach you from their trials and errors and save you alot of grief. Everything about being a farrier can't be taught from a book but you do need the books.

Now as far as building your client base after your apprenticeship. That should not be that difficult but it depends on supply and demand in the area that you are in. I have heard of folks starting out and being completely booked within a short period and sometimes it took some time before that would happen. Checking w/ local feed stores or tack shop and leaving a business card or 2 will bring some clients your way.

Charges can be anywhere from 35.00 (we all know this type, also referred to as "The drunk Farrier") for a basic shoeing to 140.00 depending on again the area you are in and your experience and expertise. Supply and demand.

Now on to the partner thing. Can't see that happening in this business cause its basically a one person job, unless your partner is going to hold the leg for you........lol (hey thats not a bad idea, hehe) Unfortunately the downside to a partner usually is that one person does all of the work and both take home a check.

Go to school, study hard and learn the basics and then ride w/ several different farriers and you will develop and learn your own technique. Join your local associations and the AFA also go to clinics whenever you can to find out about new ideas, tools and techniques as they become available. A farrier never stops learning. Whether you have been doing it for 1 year or 50 years. I hope this will answer your questions as I was in your same shoes not too awful long ago.

One of the best sources that I found for info was right here on this forum. There is a wealth of info in each and every farrier here. I know that Bill, Jaye, Patty, Phil, Scott, Tim or some of the many other experienced farriers on this site can give you more insight than I but I remember having the same questions myself.

Most of all................." Take care of the Horse! "

C. Clark :)
Chris Clark

"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle."
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 16 Sep 2004 01:09 #3

Starting out is rough, and I mean rough. Most people watch thier farrier work and think, "that looks easy enough" and then they try it. Many farriers go to school, come home think that things will be easy and give it up within a year or two. I would bet that if you took a survey 2 out of 3 farriers that graduate from a school quit in the first couple of years. It took me 4 years to build a clientelle. I did all kinds of horses for all kinds of people and decided quickly that I would only keep the good ones. I charged the same price as the guy that I rode with and I'm glad I did it that way, now I have a good client base with very little turnover, I didn't undercut the prices of other farriers so I didn't pi$$ any other farriers off. Find the best farrier in your area and make a point to ride with them if you can before you go to school, make sure this is what you want to do. Then go to school, and work with him or her more. As far as a partner goes, I think it could work but you would have to really work out the details. Another farrier and I are partners in a shop where owners haul in to us one day a week. If two horses come in then we go to work and keep what we made if only one comes in we both work together to shoe the horse, one trims and measures, the other makes the shoes and nails them up, and if we're lucky we'll have someone like yourself doing the finish work. Then we split the money down the middle. It works for us but it's only one day a week, if he wants the day off, I get the money and vice versa. If it's an every day thing then who buys the truck? Who drives the truck home? Who gets called when there is a shoe off? I think there are pro's and con's to both but I wouldn't suggest you go into this business with a partner that has the same experience as yourself. Two rookies together is dangerous. Ride with someone and learn, after a year or two when your skills and knowledge are up to par, then you may want to consider the partnership thing.
Good luck
Dave Purves CF :cool:
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBimQu6Pxxs
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 16 Sep 2004 10:58 #4

  • shoesofiron
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airborne137 wrote:
Hi!
My first question is, how difficult is it to build a client base for a new horseshoeing business?

The business is a wide open field for anyone who possesses the prerequisites.
It's not a business for anyone thinking they can make some easy money and it will take some years to build the kind of clientele base that you want.
airborne137 wrote:
Second, what is the average charge per job?

10% of the average mortage payment in your area.
No one should EVER have to shoe more than 10 horses to make their house payment. That's the bare minimum, period. But... it won't happen. In my area, the range of payments is between $800-$1200 but we have a half dozen or so guys out there that are charging $40-$45. Truthfully, I wish there was some way to make them see how badly they mishape the public perception of our trade by their bargain basement pricing.
airborne137 wrote:
Also, I am thinking of going into the business with a partner, is this a smart move?

Not until you can pull your own weight. And when I say your own weight, I mean able to build any shoe in any situation without feeling the need to necessarily consult with your partner before you make a move. Whether or not you ever get your CJF from the AFA is up to you, but you need to cultivate the skills necessary to accomplish that in order to be a good, knowledgeable farrier.
In my mind, it's kind of like carpenters and plumbers.
You wouldn't call a guy a carpenter if he couldn't read a plan, cut the wood, build the project and finish it in a timely manner. If all he could do was assemble the pieces, he really isn't a carpenter.
Same way with plumbing.
If a guy can't read a house, cut, thread, and assemble an efficient system for water usage, just buy the pipes in an approximate length, slap on some pipe dope and get it close... he's not a plumber.
Same way for shoers.
If you can't build shoes from scratch, you're not a farrier in my book.
(believe me, I just honked off a bunch of people but... tough. I call 'em like I see 'em)
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 17 Sep 2004 13:38 #5

Thank all of you for answering my questions at length. I appreciate your help very much.
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 19 Sep 2004 13:59 #6

Starting out is rough, and I mean rough. Most people watch thier farrier work and think, "that looks easy enough" and then they try it. Many farriers go to school, come home think that things will be easy

Danvers wrote in another thread about owners soon finding this forum. I'm both sides I guess. I watched farriers work and just got mad, they were wrecking my horse's hooves, not by virtue of shoeing, but bad practice. Its NOT easy enough, but dang it its FUN (oh lordy I can hear the snerks and giggles). I approach a hoof as a potential work of art. I approach a horse as a patient with a problem in need of understanding. (I'm an RN of 20 years, or... was). I approach an owner as I see them, and it ain't always purty. Had to really bite my tongue with a girl who had a mare that had WLD so bad 3/4 of each hoof were affected. She swore she could not stall this mare or confine her due to heaves, mental stuff, refused to find a way to get her out of the muc and mud, etc. This is the worst customer -the ones that make exuses why they can't help their horse that they "love" so much. There is a lot of ignorance out there about what is good for a hoof, including way too many farriers, but its the owners that need help in front of you. Horses that are in pain, even slight pain can be total rear ends, but they need understanding and patience. And so on... there are a lot of things one probably ain't gonna learn in any school about how to be.
The first thing you need to be is GOOD at whay you are doing, and HONEST. If you can't handle a situation hand it off to someone that can - it might mean giving up that customer but it also means earning some respect which will get you more customers (in theory). As an owner I can tell you that what has ticked me off most about the farriers I have "fired" is when I have a horse that I have owned for 10 years and know what works, and they tell me I am wrong and go changing it - and I end up with a horse with worsened stride, interference, etc. Listen to your customers. If you think something needs changeing, you better be able to back it up with a lot more than "oh we need to support the bony column" - that doesn't cut it. Explain what you see in that hoof and what you are doing to fix it.
And never ever ever EVER do a horse wrong out of spite - I had a guy do this when he didn't want to listen to what I knew for sure about my horse, she went lame and he got fired - this was not a case of disgruntled owner, my next farrier (who got to stay) verified that what I had experienced was real and actually appreciated the knowledge that I had at that time as just an owner.
Now I do trimming, all 11 of my own, many (healed/healing) problems, a few clients, would love to have more, would love to be able to afford school. My horses have healthier feet than they ever have except for one farrier that is now too far away for me to use.
Experience is your best friend, honesty is your best asset, and knowledge your best tool. Don't skimp on any of these.
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 19 Sep 2004 17:43 #7

  • calshoer
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Scott, I have to disageree with the thought that to truly be be a 'good knowledgeable' farrier he or she must be able to build shoes from scratch. Any the****utuic device I have ever seen or heard of, (and successfully used myself in a lot of cases ) can be more easily and quickly built from modifications starting from a factory shoe, or even from somethign completely different than a metal shoe. And be just as effective.
With the plethora of modern materials and wide variety of factory made shoes, there is really no need any more to have to build ANY shoe totally from scratch . Unless you maybe have to build a giant shoe for a twenty hand monster draft that nothing else fits.
An experienced farrier with enough imagination , good basic forge skills and a welder, and solid knowledge about hoof biomechanics could build just about anything in any situation using modifications starting from a factory shoe, or even using something other than a shoe. (like a Steward Clog, or a PVC foal extension or brace .)
Over the years at the resquest of veterinarians or horse owners I have often followed up behind behind the work of some journeymen and winning contest farriers who do handlmades all or most the time. From those first hand observations I have concluded that being able to build shoes from scratch, even on a journeymen level , has nothing to do with undertstanding how to keep horses sound. Sure there are a lot of journeymen who DO understand the needs of the equine foot and do a terrific job, but a whole lot more do not. They know how to build anything, but what good it that if the thing they build doesn't help the horse in the long run?
On the other hand I know some fresh out of school farriers who truly learned what the foot really *needs* to remain or get sound , and thereby successfully use store bought materials to fix formerly long term lameness. Several I now of are not more than a year or two out of school yet they get the local vet referrals because their work is more effective, (and without having to forge anything from scratch).
Now just to re-emphasise something I said years ago, I DO admire those who work so hard to become great blacksmihs and learn to accurately build from sctratch. I know it takes a lot of hours of practice, and if a farrier can combine those skills with CURRENT scientific knowledge of hoof biomechanics, he will help a huge number of horses.
Shoeing is in my opinion a level of veterinary medicine. Whether on an every- day level on seemingly sound horses or on an obviously the****utic case, whenever that farrier touches those feet he is directly affecting that horses soundness. Sometimes permenantly ,good or bad.
Understanding how to insure correct function of the internal foot structures is more important than if you buy the materials to do it or hand forge something.


Journeyman level of forging skill is just isn't necessary to be an effective farrier even on a the****utic level, in today's world.
Besides the fact that time is money, as long as the farrier helps the horse effectiely, who cares (except for the farrier's own ego) if the farrier built the thing from scratch as long as it works?.
I can (and do) build tendon lacration shoes without forging a patton shoe
I can (and do) make fetlock braces without forging the shoes form scratch, just shaping a factory shoe and making additional parts with a portable welder, drill, taps and bolts.
I can (and do) make foal exension shoes from PVC pipe or alumnum plate.
I can buy just about any kind of bar shoe I might need (bar shoes are rarely the right shoe for the job anyway) and just reshape it to fit, add clips, punch more holes or whatever, without needing forge welding skills. Just basic forge skills.
I can add effective frog support without a heart bar shoe.(in fact more effective for a longer time, and more forgiving.)
I can wedge a foot to any angle with a store bought adjutable kit, and insure the whole back of the foot is properly suppoted to its individual needs at the same time.
You name it and I will tell you how it could be be made without hand forging it from scratch.
Hand building shoes is archaic and unecessary to be an effective, sound, the****utic shoer. Patty

Patty
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 19 Sep 2004 21:35 #8

How about a scottish hind preventer?
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBimQu6Pxxs
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 21 Sep 2004 00:34 #9

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How many Hind preventers do you actualy USE in your everyday or the****utic preactice? Iwould never put a shoe like that on a horse. Why would a horse ever need a such a thing if he were properly balanced medial laterally (internally), aligned in the coffin joint, and breaking over correctly in the hind feet, thereby comfortable in his whole hind end? I see no practical use for such a bizzare (and I think those kinds of shoes are bizzare) shoe with the better knowledge of hoof biomechanics are available today.
That hard to forge shoe is one of many used for contests just because it IS hard to forge.,But it is also one of many which are based on a misunderstanding of what a horse needs for a sound foot and body. I won't use trailers anymore either because they strain the hocks terribly.
If the horse already had existing hind end problems and was interfering or had other compensating gait faults, I WOULD however design him a 'package' from modern materials that was truly the****utic and would not screw up the foot mechanics even worse than they already were just to cover up the symptomatic gait fault. (which is what archaic shoes like that mostly do ) Patty
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 21 Sep 2004 01:59 #10

  • shoesofiron
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Okay, I don?t want to belabor a lot of these points but I think we?ve gotten off the focus of the question.
I just want to remind all our readers of some replies that I think are a little off base or contradictory in their context (sorry Patty) but I?ll wrap this all up at the end.

. Any the****utuic device I have ever seen or heard of, (and successfully used myself in a lot of cases ) can be more easily and quickly built from modifications starting from a factory shoe?

Shortcuts are great for people with experience. People with knowledge and years under horses really appreciate the easier ways to accomplish the same thing. It?s all about working smarter, not harder.

An experienced farrier with enough imagination , good basic forge skills?

And I have to question where these good basic forging skills come from. It?s surely not from remodifying already forged shoes. Without getting into the intricacies of metal displacement and shaping, I think it?s safe to say that without basic shoe building techniques, it is difficult at best to understand the best place to stick a nail where you need it. Until you see for yourself the way a pritchel and its pitch can vary where a nails exit depth will be, you?d only be burning up an otherwise useful shoe.

They know how to build anything, but what good it that if the thing they build doesn't help the horse in the long run?

I will be the very first to admit, acknowledge and beg for focus to change from contesting to function. But the fact of the matter is that contesting increases every aspect of your skills. In a contest, you?re shoeing to a prescription just as you might for a horse in need of some less-than-contest-quality ?purdy?.. butit?s to see how well you can do something that we don?t see every day.
I don?t know about you, but it?s fairly rare around these parts to have to glue on, rivet, saw, weld, or otherwise affix a toe extension, lateral support, etc at every stop in a given day.

yet they get the local vet referrals because their work is more effective,

My question is: : ?Than what?? More effective than?
Hey, you don?t have to tell me that a lot of guys lose their focus on what is good for the horse. But guys (and gals) that are seeking improvement in their careers through better shoeing techniques and information go to the best sources available to them. And they keep doing it for the duration of their careers.
I can (and do)

I can (and do)

I can (and do)

I can buy just about any kind of bar shoe

Who sells factory-made bar shoes with nail creases in them?

Just basic forge skills.

?like turning a toe bend, or heel checks, or caulks?things taught from a straight piece of steel?

I can

I can

You name it and I will tell you how it could be be made without hand forging it from scratch.

Hand building shoes is archaic and unecessary to be an effective, sound, the****utic shoer

Kissing my wife isn?t an absolutely necessary thing for a marriage to survive either, but if I want it to thrive and grow, I?d damn well better do it!

Why would a horse ever need a such a thing if he were properly balanced medial laterally (internally), aligned in the coffin joint, and breaking over correctly in the hind feet, thereby comfortable in his whole hind end? I see no practical use for such a bizzare (and I think those kinds of shoes are bizzare) shoe with the better knowledge of hoof biomechanics are available today.

How about the rare horse that?s still used on the cobblestones of say? Mackinac Island or some other place. The roadster was built and designed to effect an even wear during use that protected nail holes and nails from undue wear. The toe is thicker than the rest of the shoe and the caulks are there to provide traction on a slick surface, compromised with the gravel roads that often accompanied a days work in town.

But it is also one of many which are based on a misunderstanding of what a horse needs for a sound foot and body. I won't use trailers anymore either because they strain the hocks terribly.

Sometimes it?s a choice.. ?do I strain the hocks or allow this poorly conformed (and probably never should have been bred into existence) to continue to interfere?? Contrary to what is common knowledge, the well conformed horse is not so common. I don?t know when the last time was that I used a trailer either, but I have a few with extended heels on them. Some folks call that a double trailer.

Let?s face it. Shoeing horses isn?t exactly 21st Century rocket science. You bet there have been a lot of technological advances in the tools we have at our disposal.
But the questions presented were about a new guy building a business, the expectations of income and partnering with someone.
It wasn?t about ?what can you do??
My suggestions to become familiar with shoe building to the point that he?s proficient in all phases, to charge accordingly? to find someone with excellent skills ? I thought? extended beyond the forge.
It makes no never mind to me whether anyone has the CJF behind their name.
It does bother me that there are some out there that think just because a guy?s willing to try and understand what it takes to do these things by hand that they are not forward thinking in their businesses.
Details attended help ensure success.
And just because the ?current? trend states so doesn?t make it so.

?The intensity of your faith does not validate your belief?.
It has to be provable.
And? it helps if your name isn?t attached to the patent when your trying to sell it.
It?s all about credibility.

One more thing.. speaking of archaic.
Fads that come and go about every hundred years or so... 1869... 1969...(comes to mind) only makes me wish the internet wasn't so popular right now because the marketing tools employed by some who feed on a gullible public wouldn't be so prevalent (I'd be in between fad cycles).
But.. that's one of the things that make this a great country.
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 21 Sep 2004 04:07 #11

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Well Scott ,I don't think I really got much away from the original post. It was was you who advised that a farrier is neither good or knowledgeable if he/she can not build from scratch. I was pointing out otherwise so the prospective farrier can know it is not necessary to work their butts off to learn to handmake all types of shoes to be an effective farrier.
With the basics (yes toe turns, making heels ,creasing and hole punching, tapping and all that, but nonetheless just BASIC skills), and a welder, they will be able to make any modification they may come across in the field. AS long as they thoroughly understand the science of the foot.
What I see too often is a lot of 'handmade' farriers today concentrate more on the blacksmithing and not nearly enough on the science of the hoof and how it WORKS.Therefore they fail to recognize the subtle but detrimental changes that are happening in the hoof before it is too late.

As for the relative beginners I know of who are getting the vet referrals, it is because they are making more horses sound than the previous, more experienced farriers. And they are not hand forging shoes to do it either. So who wins? The horses. These farriers are coming out of more progressive schools who are teaching your so called "fad" science . (which have been around now since the early 1990's.... How long does it have to be before it is no longer a fad? Heart bars were a 'fad' before you began shoeing.

As for using the shoes you describe on cobblestones, how many of those horses are totally sound in the hind end ,with their toes wedged up, their hind feet twisted outward from the lateral calks and an overall thick shoe preventign frog support ? Few I would think. I have watched horses shod very similarly pulling carriages in New Orleans and cringed watching them move. It was Pitiful. And inhumane.
BTW you seem to suggest that I do not have the same definition of " basic forge skills"...I learned form bar stock originally 22 years ago and and just quickly felt there was no need for that much hammering with the assortment of good factory shoes out there. Even back then. I certainly can make a basic plain stamp shoe if I HAD to. I modified a huge set of kerkharts the other day, six weeks from when I had last seen this horse. He has really odd shaped feet so the shoes needed a lot of changing. I, (lets see...hmmm, basic forge skills....) punched extra nail holes for E6 nails in between the other holes, broadened and rolled the toe, straightened the branches to the more boxy shape of his feet, and re-turned the heels . And the shoes fit the horse the next day. And the nails fit.
Those are basic skills I learned by the second week of school 22 years ago, and (the whole POINT of this discussion),
this prospective farrier will learn as well ,provided he goes to a decent school.

That is the kind of basic forging skills a good knowledgeable farrier needs. "Knowledgeable" is indeed the keyword here. All the 'high level' forging skills io the world won't make a good farrier in MY book if they don't understand the biomechanics of the foot itself. The farrier is a basically a foot doctor. And he better learn the medicine. That science he won't get enough of in any school. He will have to educate himsef in a dedicated manner after he gets out.

And BTW they do make factory creased egg bars. I just put a set on a DSLD horse the other day, modified the shape to fit in the forge, and added frog support via a hard plate under the shoe. How much faster was that from making egg bars ,(or an egg bar.heart bar ) from scratch? About a half hour or more . Thirty bucks of time saved and less work. Smarter not harder, you said it. Patty
Patty
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 21 Sep 2004 12:00 #12

Patty,
This whole trade is about expanding knowledge; of the hoof, of the horse, of your self , forging. etc. My teacher( a former Gold Team member) pounded into my head "learn the foot, trim it right and the horse will stay sound!" He was right He can forge all kinds of artistic horshoes, but he does'nt. He did,however, teach me good basic forging skills are all that is needed to make the most complex shoe-nail fit, nail pitch, nail placement, precise fit, steel exaclty where it is needed-efficiently.
It is easier for me to forge a shoe than to rework the shapeless, always to big or two small shoes that are sold. My profit margin is far greater when I do not buy kegshoes. We need to learn ALL of this trade totally, not just enough to get by.
Jason
"Always listen to the experts. They tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." Robert Heinlien
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 22 Sep 2004 00:46 #13

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It find it hard to believe your profit margin is really better when you consider the time to measure the bar stock,cut it, heat it to even begin to turn the toe bend, finish the heels, forepunch and pritchell at least six holes, box the thing, and then final fit it and make adjustments before you nail it on ..How much it s your time worth? More than the materials I am sure. .
A keg shoe farrier with just basic shaoping and forging skills can get a set of good quality keg shoes (ones with front or hind patterns to begin with like kerkharts or St croix eventers ) heat enough to make those minor shape adjustments, or even rework the whole shape and be ready to nail to the trimmed foot before you are ready for the final fit. Time is money and there is no reason a keg shoe can't be properly fitted correctly to just about any foot if you begin with the correct type of shoe.
BTW I do not "just get by" with using keg shoes and store bought modern matetrials ,I treat a whole lot of lameness, much of it serious, most succesfully,and without hand forging any shoes. I do the same things mechanially to the feet with a lot less effort or time than banging iron.
That is where farriery should be going now, rather than insisting on sticking to acrchaic treatment shoes that often do not accurately address the root of modern hoof problems. . And that is my point to prospective farriers. That adage of 'Just trim them right' is not exactly correct ,what with an epidemic of modern horses lacking internal cartilage support structures and negative plane coffin bones, and especially new information about what causes navicular disease and how to prevent it, etc. Being able to forge complicated fancy sdevices isn't the answer anymore, and in fact never really WAS...it was just the best thing there was but now there is better materials available to address the problems , with more to come. And New medical information to change the approach toa lot of lameness treatment.
Some of you guys are too young to remember (I know I am nearly old enough to be a mother to a few of you) when there was no eqiuilox, or equipack, or frog support pads, or glue on shoes, or plastic shoes worth a darn, or impression material, or ready made egg bars, or heart bars. And almost no factory aluminum shoes other than race plates. No full roller motion shoes for ringbone like those nifty italian ones they have now, and so on. I DO remember how it was back then only 22 years ago , so you HAD to be able to forge special shoes in soecial situations. No one had any better and that is what they had been doing for hundreds of years.My point is simply that there is NO NEED anymore for that level of forging. basic things yes, like turning metal, punching holes and so on, but not creative , journeyman level blacksmithing. .
Where the need lies is in learning the newest SCIENCE. That brings up an example...How many of you noticed that the last 'Profesional Farrier' magazine had absolutely NO articles about the foot or foot function, or "how to" on treating any lameness in the last issue. NOT ONE. Just about the entire magazine was devoted to forging or contests,, with a few business and human interest articles.
NOT ONE article on the science of the equine foot.

What good does it do if a farrier can make handmade heart bars with contest winning handmade creases and perfectly boxed heels if the package he built does not truly address the cause the foot problem becausee he doesnl't truly understand the root cause of thagt heel pain? Such as why the frog got so puny and thin, or setting an improper breakover point relative to the tip of P3 ,(or not knowing why that is SO important), or not recognizing the significance of those bent bars ,or what the dip in the hairline at he toe is telling him ,and so on. .Now don't get me wrong, many terrific handmade farriers DO get all those things , but many more do not even though they can forge those very same shoes wit hthe same accuracy.
On the other hand, let's say the keg shoe guy DOES understand what all those things mean ,thereby recognizes the root cause of the foot pain ,and addresses it accurately using all store bought materials.He is the one who then comes out on top, and starts to get the vet refferrals over the other guy. Who cares if he didn't hand build the shoe if his keg shoe was easily modified with broadened rolled toe and he didn't use a heart bar but instead just used a wedge pad with riveted on frog support that he made from s**** pad material and equipack underneath? Or the nailing is still a little amateurish because he is just a year out of school? The horse sure doesn't .
My advice to new farriers is get the *basic* forge skills down pat, then forget trying to prioritize journeyman level blacksmithing. .Go learn the SCIENCE and it will carry you far.
Shoing should no longer be an 'art'. It is a form of equine medicine. And too many farriers are still prioritizing the 'art' of blacksmithing rather than the science of the hoof.
Patty
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
www.hoofcareonline.com
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 22 Sep 2004 01:54 #14

Patty,
In form, I can agree with most of your thinking. In function, or atleast application we vary...so be it. Oddly, In my bussiness of three hundred or so horses I have One that has Equipak, and three with a NB type, 3/8 x 3/4 concave with the toe knit shut because the foot is so collapsed in the palmer aspect that basic trimming would not heal the foot. In those cases that is the solution. Basic, fundamental skill and knowledge works.
I spent, between August 1 and August 15 $1500 in supplies and fuel. That was enough for me, Out came the stock again. Between September 1 and sEPTEMBER 15 I spent $450. My gross was within a hundred bucks of the same, while my net was better. A three heat fullered shoe cut to fit is about 15 minutes a pair, made for the foot, exactly as I want it. A concave is about 10, and a plain stamp is the same. Finsih with a grinder. I budget an hour and 30 minutes for four new, and can reset a horse, without hurrying in about thirty to thirty five minutes. I do five to seven horses a day. When I use keg shoes, they are the Delta WS, but have you ever seen a "O" front foot or a box as a hind? I used them as blanks and converted either front or hind shoes into the foot according to the inches of steel each shoe was sized at;ie an ought "hind" is 13 1/2 inches while an ought "front" is 13 3/4 inches.
I do not like being painted as uneducated and backwards because I prefer and have spent years learning to read, trim and then forge the appropriate appliance in an efficient time frame. We should not be in oppostion, as both skills, trimming and forging, are not mutually exclusive, but are neccasary for the success of the other. This job takes dedication in all aspects.
Jason
"Always listen to the experts. They tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." Robert Heinlien
Jason Maki CJF, RJF
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RE:Any advice on starting out? 22 Sep 2004 03:46 #15

  • Red Amor
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Well Airbourne 137
As you can see there are many farrieres that have and shear great passon for their belovered trade and rightfully so

It is a hard slog , and no game , horses and the sometimes fickel people that own them are great levelers of men /woman
you will need to know and love horses and you will need to know and try to lthe same your fellow man /woman
your people skills will be as great a prise to you as your farriery skills

Knowlage is not gained through an open mouth

keep your eyes and ears open and dont get into gossip

respect is something you comand not demand , your earn it by giveing it , showing it to everyone and thing , man or beast
humility , as just when you think your as flash as a rat with a gold tooth and a snidly whiplash muctarshe , and crowing like a bamtam rooster something will bring your crashing down to earth


you will become a confidant to many , some folks just need someone to lissen to them
all need someone they can trust keep it to yourself , it can be a burden or a priverlage its up to you
as a farrier you have a responsibillity for the safety of all in the shoeing area at your command
the owner their kids anyone that doesnt know any better the horse and of cause yourself, this is true wheather you believe it or not
we ofen have to protect people from themselves

I have made every mistake in the book I recon , probably invented some but the biggest one was not forgiveing myself for doing so ,your only human , but dont use this as an excuse and be flippent about it
Learn from your mistakes , learn to look for them and not let them happen
work hard to be good at what you do and who you are and make those that have helped you along the way proud that they did so

good luck fly boy ( no insult intended just a play on you pen name is all ) just remember to keep your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds and youll be right
good luck mate
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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