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  4. Code of Professional Conduct
  5. Farriers Responsibilities to Clients

Farriers Responsibilities to Clients

A client, in this context, is defined as a person whose horse has been shod or trimmed by the farrier within the last ten weeks and is not known to have become the client of another farrier.

The provision of farriery services creates a legal relationship with the client under which farriers should:
  • ensure that clear information is provided about practice details, contact arrangements, terms and conditions, services, prices, insurance cover and complaints procedures
  • respond to clients’ enquiries as quickly as possible. A time scale is not set but factors to consider include:
    • The means and ease by which the client can be contacted
    • The urgency, nature and complexity of the enquiry
    • The availability of either party
    • Whether information is needed from a third party
  • take all reasonable care in using their professional skills
  • keep their skills and knowledge up to date by undertaking regular Continued Professional Development (CPD)
  • not attend (shoe or trim) any animal in the absence of the client, or a person who takes responsibility for the horse in the client’s absence, without prior arrangement
  • keep within their own areas of competence save for the requirement to provide emergency first aid
  • advise clients when a second opinion or further professional advice is required
  • work in conjunction with a veterinary surgeon’s advice where appropriate
  • ensure that all their staff are properly trained and supervised where appropriate
  • recognise that the client has freedom of choice
The farrier/client relationship is one of mutual trust and respect, under which a farrier must: 
  • maintain client confidentiality providing it does not conflict with the horse’s welfare
  • treat the client with respect, and observe professional business courtesies, for example strive to arrive for appointments at the agreed time and keep clients informed of any delays that may occur
  • give due consideration to the client’s concerns and wishes where these do not conflict with the horse’s, or your own, welfare or health and safety
  • provide fully itemised invoices and bills if requested
  • provide an adequate period of notice if he/she does not wish to continue to work for a client for whatever reason

Owners often ask the farrier to catch, tie up and release the horse before or after trimming and shoeing. Farriers are not required to do so, but if they choose to accept these additional risks, they must perform them with all due skill and care.

Farriers are advised to check with their insurers as to whether they are covered to work on horses unattended by their owner.