It’s National Farriers Week! We’ve compiled a few ways to show your hardworking farrier just how much you appreciate his or her talents in keeping your horse feeling his best.
It’s the 20th annual National Farriers Week! This week to honor the hardworking farriers in our lives is sponsored and promoted by American Farriers Journal, which will feature farrier spotlights all week long and in its July/August print issue. Because we agree that you can never show TOO much appreciation for a key member on your horse’s team, we’re celebrating as well!
A skilled farrier is a critical member of the support system required to keep a horse healthy and sound: whether you keep your horse barefoot or he requires a specific shoeing regimen, you need a talented and knowledgeable farrier. Here are a few considerations that your farrier should be able to expect from you every time he or she comes out to your farm — if you think you might be lacking in these departments, what better time than now to make sure you’re ready for the next visit?
- A safe, level, clean and well-lit place to work that’s out of the elements
- A clean horse with dry legs (just before the farrier visit is a bad time to scrub socks or apply hoof oil)
- Payment in full on time
- A horse that stands safely
- A knowledgeable handler who can help keep everyone safe
But if you’re looking to go above and beyond this week for National Farriers Week, here are a few tried-and-true suggestions for extra ways you can show your appreciation. My current farrier appreciates things like a pound of craft-roasted coffee, new jokes he can tell his other clients and — wait for it — a half-pint of pickled herring. Get creative!
- Truck wash certificate (bonus points for an interior detail)
- Homemade baked goods (I have never met a farrier who did not appreciate homemade baked goods)
- Warm layers for winter or a new thermos
- Cooling accessories for summer or a new water bottle
- Gas card
- Certificate for a meal out (or in the case of a farrier at a former barn where I worked, certificate to our favorite neighborhood ice cream stand where we ran into him and his assistant on multiple occasions: “this is our favorite spot!”)
And never underestimate the value of a positive word-of-mouth review or a hand-signed card from you and your horses. Sometimes it’s these little gestures that speak the loudest.
Go thank your farrier! And go riding.