There are two very important people in your horse’s life, besides you. First is the vet; second is the farrier. As we’ve mentioned, we live in a small town, so service people are kind of scarce here. When we got Valentine, he needed to be re-shod (he had in fact thrown a shoe, and he was due for a trim anyway). We asked the former owner for his farrier’s name and number, which he gave us, but after several calls, the guy – we’ll call him G – wasn’t calling us back. So I found someone else on the Internet and made an appointment; the next day, G called. He was going to charge less, and already knew my horse, so I went ahead and canceled the first appointment.
On appointment day, we waited patiently at the appointed time of 9:00…and G came at about 10:30. He apologized, said he was already behind. We later learned that 9:00 is usually his first appointment for the day, so he must have put someone before us.
It’s been over a year now since G started shoeing our horses. That’s about 8 appointments. He has been at least an hour late for every one. It takes several calls and at least a week to get a hold of him. Here’s the thing, though – he’s a really nice guy, and in our inexpert opinion, does a good job of shoeing our horses. He’s shod Valentine for years (through 3 owners now) and puts up with his antics. So for a while, that outweighed the unreliability. But the last episode kind of overshadowed the good points. Valentine lost a shoe about 2 weeks after his last shoeing; we called G and made an appointment to replace that one shoe, and he never showed. He also never returned our calls about it. Unfortunately, we left for Phoenix shortly after and never had time to follow up.
After the first few months of spending days trying to get a hold of G for a regular appointment, we had realized that it was much easier to set the next appointment while he was there. So we had a pre-set appointment for June 19. G never showed. He didn’t return our calls for about a week; we missed that call, he left a voice mail saying he’d try again. That’s the last we’ve heard from him, despite a call a few days ago informing him that Moonshine is down to only one shoe and her other feet are all beat up.
So the day after our last call to G, we again prevailed on our best horse friend, Shari, for the name of her farrier. It only took him 2 days to call back, and his next open appointment was only a week away, so it looks like we might have a new farrier. (We’ll call him J, and let you know how it goes.)
Sorry for the rant…sometimes you just gotta rant. I’m thinking the farrier change was way overdue, but maybe you just have to put up with some BS if you find a decent farrier, especially in a small town. What do you all think?