Having a farrier is an integral part of having a horse. Unless you are adept at trimming your own horses’ hooves, and most people are not, finding a good, dependable farrier, and keeping him is of the utmost importance!!!
For years, we had a great farrier. He would show up when you called, also a rarity, and was knowledgeable, and good at what he did. When we moved out to the boonies, he swore he would continue to be our farrier, even tho it was a little further for him to drive. He lasted a little over a year.
When the price of gas went up, we paid him extra. I told him time and time again, if the drive became too much, PLEASE let me know – I would understand, and would find someone local. He always said, nope, it was fine, see you next time.
Then, he started standing us up, not returning phone calls right away. His business ethic, as he called it, was starting to develop gaping holes! We put up with it, because a good farrier is hard to find! He continued to do the horses of a friend of mine, who lived out in the boonies also, but in the opposite direction. He would always schedule us on the same day.
Several months ago, I called him the day before our scheduled appointment, to confirm – he informed me he was in Texas, buying a new cutting horse! Well, he would get back to me as soon as he got to Virginia. I informed my friend, who also had an appointment with him, and was also unaware that he was in Texas!!
Sad to say, that was kind of the last straw. It had been 9 weeks since the horses’ hooves had last been done – 6 weeks is the norm. I asked around, and got a few names of local farriers. The first one to call back, was the first one we decided to try. He came the very next day!
And, hallelujah, he IS a GREAT farrier!! He is careful, kind, and quite proficient in fitting the shoes to the horse. He takes classes at Cornell every year to keep up with the latest techniques. He is full of stories, local lore and information. And, he lives in the next town, so if there was ever a shoe ’emergency’ he could be here in a minute, ‘with bells on’ as he says!!!
Our two horses have very different needs. The old man has tiny , but sturdy hooves, and is prone to thrush. The big guy has always had very bad feet. They crack and abscess. An abscess was what enabled him to become mine!!! He was due to go back to his former owner to resume his life as a trail horse, but side bones and a huge abscess in his foot made the former owner decide to give him up to me. Lucky for the big guy!!
I didn’t think there could ever be a better farrier out there for us. But there was – and it taught me a lesson. I should have let the other farrier go, long before he unceremoniously let US go!!! I tend to think with my heart, not my head, and don’t deal with change well.
But, this is a change that worked out very well- and it is still true – when you find a good farrier – you do everything to keep him! So, here’s hoping our new one will be around for awhile, and we will look forward to seeing him every 6 weeks or so, for a very long time!
All is well at Mountain Meadows this morning………………….
The daughter and the ‘old man’ in his heyday!
When one door closes, another opens………………..