Tipping the farrier at Christmas

I’ve owned horses for many years and unfortunately (or fortunately…I’m not sure) always gave homemade gifts at Christmas. My new farrier, however, prefers cash, which is fine…but I don’t know how much to give! A typical shoeing for all 4 feet is $200 and he is worth every penny.

What do you do for your farrier at Christmas?

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Generally the cost of 1 visit so for my 2, $200.

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I do $100, which is the cost of a normal visit for us. We just pulled shoes so my monthly bill is going down but I’ll keep the Christmas tip the same.

Edited to add:

I should also mention my farrier goes above and beyond for me. Couldn’t tell you how many times he’s come to tack a shoe on last minute and try to refuse money for it. He’s always early and has never canceled on me. Once he even went out and grabbed my horse because he was so early! How do you not give extra cash at Christmas for a guy like that?


What a ballsy dude to ask for cash instead of a gift.

At any rate, I don’t tip at Christmas because I tip 20% every trim.


Oh, he didn’t request it. My trainer asked in a roundabout way, and then told me when I asked :slight_smile: I’m new to this particular barn and was trying to figure out the custom.


Gotcha, that makes more sense. :slight_smile:

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Curious about the whole tipping farriers thing - is this common? I am very happy to pay my farrier’s prices - he does an excellent job and has managed my problem child quite well and I’ve referred him to other people. He is not hurting for work and I’m pretty sure he makes more money than me. Is tipping expected and I’m committing a faux pas? I always considered the farrier in that same class of professionals where you don’t really need to tip them. I don’t tip my vet, I don’t tip the chiropractor or osteopath or other specialized bodyworkers.


Also want to know this. I pay $300 every 6 weeks in the winter and this guy is the most in-demand farrier around (and skilled- I’ll give him that). He owns his own business. I simply cannot afford to pay him a gift of $600, as much as I appreciate him.


In over 20yrs with the same shoer, I have never tipped.
I appreciate that he comes to my barn just to trim my 3 & that he has raised his price just once in all that time.
I do give him a gift at Christmas, but nothing extravagant. If I had time, a homemade treat & a $25 gas card I know will be appreciated.
When I had a flush year he got a Honeybaked Ham.


I don’t know what’s customary. My old guy I didn’t tip, because he would jerk me around with scheduling. This guy always shows up on time, answers all my questions, and has even entertained me to supervise me doing my own trims and offering advice so I can maintain the bare feet better between trims.

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That’s one reason I hadn’t been in the habit of tipping, but simply giving homemade Christmas gifts. I never had a farrier I was super concerned about losing. This one is pretty spectacular, so I’d like to keep him happy!

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I tip at about 50% of my total bill for three horses. If I had a single horse I would probably tip equal to my regular bill.

I may be cheap.

I don’t tip on the regular. He sets his prices and I pay them. Only time I paid extra was when I was out of town and my horse threw a shoe… he came out and put it on for no charge “because he was in the area”. So next visit I paid what he normally charges for that service.

Christmas I’ll make some homemade goodies and add $25. Our regular visit is $120 for fronts and a trim every six weeks.


At xmas I tip the cost of one visit (which for my two horses, is $80). I don’t tip for routine service, that seems odd.
I did tip when he came on an emergency basis so I added $20 and just said “Thanks, and lunch is on me”.

It works out to a little more than those who tip double the visit price, for me.

It’s ~$80 to get two barefoot horses trimmed.

20% every 6 weeks totals to $173 roughly.

People tip farriers?


I had no idea tipping farriers was a thing and I have never done it myself. IMO they make a lot of money to begin with.


My horse wears polyflex shoes and his farrier bill is $445 a month. I love my farrier, but no he is not getting a tip. Haha. I get billed through the vet clinic anyway. I might bake him some cookies or something.


I don’t tip my farrier unless you count providing him with cold/warm drinks and snacks (sometimes a whole lunch) as tipping.
I do give him a Christmas gift every year. (Gift card for somewhere I know he can use.)

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LOL. I was driving to a show with my coach and a farrier in a $60k rig with a brand spankin’ shiny new new trailer blew by us, driving like his hair was on fire. My coach muttered, “we’re paying these boys too much.” I laughed. I don’t begrudge them the prices they charge one bit, but some days I think I picked the wrong profession.

That being said, I will be getting my farrier a gift this year, as he saved my show season and my mare’s feet more than once between August and November.