I expect all farriers have some clients who are more conscientious than others when it comes to presenting their horses for shoeing.
It’s usually quite easy for the client to turn up early to get the horse ready. Here in NZ, most horses live out all year around so the state of the paddocks depend on the weather and the state of the paddocks has an impact on the cleanliness of the legs and hooves.
Most horse owners expect (quite rightly) a high standard of work from their farrier. But the number who probably wouldn’t give any thought whatsoever to presenting their horse in a clean and tidy state for the farrier to be able to do the best job possible is too high! How can a farrier do a good job of the trimming or shoeing when he can’t see the feet or gets his hands and tools covered in mud?
If you ask me, all farriers should insist on having a clean and tidy horse to work on and also a clean and level surface to work with too. When the owner does present the horse in a less than desirable state, I think it’s important for the farrier to make sure the owner cleans the horse off and lets them know what they expect for next time. It’s too easy for farriers to end up wiping the feet and legs themselves whilst the owner holds the horse. It’s wrong but we’ve all done it without thinking!
Something that owners can miss is also the fact that farriers prefer dry horses too. Washing muddy legs with a hose pipe just before shoeing can make for an unhappy farrier 🙂
Farriers, how many clients have ever asked you (unprompted) how you would like the horse presented for shoeing?