A Day in the Life of a Farrier
This month Wirral Farrier, Tom Clothier, joins us for a lowdown on what a typical day is like in the world of a working farrier. Learn how many hours a farrier can expect to work, essential tools of the trade and how Tom manages to manage his busy schedule.
How many hours, on average, do you work and how many days a week?
Typically, a day I work around 8 hours. I start around 9am and try to finish around 5pm and have Sunday and Monday off.
How many horses and clients do you now have?
I have around 100 clients and many of them have multiple horses.
How far, on average, do you travel a day?
It can vary but I would say around 80 miles a day
How do you keep yourself organised, do you keep a strict planner?
I work from a diary and stick to set times
What qualifications do you have?
Nvq level 3 in farriery
Diploma of the worshipful company of farriers (DipWCF)
What are the most important tools of your trade?
There are so many different tools I have but the hammer clippers and rasp are the essentials
What are the different types of shoeing you offer?
I offer shoeing types for general riding. Hunting, jumping, flat work and remedial work.
How has farriery changed over the past decade?
Farriery is always changing our knowledge of the hoof, horse and rider expands we have to grow with the times, these days it seems to be more about keeping the rider happy
Do you find your work stressful?
The modern day farrier has to deal with times of stress which I blame lack of communication between rider vet and farrier
What do you find the easiest type of horse to work with?
Easiest horse would be a well behaved about 15h horse with good feet and also very important an owner who I can communicate with well
What is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is dealing with a poorly horse that has say laminitis, through shoeing methods we can literally save horses lives or being a lame horse through to soundness with shoes
How do you handle difficult horses that don’t like to be shod or trimmed?
I don’t handle very difficult horses I suggest sedation or another farrier
What do you think your clients would say about you?
I think most of my clients would say I’m well mannered, punctual, always provide high standards of hoof care and always try my best to accommodate
What one thing could owners do to make your job easier?
One thing to make my job easier is have clean and dry hooves and legs picked out with the horse tied up ready for me at the appointment time
Many thanks to Tom Clothier!