I will not ride my horse if his hooves are very overdue for a shoeing. Even if the shoes are still tight to the hoof, if the angle of the hoof is too steep, it puts too much stress on the tendons, ligaments and joints to do more under tack than just walk on level ground. I want to enter a Hunter Pace on the 28th of this October and need to gallop and jump him get him wind-fit. So I started calling at just over 7 weeks. I got no answer or an excuse, etc. Finally I had called a friend and asked for her farrier's phone number and the next day - horse had shoes.
I have always been a good customer, never stood any shoer up for payment. (okay, I may have been late a few times but never by more than 1 shoeing) Over the years, I have had to change farriers because;
1) one guy was a lousy shoer and my horse was cut too short one too many times
2) one guy was awesome but he got so busy I could just never get him on time
3) one guy was great but had a huge falling out with the owner of the place where my horse was kept at and was told to never set foot on her property again
4) one guy was a really great farrier who I used for years but when I changed boarding barns, suddenly made up all kinds of excuses that my horse was acting up when he went to shoe him. This was instead of just being straight with me and telling me he had no other customers in the area I had moved to and it just wasn't worth it to come out to where I was to do my one horse.
5) one poor soul was a good farrier who was reliable, then all of a sudden I needed him because my horse threw a shoe so I called and called. He either would answer and give an excuse why he couldn't get there right away or just let voice mail take the call. Finally, I just wasn't able to contact him and had to find someone else (who is the guy I use now) and a few months later I find out from the horsey-grapevine that the guy was suffering from depression and had taken his own life (now I know why I couldn't get hold of him).