Poll Recap: Tipping Farriers

Poll Recap: Tipping Farriers

Of the 1,727 respondents, 1,220 people (71%) said they do not tip their farrier.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Do you tip your farrier for trimming or shoeing your horses? We asked our readers this question in last week’s online poll. More than 1,700 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 1,727 respondents, nearly three-quarters (1,220) said they do not tip their farrier. Another 223 individuals (13%) said they tip their farrier every time, while 207 (12%) said they only tip their farrier during the holidays. The remaining 77 respondents (4%) said they will tip their farrier if the horse acts up during shoeing or trimming.

Poll Results: Tipping Farriers

Additionally, more than 200 people left comments about their farriers and why they do or do not tip him or her. 

Many people commented that they do not tip their farrier:

  • "They are expensive enough without finding the money to tip."           
  • "It costs me enough just to have four shoes and a trim every five weeks!"
  • "I do not think it’s appropriate."
  • "Tipping is not appropriate. She is paid very well for her services, so the fee is the fee."
  • "I haven't tipped, but would be willing to pay more if he wanted me to."
  • "No, but it's not for lack of trying. He's one of those old men who won't accept the tip!"
  • "It's not a custom in my area and, besides, he charges enough!"
  • "His price, which is quite high, is his price."
  • "He is already charging me his price for trimming."
  • "I don't tip the farrier, just like I don't tip the vet or my dentist or my doctor."
  • "My horses are trained and stand quietly. My farrier works for himself, so he sets his price."
  • "The fee is adequate compensation."
  • "He has a fee and that is what I pay. What most farriers charge is more than enough."
  • "He is good, but charges appropriately on the high side for his service."
  • "I'm totally against tipping. If the farrier expects a tip it should be included in the price."
  • "I don't tip, but my horse is a champ at trimming, as well."
  • "He has asked that I not tip him, as this is his way of providing a service for his fee!"
  • "No. My farrier charges $40 to trim my horse's hoofs and does two horses in about 20 minutes."
  • "My farrier would be offended at the thought."
  • "I write a $400.00 check for two horses every four weeks. That is sufficient."
  • "The prices here are so high that I can barely afford them, as it is my farrier sets his rates."
  • "No, her charges include any tip I might give her."

Others explained why they choose to tip their farrier:

  • "It is a service and I appreciate their efforts."
  • "He deserves every penny for always doing a great job!"
  • "I tip hairdressers/waiters, so why not the man who keeps my boys moving well? I love my farrier!!"
  • "I tip my farrier several times during the year, especially when extra work is involved."
  • "A good farrier is always worth a tip. It is a service and I believe in tipping."
  • "My farrier deserves it and is very grateful because very few other clients do."
  • "My farrier is fantastic. I can't imagine not tipping her."
  • "We have a lot of horses and he keeps prices reasonable, so he gets tipped!"
  • "I tip him because of his travel time to our barn."
  • "Yes I tip each time, plus extra if horse is naughty."
  • "I tip $5 per horse. plus drinks and snacks."
  • "I give a10 to 20% tip."
  • "My farrier is very reasonable and has rarely raised his fees. I tip to help with the high gas costs."
  • "My farrier drives 12 miles on an awful dirt road to reach me. The little extra money is just to say thanks."
  • "He moved 40 miles out of the area, but still fits my one horse into his schedule. I tip handsomely every time."
  • "I tip my farrier when he makes a special trip out to reset a lost shoe."
  • "My farrier goes out of his way and is very caring to my horses, so I give him more than he has asked."
  • "My farrier trims my four horses. I tip him 25% because he is always on time and does great work."
  • "Tipping is fine. No foot, no horse!"
  • "I tipped my farrier $10 for two horses for being so patient and kind to my horses when they're difficult."
  • "I also will tip the farrier if he has to come out just to replace a shoe, etc."
  • "It's a service and I always tip on services."

Others said they tip their farrier during the holidays:

  • "I give her a picnic lunch as a tip everytime and a monetary tip for the holidays."
  • "My farrier gets a generous holiday tip (although I think of it more as a gift)."
  • "He is well paid and gets a nice Christmas bonus."
  • "Mine gets a Christmas 'gift' and some additional cash if my horse is really bad."
  • "My farrier (who's provided 19 years of service) receives money for Christmas and his birthday."
  • "I give a Christmas gift and birthday gift."
  • "I tip on holidays, unexpected rush visits, and if my horse were to act badly."
  • "I tip for Christmas and for extra work, like my old horse that has hard time standing and needs more time."
  • "I've gotten him Christmas, home warming, and baby gifts."
  • "I tip randomly and during holidays."
  • "Yes I give my farrier a thank you tip every Thanksgiving. He is priceless."
  • "I give him a present at Christmas."
  • "I only tip at Christmas."
  • "I do give him wine and chocolates for Christmas!"
  • "I give an extra tip for Christmas. He has to travel an hour to do two horses and I want him to come back."
  • "I give a holiday gift, but this is his job that is well paid and not dependent on tips."
  • "He gets a Christmas gift equal to the bill for one visit for my four horses."
  • "I tip during the holidays and if my horses have made the farrier's job harder."

Some said they have not thought much or heard of tipping a farrier:

  • "The thought has never come to my mind."
  • "It never occured to me to tip my farrier, nor have I heard of anyone in my area doing so."
  • "I did not know it was expected!"
  • "I didn't realize this would be appropriate."
  • "Good idea, but I have never thought of it before."
  • "I have never heard of anyone tipping their farrier. Is it common?"
  • "Never heard of anyone tipping their farrier. My farrier gets paid very well for his job."
  • "Wow. Really? I didn't even know that was a thing..."
  • "I've never heard of or seen anyone tip a farrier!"
  • "In 40+ years owning horses I have never heard of such a thing!"
  • "I've never heard of tipping a farrier, and there are a lot of horses in my area; maybe it's a regional thing?"
  • "Didn't think about it, until now!"
  • "It has never occurred to me to tip and has never been mentioned by any in my horse community."
  • "I've never thought of tipping my farrier since I feel he charges an adequate fee already."

Others said they provide other gifts and products for their farrier:

  • "I have cold or hot drinks, depending on the weather, and a sweet treat, as well."
  • "I do pay her extra for mileage, I want to be sure she is fully compensated for her service!"
  • "He is paid a fair rate per horse, and gets a free lunch and beverages."
  • "I usually feed him if he's working during lunch."
  • "I don't tip, but we took him boar hunting."
  • "Occasionally I may give him a gift, cookies, or his favorite pie."
  • "I tip with fresh eggs and baked goods. He does a great job every time and I'm thankful."
  • "I do not, as I feed him lunch and we have a barn-full, but several of my boarders do."
  • "Does fresh produce from my garden count?"
  • "I do give money or movie gift card (he and wife love going to the movies) during the holidays."
  • "I don't tip but I do bake for him. He gets lots of goodies."
  • "I buy him beer occasionally. Does that count?"

Some people left general comments about their farrier:

  • "To find a farrier that will show up when he is scheduled is very hard!"
  • "My 'tip' for my farrier is to have my horses ready: in the barn, feet cleaned, and comfortable."
  • "A good reliable farrier is hard to find, you want them to stay that way."
  • "I have had the same farrier for over 30 years and never tipped him, but I always pay before he leaves."
  • "Trained farriers are scarce in my area. Mine works hard to keep up continuing education."

And, finally, a few farriers weighed in, as well:

  • "I am a farrier and since I set my prices, I don't expect tips."
  • "Ex-farrier here. I much prefer a responsible owner with with well trained horse."
  • "I've been a farrier for 41 years and have only one client that tips me!"

You can find additional information about finding a farrier and the farrier's role in horse hoof care on TheHorse.com. 

This week we want to know: What social media outlet do you rely on the most for horse-related pictures, posts, and information? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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