Good farriers are like gold dust and should be generally prized and looked after. Try not to frighten them off with these statements, says Sara Walker…

1. Sorry, we seem to have run out of teabags/milk/sugar.

2. Oh, I forgot to tell you I’d bought another horse. It’s a Shetland/Shire/unbroken, unhandled two-year-old fresh off the moors. You don’t mind doing it while you’re here, do you?

3. Sorry, I should have told you he kicks a bit. Are you all right down there on the floor?

4. I thought I’d leave them out until you got here as it’s such a nice day. I think they’re at the other end of the 80-acre field – I shouldn’t be more than an hour or so catching them.

5. I’ve got to go now, so when you’ve finished could you rug her up, put her brushing boots, overreach boots and fly spray on and turn her out into the far field for me? Thanks.

6. It must be great working outside all day! (said in the middle of winter, when your farrier’s nose is blue, he’s got a hacking cough and he’s having to wave his hands in front of the forge to feel his fingers).

7. She’s lost a shoe, can you come out in the next hour? Well, this evening then? Tomorrow morning? You’re not very flexible, are you?

8. Oh, sorry, I forgot to bring you any money. I’ll pay you next time.

9. Yes, I put a good coating of hoof oil on her feet just before you got here. Doesn’t she look smart?

10. Didn’t I tell you I wanted stud holes/road nails/extra quarter clips? Can you take them off and start again?

11. How funny – he’s done that to my last two farriers as well! Isn’t he a character?

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12. Thank goodness you’re here! My last farrier refused to come back after the third concussion.

13. She lost that shoe a month ago, but I thought I’d leave it until her other feet needed doing.

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