Tips for Farriers by Farrier Dave @

How Do You Know When It's Time To Drop a Client?

I evaluate my clients and rate them as A, B, or C clients by considering the following criteria:

1. Horse's Behavior
2. Client's Attitude
3. Payment History
A. Well behaved horses Client communicates well and works with you to maintain sound hooves Regular, prompt payments
~ 1/2 hour
B. Horses that have minor behavior issues Owners are not aware of what is required to horses, along with what I need to provide the best possible service for them Slow pay (forgot my checkbook, didn't get your invoice,...) > 1 hour
C. Misbehaved or untrained horses Irresponsible clients who are not concerned with the well being of everyone involved (horses & people) Bad pay (late payments, bad checks)
> 1 1/2 hours

I always try to work with my clients to get them to move them up in all the categories. In some cases, it may take having in-depth conversations with clients about hoof care and giving them some follow-up information to read. I have a lot of really good clients that worked their way up.

However, if they belong into the C.1 group and are open to suggestions, but the horses are difficult, I may refer them to a trainer or recommend that they should get a veterinarian involved (for example, if their hooves are in desperate condition or if they need to be tranquilized to get trimmed or shod.). If the clients are  "C.2 and C.3," I won't have anything to do with them.

Another factor that comes into play is the distance involved in getting to the horse. I have been lowering the radius in which I travel. My best clients are within a radius of less than 1 hour from my office, but I still do have some very good clients that are a little further away.

At this time I will not accept clients that are further away. A longer distance makes it harder for me to provide the type of service that I would like to offer to all of my clients. I care about my client's horses and want to be able to be accessible in time of need. Locally, if a horse loses a shoe, or a horse needs a veterinary exam and the shoes have to be removed, I can adjust my schedule and be there in a short time.

To provide optimal service, I believe, there has to be cooperation between the horse owner, the farrier, the horse and also the client has to be within a distance that enables me to provide the kind of service the horse deserves.

I know it's time to drop a client when I know I won't be able to provide the quality level of service that I want to maintain.

David Deppen's "Tips for Farriers"
was published in the
Farriers' Roundtable section
of the American Farriers' Journal
December 2005, Vol 31, No. 8
January 8, 2006