Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Waiting on the farrier

The farrier has a day job.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for him. (Sorry that he's not making gas money shoeing & trimming, but hey, the guy drives two or three hours in all directions for ropings, cuttings, shows & clients on a regular basis - not cheap these days!). But his day job involves lots of driving and on call type jobs. So he's never sure from day to day where he'll be, how long the job will take, and when he'll be home.

In the last several months he's gone from mostly reliable to usually unreliable. AND HE DOESN"T CALL!

Once again last night I spent two hours waiting for him to show up. The horses were cranky and twitchy - it was cold & damp and they wanted to be down in the pasture tucked out of the wind. The lot was still gooey in spots, mostly concentrated in front of the posts I usually tie to, so I couldn't skip a post between them - which I usually do to give the farrier space to work.

I'm still short two halters. (My best one went on the sold mare because J thought it was hers.... And one is still in the other car, I think). I can usually leave the two oldest mares loose, as they'll happily stand and snooze, but last night at least one of them was in heat. Both of them were causing trouble picking on the tied horses. Grrrr! So they got tied and the two youngsters got locked out of the lot to keep them out from underfoot.

I used the time productively enough, I guess. De-mudded all of them and got the majority of the wind tangles out without cutting any chunks of mane loose. After three days of wind & rain most of them had elflocks - thankfully not to the dreadlock stage!

Overcast skies meant that at 7 PM it was dark, the farrier hadn't arrived or called, and wasn't picking up his phone. So feet are still long. Bah.

It may be time to start asking around about someone else to trim. I'm not looking forward to the prospect though.


Mikey said...

You should get with Brown Eyed Cowgirls and have her show you how to trim!! Y'all are in the same state, wonder if that might be a viable option....

SunnySD said...

Now THAT is definitely a thought to consider....

Pat said...

I was just going to suggest the same thing! Frustration with irresponsible farriers isn't worth the money you pay them.

But in their defence, because I know how it is to get busy with badly behaving horses and traffic, wrong turns-backtracking, incorrect addresses, and weather, the list goes on and on...sometimes the "I'm going to be late" call doesn't get made until I'm really late. But I don't just skip people without a call.

I also am not in the habit of making reminder calls. Takes too much time. So I send reminder emails and if I don't have an email address, I may or may not call.

I make the next appt as soon as I get done trimming your horses and once the appt is on my calendar, they can expect me whether they hear from me or not.

I tell people, to call me the day before or the day of our appt for comformation, otherwise, once they are on my calendar, they should expect me, a bit late sometimes, but unless I call them, I will be there.

I offer trimming clinics also, (natural trims) but I'm a long ways from you. Darn!

Jennifer said...

As a client, I don't expect reminder-calls, or reminder-emails.

I do expect my farrier to stay on schedule, and provide me a courtesy call if he'll be exceedingly late, or another day. Don't expect me to stand with a tied horse or two for hours, and then don't show. My time is valuable, too.

SunnySD said...

I'd probably be a lot more understanding if this was the first time he'd failed to show without calling. Unfortunately, it's not. And it's not as if the horses are monsters to trim, either.

Late is acceptable in moderation - in fact, it's been a given at least occasionally with almost every farrier I've ever dealt with. As Pat says, things come up. And even with cell phones, well, case in point: the last time he was out his cell phone fell out of his pocket as he stooped to pick up a tool. Before he could grab it, the horse he was working on stepped on it. No more phone.

BUT... he sure could have called. Those trimming clinics are sounding better & better!