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Old 03-15-2008, 03:00 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,890 times
Reputation: 10

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This is a bit of an unusual request but hopefully a few of you out there can provide me with some accurate information.

I am a professional horseshoer considering relocating to the islands. Putting aside for the moment all the other issues I must consider (e.g., cost of living, schools, housing, social issues) I am trying to find out what my chances are of making a decent living in paradise. As much as I'd like to live there, supporting my family is my first concern! My web research has revealed that the Big Island has the most horses followed by Kauai, but you can never trust statistics. If most of the horses are on big ranches, they usually do their own shoeing so the number of horses may not be a good indicator of how many potential customers there are. I need customers who keep competitive performance horses (rather than pasture ornaments). I can shoe anything from jumpers to rope horses.

Is there a demand for a good shoer and, if so, where? My heart is on Kauai but I know I have to first find out if I can make a living there. I would consider living on another island if that's where the work is so please don't limit your remarks to Kauai. I'd like to know how many shoers are already working on the island(s) and what the going rate is for 4 flat shoes. Where I am now I get $125 for 4 flats. At that rate I need a book of 125-150 horses to make a living.

Any information will be greatly appreciated. If you would rather PM me, I will be happy to post my e-mail address. Mahalo in advance for your thoughts and advice.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,925,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoer53 View Post
This is a bit of an unusual request but hopefully a few of you out there can provide me with some accurate information.

I am a professional horseshoer considering relocating to the islands. Putting aside for the moment all the other issues I must consider (e.g., cost of living, schools, housing, social issues) I am trying to find out what my chances are of making a decent living in paradise. As much as I'd like to live there, supporting my family is my first concern! My web research has revealed that the Big Island has the most horses followed by Kauai, but you can never trust statistics. If most of the horses are on big ranches, they usually do their own shoeing so the number of horses may not be a good indicator of how many potential customers there are. I need customers who keep competitive performance horses (rather than pasture ornaments). I can shoe anything from jumpers to rope horses.

Is there a demand for a good shoer and, if so, where? My heart is on Kauai but I know I have to first find out if I can make a living there. I would consider living on another island if that's where the work is so please don't limit your remarks to Kauai. I'd like to know how many shoers are already working on the island(s) and what the going rate is for 4 flat shoes. Where I am now I get $125 for 4 flats. At that rate I need a book of 125-150 horses to make a living.

Any information will be greatly appreciated. If you would rather PM me, I will be happy to post my e-mail address. Mahalo in advance for your thoughts and advice.
I know absolutely nothing about horseshoeing except that there are polo games on the north shore of Kauai, in Anini, and on the Windward side of Oahu in Waimanalo. Seems to me that if you could contact the polo clubs, you might get some leads. Google, Google Google!

Hawaii polo Honolulu Polo Club - location, game times (http://www.honolulupolo.com/active%20htm%20pages/koolaushpc.htm - broken link)

Home

Hank
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:36 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,890 times
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Thanks for the reply. I was aware of the polo field in Anini. I'm still hoping some knowledgable horse owners can give me some more concrete information about the horse community. Anyone?
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Kauai, HI
1,055 posts, read 4,445,822 times
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Everyone here on Kauai has horses..Whenever I go running/walking I invariable run into a horse every time, when I'm least expecting it.

This might be a stupid question, but do horses that live on grass still require horse shoes?

I'll ask my coworker who owns a lot of horses!
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:09 AM
 
5 posts, read 18,890 times
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Mar0- Thanks for the reply. Not all horses wear shoes but even those that don't should have their hooves trimmed on a regular basis. If you could, find out if your friend knows of any public boarding stables or private barns where horses are trained. I might be able to contact the owners and get some information. I know there's a riding stable near Princeville that offers trail rides to tourists but I'm really more interested in private facilities and owners. Thanks again.
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Old 03-17-2008, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Kamuela (aka Waimea) HI
65 posts, read 288,351 times
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The "paniolo" community in Kamuela (Waimea) on the Big Island is a close knit group. I recommend you visit during one the the rodeo events and press the flesh. Emailing the site administrator for the Parker Ranch website (Historical Homes, Museums, Rodeos and Tours || Parker Ranch Big Island, Hawaii) may be a place to discover when rodeo events are scheduled in Waimea as they own the main arena. Another place to start is the local large animal veterinarian, Veterinary Associates 808-885-7941. I expect you would have to do a lot of jobs other than shoeing to make a living.
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Old 03-21-2008, 05:24 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,890 times
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Anyone else . . . . . . please?
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:55 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,408 times
Reputation: 16
Default better late than never

Aloha,

Not sure if you are still checking this thread but here goes.

There are a good handfull of farriers out here. Most are self/family taught and those who are formally trained are charging about $125 for all around regular shoes. Formally trained shoers are fewer in number.

Loyalty is a huge thing out here as it is most places. Especially with horse people as I am sure you know.

Even though barefoot trims are the thing, most eventers are not interested out here.

I feel that with time and a little bit of self marketing, you could probably make a decent living. Until you build a clientell I would DEFINATELY have a back-up plan though.

I can only speak for OAHU, but I think we have room for 1 or 2 formally trained farriers. At least half of the farriers I have used are aging and doing less and less work.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:10 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,737 times
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Hi shoer53

I am a graduate of Oklahoma horshoeing school and live on the big Island and shoeing for 12 years since 1995 and live on the hilo side of the big island. I have retired myself from that profession but still advise others on farrier work when needed. There is a lot of horses out here and the need for good qualified and responsible farrier is always missing. The going rate is 80-100 for flat work. There are rodeo clubs, dressage clubs, 4H clubs and of course pasture ornamnets.

Getting to know the in crowd is the ticket to get the clients. I do rodeos, roundups, fun shows and my wife is part of the dressage club and I was maxed out at 80 horses and that was when shoeing was $60. 2 other certified farrier that graduated from the same school have gone onto doing plumbing work and the other stringing fence lines. I on the other hand have since been an electrical contractor. One has to do other things besides horshoeing alone. Hope this helps.
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