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.
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.
- 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 (literally, the best thing you can do with today’s gas prices)
- 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.