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My first experience with shoeing horses was 17 years ago. I was cowboying for the Sunlight Ranch at the time and I was required to shoe my own string of horses. I knew nothing at the time about shoeing, other than the fact that it was a skill set I needed and one at the time I did not possess. I was lucky to get the job accomplished with help from the jigger boss at the time.
Over the course of the next couple of years I fumbled around “slapping” iron on the horses in my string at the different cow outfits I rode for.
In 1998 I went to work, cowboying for the Meyer Company Ranch, there again I was required to shoe all of the horses in my string. During my time at Meyer’s I was blessed to have worked along side my good friend and cow boss at the time Pete Chavez. Pete is a highly gifted cowman, roper and horseman in his own right.
I learned many things from Pete during the years I was at Meyer’s, about cows, stockmanship and horses. Pete helped me early on to see the horses feet more clearly, and in doing so sparked an interest in me to attend the Montana State Horse Shoeing School.
I enrolled in the M.S.U Horse Shoeing School in the fall of 1999, where I again was blessed to have the privilege to learn and be instructed by, in my opinion and many others, one of the best horse shoeing instructors in the country, Tom Wolfe. Here is where I learned the dynamics of the horses foot, how it functions and what is needed from a farrier to help the horse to stay healthy and sound. I learned the importance of a balanced level foot and the need to keep the horses feet well maintained.
I graduated from M.S.U that fall and received my A.F.A. certification as well.
I have incorporated my horse shoeing skills into my training business, and although my primary business is training, I do shoe most of my clients horses, especially first time colts. As well as do all my own horses.
I feel that it is a perfect fit for me to merge my training business in with my shoeing skills. It allows me to use my horsemanship experience to help horses that have trouble being shod or to give the first shoeing to a colt and have it be a great experience, without using torture devices or drugs to accomplish this task.
The shoeing of horses should not be a traumatic experience, one where it takes chains, twitches, vets and drugs to get accomplished.
Not only do I offer my services for shoeing, but I also offer my horsemanship skills to get a horse to feel comfortable about being shod.
Throughout the years I have helped many horse that were said “could not be shod” and guided them to a place where they were relaxed and accepting of the shoeing process. Sometimes with a first time colt, it is only a matter of an hour or two of working with them to get them feeling good about their feet picked up and worked with. Other times, in cases where the horse has had much difficulty and has been scared or hurt, it could take months to help them get to a point where they will put trust back into the human and allow them to work with their feet.
This is why I strongly recommend “doing it right the first time.” I routinely take young horses, yearlings and weanlings in for their initial stages of halter breaking. This is a perfect time to work with the young horses feet and really get them feeling good about having their feet handled and worked with. Teaching them that they can balance themselves on three legs while one is being worked on, with out leaning or pulling away from you. It’s so important how the feet are picked up and especially put back down. This will help make the years of shoeing and trimming trouble free throughout you and your horses life.
Here is an example of one of the horses that I corrected the shoeing on. The previous farrier had this horses’ hooves in a very harmful angle, which ended up developing under slung and crushed heels resulting in a tremendous amount of stress on this horses joints and ligaments. With just a simple 1 degree wedge pad and moving the break over back on the toe of the hoof, I was able to have this horse standing correct in about an hour and half.
Happy horse, happy owners!
The cost for shoeing and related services are as follows:
- STRAIGHT SHOEING / $85
- NATURAL TRIMS / $35
- CORRECTIVE SHOEING / determined by horses needs
- IF THE YOUR HORSE NEEDS TO BE WORKED WITH PRIOR TO SHOEING / $50 per hour
**RANCH FEE MAY APPLY DEPENDING ON LOCATION**
P.O. Box 895