Friday, August 26, 2016

Still Shoeing ; Still loving it

WOW it has been at least 2 years since I've posted.  Real Estate has kept me busy in rural Nevada.  But I am still shoeing.  I have not taken any new clients in over 2 years.  Sometimes I have a customer who goes "horseless" for a while and then buys another horse and calls me to ask if they are considered a new client or will I come back and shoe.  Ummmm.  Or someone sells a horse and the new owner wants me to come shoe.  Ummmmm.  Who is new and who is old and who is my customer/client.....
Love shoeing. Love working for myself,,, and that is what helps me in Real Estate...  working for myself to fill a need to the best of my ability.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

One Way To Retire

Retiring Not quitting!!  So my old friend , Mike Williams, once told me the way you retire from a career of horseshoeing is to decide about when you want to be done and 10 years before stop taking new clients.  By the end of 10 years your client's have moved, sold the horses, died, or the horses have died.  And wa-laa you are retired!  
I love shoeing and God continues to bless with the physical ability to "get under" horses even after 36 years.  
I started out part-time.  I was young and loved to 'play', and well, I still do.  But I would shoe enough to pay bills and stay in the profession, but scheduled in camping, horse riding, dude wrangling, skiing, cowboying, gardening, bladesmithing, firefighting, stock dog trialing.  Then I had 12-20 years pretty full time.  Now I guess I am back to part-time, as I try and start a new career to carrying me on when I am done shoeing.
The middle of 2012 I got my Real Estate license and have been building that business. Of course, concentrating on horse properties. 
Then it happened, in the Spring of 2013 I answered the phone and a person asked if I could come shoe for them....I took a big gulp and uttered the words, "I am not taking any new clients"  It was so hard to say and before we hung up I told the person to call me in a few days if they could not get someone else.  Of course they could find another shoer, but I couldn't just say plain old "NO".  I have been getting better at saying "no" but it sure is odd.  
I doubt it'll be 10 years before I am done. Since moving to Nevada I had only built the business up to about 3/4 time.  My guess, Lord willing, is 5 years.  then maybe I'll be a hobby shoer, doing my own and for a friend or two. What can I say , I am addicted!
So it is not Good bye yet.  
The best, as usual, is yet to come

Saturday, November 30, 2013


 In some respects this hind foot looks pretty normal and a horse owner may not even realize it needs a trim.  But when the shoe is pulled and the hoof is trimmed the photo below shows just how much the foot had grown in just one nip around the hoof.  Even more was removed when rasped and shaped.
 A hoof that does not flare can "carry" the shoe in a normal position even when the hoof is long.  A person needs to look at the calendar days since the last shoeing not just the foot on the ground.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm Back to write farrier posts

Okay,  I have had shoeing stuff to write about throughout the summer and failed to log on.  Then I put off because it would take me too long to catch up.  so instead of catching up I am moving on. And hopefully will blog as farrier stuff comes up......which it does , weekly!
Ok , this is a start.  and with winter coming it typically has been when I stay in and take time to post.
I'll Be Back in the next few days .......I hope!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Two Shoe Shapes / One Hoof

Here is an interesting photo I had to take of a shoe I pulled off a horse that someone else had shod.  I thought the foot was a little long in the toe and under run in the heels. But figured it was mainly due because the owner went awhile between shoeings, but after shaping the hoof and then the shoe I realized my shoe, shaped to fit the newly trimmed hoof, was more rounded and not as long as the other. conclusion?!!? get a proper trim first!  But no harm was done so I guess if the shoe fits nail it. yet over the long haul an improperly trimmed hoof may lead to something bad down the trail.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

winter work and Merry Christmas (repost from last year)

I got this phone call, still don’t know if he got my number from our local horse newspaper, craig’s list, my card at the local feed store, or perhaps word-of-mouth.
My phone rang and caller ID read ‘private number’, I answered and through a scratchy connection I hear a low laughter, kinda like a Ho Ho Hello. I thought I heard phones jingling in the background and thought, “great, it’s a telemarketer”.
The guy on the other end asks if I only do horses and I replied I do ponies, donkeys, and mules too. He gently asks, “How about animals with feet like…. goats” I thought , “okay, I told those people not to tell anybody I trimmed their goat for them. I only did it because they were desperate and were regular horse shoeing clients”. But being winter and short on work I asked what he had. The answer was “Ho, Ho, Of course reindeer.”. And he would be willing to pay for mileage or provide transportation to his place. Because he lived way North of me. Well, there is a wildlife zoo somewhere about 100 miles North, but he said he lived further. And to meet him at the Minden airport with my trimming tools and he’d fly me up to his place.
Well, you can imagine my surprise flying on a sled behind 8 tiny reindeer to the North Pole. I nipped away on a cavvy of over 30 reindeer! I found out that they only needed done about this one time a year. Normally, their large, spreading hooves enable them to travel on snow-covered areas and they naturally wear them off when they scrape away the snow cover to feed on buried vegetation like grasses, mosses, and lichens. But soon he would be making a big circle, periodically changing out critters and they would be traveling to places without snow and eating on fodder such as hay, sugar cubes, and oats set out at various stops by folks with good intentions, but the ease and richness of the feed will play havoc on the hooves.
Why me you ask.? Well, he picks seasoned farriers of over 30 years experience. So if you are just starting out in this wonderful trade, hang in there for not only years of working in a great occupation, but someday….down-the-road, your phone may ring from a private number and when you answer, by-the-way those are sleigh bells in the background, don’t turn down this new one time client!! And those of you who have been in the trade for a while, I’d love to hear about your story of finding the correct balance for those critters.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I am sure I am not the only farrier who loves the holidays.  Some of holidays like Veteran’s Day, Presidents Day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day I can catch up the shoeing for my customers who work for the government.  My clients who are in the private sector still tend to work those days.  Now on Thanksgiving, July 4th, New Year’s day most everyone is busy  celebrating with food and family, even  if some work they will still take any remaining hours to celebrate.  But I am grateful for these holidays because I can catch up on shoeing my own horses.  Now Christmas is the holiday I like best because I actually may not shoe any horses.