Roland’s nags and nail: paying by time spent, rather than for a set of shoes

  • The amount of work involed in shoeing a horse can vary tremendously. It can depend on how long ago the horse was last shod and/or how co-operative it is.   Would it not be reasonable, therefore, to charge by the minute?  If your horse can be shod in 45min then, rightly, it should cost less than if it takes 1½hr to shoe it.  I expect most farriers charge a standard price no matter how long it takes.  Certainly, we do.

    For some of our customers, we end up running around after them to keep their horses on the road. It’s always those customers that want to stretch their shoeing period. Shoes are lost or spread, new nails need inserting and often clenches need tightening.  It’s always the same customers. Whilst their horse might be easy to shoe, there’s a great deal of additional time required from the farrier to keep their horse going.

    If they had their horse shod more regularly, there would be none of the out of hours’ work we have to do.  Should we charge them, therefore, for that running around? I know many farriers do charge. I wonder if they have less customers stretching their shoeing cycle as we do? It is more economical to have your horse shod more regularly than pay call outs for extending the life of the shoes?

    These are all considerations that I will need to factor into my own pricing policy when I qualify.  I am only too aware that, if a horse loses a shoe, the expectation is that it’s the farrier’s problem so he/she should put it right.  But there’s a fine balance between being “taken for a ride” and offering a good service at a fair price.

    Until next week



    Would you be happy to pay more/less for your horse’s shoes depending on how long it takes for them to be shod? Let us know what you think of Roland’s idea below…

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