Because I flaunt my mobile phone number and my email address so freely, I receive a lot of phone calls and a lot of emails. Invariably I am either under a horse, running a course, or out of range in the outback, but I make a point of ringing every caller back as soon as I can and I check my emails daily.
Leaving a mobile phone on for 24 hours a day has its disadvantages when travelling – I am often woken around 5am by my mobile phone, when unwittingly someone from the eastern states has rung me not realising that I am currently travelling in Western Australia which is two hours behind their time.
I had an email last week from a woman who hoped I would be able to tell her the quietest stock horse stallion in Australia suitable for her mare. I am flattered that people think I know every horse in Australia, but I really don’t.
I receive a huge number of calls and emails from people asking me to recommend a ‘good farrier’ in their area. In actual fact, I don’t meet a lot of farriers. I run year round courses for horse owners, particularly in the outback where there are no farriers. But I really can’t help when I am asked to recommend a farrier. I suggest to callers that they contact their State Master Farriers Association or the Australian Farriers & Blacksmiths Association for a list of farriers. Or their local farrier supply outlet.
Then I get another call – they can’t find a number for the MFA or the AFBA. Finding a number for an association is not as straightforward as you may think. I can’t find anything under Associations either. So I suggest they should look in the yellow pages under Blacksmiths & Farriers. Not there either, although there is quite a listing of farriers which may be of help to those searching for a farrier.
So I tried looking on the internet – (updated May 2014)
The SAMFA has its own website – www.farriers-sa.com.au
The NSW MFA has its own website – www.mfansw.com.au
VIC MFA has its own website – www.vmfa.com.au
In QLD the Professional Farriers and Blacksmiths Association of Queensland (PFBAQ) was born via the merger of the Australian Farriers and Blacksmiths Association Queensland (AFBAQ) and the Queensland Master Farriers Association (QMFA).
Various websites have listings of farriers, blacksmiths, farrier supplies and associations.
The WAFA association in WA is on Facebook.
I found a website for the AFBA in all states at www.afba.org.au which even has a Members Code of Conduct
That raised the question of what is the difference between a blacksmith and a farrier. I get a lot of calls from people wanting gates made, crowbars sharpened, fancy ironwork made and so forth. So back to the Blacksmiths and Farriers listing in the yellow pages to find them a blacksmith.
I find it very sad that people in other states contact me knowing that I answer my phone, when the people they should be contacting in their own state are not answering their phones or are unavailable or just unable to be found.
While trawling around the internet, I found this wonderful drawing; so even Napoleon had to wait for the farrier.