Farriers Have Heroes Too

 

DSC_0382 (2)

Charlene Mahood and Bob Schantz

 

marleen(1)

Marleen Schantz

In September 2013, Marleen lost her battle with cancer.  She is remembered and loved by the hundreds of farriers that came to her horseshoeing supply store.  I was one of those and it didn’t take her long to become my hero.

I started Double D Acres LLC in 2003.  I lived in Desoto, MO.  I bought my first anvil, anvil stand and forge from Bob.  Bob’s shop was quite a few miles away so I ordered most of my supplies.  Then I moved to Arnold, Mo at which time I started doing business with Bob because I was closer to his place.  It was the best move I made in my business.  The three people pictured above were my heroes and always will be.  I will never be able to thank them enough.

 

DSC_0404

Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop

 

A Little History of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop

The original blacksmith shop was started in 1874 by Jacob Wilhelm.  In 1976 the blacksmith shop passed its century mark.  Robert Schantz became the blacksmith in the old shop.  Bob moved to Tennessee in 1973 to attend horseshoeing school and practice the trade.  Bob then moved back to his native St .Louis and opened the Spanish Blacksmith Shop with the help of his father Chester Schantz, who was a carpenter.

DSC_0397

By the early 1980s, Bob had developed and patented an atmospheric propane forge.  He manufactured the forges in his shop and entered the realm of selling horseshoeing supplies with his wife, Marleen.  Bob then made the decision to cut back on horseshoeing and spend more time blacksmithing.

DSC_0392

It wasn’t long before the shop became too small and outdated for what Bob wanted to accomplish so in 1993 a new shop was built on a parcel of property in Foristell, MO, owned by Marleen’s family.  It was then that a full scale farrier supply store was born.

DSC_0396

In 2004, Bob’s peers elected him to the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame located at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.  In 2013 he would retire from blacksmithing and sell that part of the business.   Marleen and Bob continued to keep farriers supplied with horseshoes and supplies and I will always be grateful they made that decision.

DSC_0393

Marlene’s niece Charlene Mahood now manages the Farrier Supply business which supplies many farriers and their reputation is impeccable.  The store is complete with shipping facilities and ships Nationwide.  Charlene is knowledgeable about the farrier business and Bob is always eager to share his knowledge and there to help a farrier with a problem.  Bob is a firm believer in Continued Education and in the winter hosts some roundtable discussions and clinics.  I can’t say enough good things about them.  You can find them at http://www.spanishlake.com.

 

blog2

A clinic at Bobs

Bob is a wealth of horseshoeing knowledge and he knows his products.  I have overheard him more than once helping a farrier with a certain problem and do his best to help the young farriers and those just starting out.

 

DSC_0398

As some of you know, I am an Art Ambassador for Diamond Horseshoe Company.  The “How To” videos I have done are taped and edited by Bob.  He also went one step further and started http://www.horseshoecraft.com.  It is a great place to find plans and supplies  Be sure to check them out.

A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people.  A hero to me is someone who saves people and really deeply cares.” – Debi Mazar

I thank everyone who took the time to read my blog and leave a comment.  It is very much appreciated.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

So You Want To Be A Farrier?

IMG_2200

I remember when one of the local colleges offered an eight week course for folks that wanted to be a farrier.  Over time I had a few clients who told me,”Well this will be the last time you will have to shoe ole Dobbin.”  Me: “Oh yeah.  You selling him?”  They would go on to tell me that they had signed up for the 8 week course at the college and they would be doing their own shoeing.  Out of 6 clients that signed up for the class I only had one client shoe all four feet of his horse.  He then hired me back, said he had enough.

Then there are the ones that sit there and watch you as you work and they tell you, I think I can do that.  Looks pretty easy.   Then there is that age old question, ever get kicked?  Really?

IMG_2205

Then there are the bargain hunters.  They have no loyalty to their farrier.  They are just looking to get the cheapest price they can.  I remember one time while fueling my truck a guy hollers over at me and says, how much.  I said $2.55 a gallon.  He said no, how much?  I said, well it will probably hold around 30 gallons today.  He immediately says, NOOOO!  How much do you charge to shoe horses.  I said, do you have a farrier now?  He said yes but I thought you might be cheaper at which I immediately replied, you couldn’t afford me.  Yep, they are loyal to the end.

536306_10151108654617942_1913486812_n

Then you have the internet farrier.  Yep you read it right.  This is the group that cruises the internet to learn everything they can find concerning ” How to Shoe Your Horse”.  So while you are shoeing their horse they are standing looking over your shoulder telling you what you are doing wrong.  I mean geeze, these guys are pros.  They learned from that all important school “Lame Horses or Us.”

484120_10151848184517942_720488506_n

Then you have the farrier that if someone doesn’t agree with your assessment of his/her shoe job they swell up like a little bantee rooster and get their feelings hurt.  Bring a horse into a room of 4 farriers and you will get 10 different ways to shoe the horse.  The lovely world of horseshoeing.  Also be prepared to be told you charge too much.

Then there are the great things you get to experience.  I remember one such time.  I was on the back end of the horse with its back leg over mine when all of a sudden the horse made a gut sound that sounded like a freight train roaring down the track.  I just got out of my mouth, well he shouldn’t colic any time soon, when all at once its tail went up and yep, liquid road apples come out of the back end like it was coming out of a power washer.  Before I could get out of the way it hit me on the side of the head and my back and…..never mind just trust me it was a mess.

Seriously though, I am proud of my trade.  I am a firm believer in continued education.  It is hard work and you have to be well disciplined.  It is too easy to get up in the morning and say, I think I will call in sick today.  You have to be a business man and be able to deal with the public.

I am semi-retired now.  I still have around 40 head of horses on my books.  I am thankful for all those who helped me better myself.  Dr. Don Walsh, Dr. Amy Rucker, Dr. Joanne Kramer, Kelly Case, Bob Schantz, Dr. Thomas Loafman to just name a few.   If you decide to walk the path of a farrier I urge you to seek out continued education through clinics.  Bob Schantz, owner of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop, along with Homestead Veterinary Hospital, Dr Kramer and Dr Rucker have some great workshops during the winter months.  Be sure to check them out.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I deeply appreciate it.  If you are considering a career shoeing horses I wish you well.  It is hard work but take pride in yourself and your work and it can be a real rewarding experience.  Spread the love!