“Are you sure you aren’t upset we are pulling shoes off? I can pay extra if I need to.”
“I’m really grateful you will come out for one horse.”
“Are you sure I don’t need to pay more since there are less horses now?”
“I hope you are charging enough for the extra time you spent.”
“Are you sure that doesn’t cost more?”
“I’m so sorry I had to reschedule, I can still pay today if you need me to.”
I’ve received several questions and comments lately on pricing or scheduling that seem to come up due to people’s experience with other farriers in the past. If you have been in the horse world for a significant amount of time, then you have probably at least heard of stories of farriers being upset because of a cancellation or having less work to do at a barn than they used to or adding pads or glue on shoes simply because they cost more. At one time before going to shoeing school myself, I listened to a farrier rant that people were taking food from his children by deciding to pull shoes off for the winter. At DFS we never want to let finances get in the way of the needs of the horse or owner. Based on our core values and mission statement, we have policies in place to take away the stress of daily income numbers.
At DFS, our farriers aren’t paid based on how many horses are done each day. This means there is no incentive to rush and work on too many horses, or have clients spend more money than is necessary. With farriers being paid a monthly salary, it takes away the personal stress of what is done each day. From a business standpoint, we don’t often look at the details of how profitable a particular horse is, but rather we simply run our schedule to make sure we stay within a particular income/expense budget per week and month. By building margin into the business we are able to not worry about a slow day or even week, let alone what is done at each stop. We also try to take away the stress of overwork that is so common among farriers by not overscheduling. While there are some busy days and slow days, overall we strive to only do a certain number of horses each day so that we are physically ok.
To help stay within our budget for both time and money as well as keep our service for issues like lost shoes reasonable, we maintain a fairly small working radius. By never traveling past 45 minutes from the shop and keeping most clients within 30 minutes, it saves us time and money but also allows us to be close enough to most clients to have a lost shoe on within 24 hours.
Because of how we budget time and cost, we have also been able to offer a discount program for our loyal clients, it also means there are times we are able to discount much of our specialty work such as pads, studs, bar shoes, time spent with the veterinarian and the like. At the time of this writing we have been able to discount roughly $15,000 of work for our clients.
With our commitment to care for both you and your horse, you can be rest assured that we will won’t make hoof care decisions based on making more money and there will never be hard feelings about someone choosing to use a different farrier. We want what is best for each horse and client we work with.