Earning 3,000 euros per month is quite common if the farrier is of a certain category. And this figure can be far exceeded if the payments are for individual shoeing and there is, as usual, a workload.
However, the trade is by no means easy. To obtain the official title, farriers are required to have a thorough knowledge of the horse’s hoof. They must have knowledge of orthopedics to deal with all kinds of problems and also of radiology, because knowing how to read an X-ray can be essential to do their job.
The old farriers learned all this by practically spending their lives at the anvil. Their knowledge, filtered through the sieve of equine technology, is now passed on by teachers in the new schools.
However, what has contributed the most to making things easier for horse lovers are the free spaces in the second homes acquired in rural areas by city dwellers.
Although for some the shoeing activity may seem simple, the reality is that whoever is going to perform this task, must have a wide and diverse knowledge, in order to achieve a good shoeing that allows to obtain the healthiest performance of the horse according to its activity. Dr. Patricio Guzmán, with a recognized national and international trajectory in the farrier’s trade, shared the details about this ancient and current task.
The main function is to protect the foot from wear and tear, but it also has certain service functions such as for some sports to give it more grip or traction in case of sharp turns or greater impulsion in the race etc. etc. or also for therapeutic purposes since there are several foot pathologies that most of them are treated with horseshoeing.
If it does not have an excessive use or wear greater than the growth it would not have problems, it will depend on the use that we give to the horse. There are athletic horses that cover distances of more than 160 km. in a day, so without horseshoes it would be very difficult to be at a high competitive level.
Horse farrier work
Each veterinarian has his specialty and his way of working. The veterinarian who has not specialized is like our family doctor and deals with deworming, vaccination and attends colic or lameness among others. While the sports veterinarian deals almost exclusively with lameness or problems related to the animal’s performance in competition and then there are other specialists in sports surgery, colic, laminitis, etc?
The equine nutritionist works under the indications of veterinarians and riders. The veterinarian turns to the equine nutritionist when a horse suffers from a specific problem for which it needs a specific nutritional support: cases of laminitis, horses recently operated or prone to colic, horses that have to stay at rest due to an injury, that have kidney problems, piroplasmosis… These are some of the most common problems that require the help of an equine nutritionist.
The equine nutritionist has to understand what the rider needs. An adjustment in the horse’s diet can help correct such typical problems as: a horse that is too nervous or too cold and needs a long spur, or that falls apart on the second or third day of competition. The equine nutritionist should be able to convey the idea of how proper nutrition can solve problems related to the animal’s health, and how the wrong diet can seriously impair its well-being and athletic performance.
What does a farrier do?
The reality is that it is the farrier who must decide what the value of his work is. He must be aware that he is providing a service and that the value of his service is defined by the result of his work, and I am not referring to the physical work of shoeing a horse, but to everything that surrounds it and defines it as customer service.
How many farriers are there, who offer a good service, who do a good job and who also charge what they should charge, personally, I think there are few. And it is the rest that say that the client does not want to pay what needs to be charged.
In my particular case, I started offering my service in a certain sector of Patagonia, in the south of Argentina. I started when the owners used to exchange the shoeing of a horse for little money or, simply, practicing the exchange technique. These were sums of money that would never be enough to grow and become a professional farrier.
Whoever wishes to grow, offering a differentiated service, must try to have a presence, must show an image that demonstrates professionalism and humility. He must show security, order and cleanliness. It must be disciplined with prices. He must have good tools, good quality materials and a vehicle that allows him to travel and meet schedules. He must be open to change and respect his colleagues, and above all, he must have as much knowledge as possible about his specialty in the trade. In other words, he must command the price he needs to charge to be able to eat, dress, train, stay on the cutting edge of the profession and continue to provide good service.