How to Find a Great Farrier for Your Horse

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Whether you’ve looked at horses for sale and have bought a new horse, or you’re looking to find a farrier who is a better match for your current horse, at some point you will find yourself in need of a new farrier. Here are some great tips to help you find a great farrier for your horse.

Ask Around

Word of mouth is a powerful way to find a reliable professional in the horse world. Let your friends know that you’re looking for a farrier, and ask around at the stable to see if anyone has a farrier that they recommend. Asking other horse owners in the same stable about which farrier they use has an added advantage, since you can look at their horses’ hooves to get an idea of a farrier’s particular style.

Check with Your Vet

Many times veterinarians have particular farriers whom they recommend to their clients. This can be particularly important if your horse has hoof issues, or issues with his leg joints, since a quality shoeing job is vital to keeping him sound and comfortable. In addition to recommending particular farriers, your vet may also have an opinion on which local farriers you should avoid working with.

Consider Your Discipline

While many farriers work on horses suited to a variety of disciplines, some farriers do specialty work in particular disciplines. For instance, the style used to shoe a reining horse is very different from the style used on a show jumper. If you are competing in a discipline, it may be best to find a farrier who is experienced or who specializes in that same discipline to ensure that your horse gets the shoeing job he needs.

Compare Rates

Because each farrier owns his or her own business, each farrier can set his or her own rates. You will see a range of rates for the same services, and it may be tempting to automatically choose the farrier offering the lower rates. However, remember that you are entrusting your horse’s hoof health to your farrier, and the farrier offering the lower rates might not have the most experience. There is nothing wrong with choosing a farrier who offers low rates, but make sure that he is skilled and knowledgeable enough to do a good job on your horse’s hooves.

Choosing a new farrier is a process that you should go into carefully. Be sure to ask around about others’ experience with the farrier, and get a sense of the quality of work that he or she does before you make your decision.

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