Much to the displeasure of Kia my marketing director, it has been since July that I have actually managed to write a blog post, I knew I missed a month but didn’t realize it has been this long. This month’s post will deal with a current issue in the industry as a whole, and next month we will talk about continuing education. We will be back to our book review series in December.
We have all noticed prices going up and some items being hard to find, especially with COVID-19; it is no different in the farrier industry. In the years I have been in business I have never had a supplier tell me prices are going up, like most industries, they just slowly raise prices every year. This year for the first time, suppliers sent out letters noting price increases because of the amount they have gone up. We have seen prices rise anywhere from 10%-300% in the past year to year and a half. Some of the shoes I like to use have been on backorder for 6 months, the glue that we use had to change how it is packaged because the company couldn’t source the normal containers, steel that we hand make shoes from has more than doubled in price and is increasingly difficult to find. We have also seen an increase in other areas such as insurance and the cost of vehicles.
Unfortunately it is not just supplies and insurance that is going up, the infrastructure bill that the Senate approved in August will allow for a pilot program to test the concept of a mileage tax for every vehicle on the road. Since farriers drive well above the number of miles compared to most of the population, this will increase our taxes considerably if it comes to fruition. If we look at a similar mileage tax PA is currently looking at, a similar rate increase would raise the tax burden of farriers by at least $3,000-$6,000.
Farriers all over the country will need to raise their prices to compensate for the increase in cost we are facing. Most of us try to keep costs as reasonable as possible however the overhead costs of running a farrier business are greater than most people realize and seem to be continually increasing at the moment. Hopefully everything will settle down and the supplies we need to care for your horses will become more available again, until then we can expect farriers all over the country to need to raise prices more than normal just to break even.