Retirement

“Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway.” – Author Unknown

After retiring you will ask yourself how you ever got everything done when you were working. Never seems like there is enough time in the day.

I really didn’t want to retire but one day in a boarding barn I was putting shoes on a horse, that in 6 years of shoeing him, he never gave me any trouble.

Well that morning someone was working in a stall next to the shoeing area. Not thinking they pulled the trigger on an electric power wrench and all hell broke loose. I was underneath of the horse’s right hind and it launched me toward the wall.

Well while heading for the wall like I was trying to break a land speed record I thinks to myself, this ain’t gonna end pretty. I just know it.

Seconds later my face makes contact with this not so soft wall. As I bounced off the wall I could see one of us was bleeding. Yep you guessed it. It weren’t the wall! It was my nose. Bleeding like a stuck hog.

I landed on my back thinking, well that wasn’t too bad. Then it happened. That’s what I get for thinking. The horse decided to stand on my left shoulder. I laid there trying to figure out what MacGyver would have done. The horse finally got off my shoulder and you would have been amazed at how fast an overweight old man can move. I looked like Secretariat coming down the back stretch.

As I started assessing the damage done to me 2 boarders came around the corner and saw the blood. Now I know my brother farriers know exactly what they said. “Oh my God! Is the horse ok? Should we call the vet? I bet my head could have been 5 feet from my torso and they would check the horse first. As I stood there still dazed I relayed to them that it was my blood not the horses in unison they said “Oh”. I am standing there and my nose looks like a ketchup dispenser that won’t shut off and all I get is “Oh”! Then a miracle happens. One of the ladies said “You are bleeding. “. Yes ma’am I am.

On the way home I did some thinking and I decided it was time to hang up the apron. I didn’t retire completely. I kept around 18 head on my books. Then about a year ago I completely retired from shoeing horses.

Now days I make horseshoe art, Dutch oven cooking and fish a lot. I try my best to avoid real work. I miss the people. I had some great clients.

The following pics is a little sample of my horseshoe art.

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to read my blog. You are appreciated very much.

A Chapter Closes

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I think when we get older we need to step back and evaluate where we are at and what we are doing.  I did just that.  I will be entering my 63rd year on this side of the dirt. Definitely not getting any younger.  Shoeing horses is a somewhat physically demanding job.  You know the old saying, “To be a horseshoer one must have a strong back and a weak mind.”

I started Double D Acres LLC in 2003.  It has been a good run and I was able to build a fantastic clientele base.  I was blessed with some great clients.  At my peak I had 268 horses on rotation.  I stayed busy.

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Aluminum St. Croix Eventer

One question we always get asked, “Have you ever got kicked before?”.  It isn’t have you, it is how many times.  The worst thing I had happen to me was a bruised spleen and 2 busted ribs.  I was shoeing horses 5 days later.

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Meddlin’ Kate

Every farrier should have a ride dog.  Mine is an Australian Shepherd.  She takes her job very serious.

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Dissecting an equine leg at a clinic

i am a firm believer in continued education. (CE).  I can’t thank Bob Schantz, owner of Spanish Lake Blacksmith Shop and Homestead Veterinary Hospital enough for all the clinics they provided.  Big thank you to Dr. Amy Rucker (Midwest Equine LLC) and Dr. Joanne Kramer (Mizzou University) for taking time out of their busy schedules to teach at the clinics.  We learn a lot by dissecting the equine limb.  It helps us to get a better understanding of the mechanics of the leg and hoof and how it works.

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Navicular Shoe by KB

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No rotation of the coffin bone

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X-ray of a rotated coffin bone

I would like to thank Dr. Don Walsh for all he taught me about laminitis and founder.  Dr. Walsh founded the Animal Health Foundation to research laminitis.  Laminitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the laminae that bond the hoof wall to the coffin bone in the horses hoof.   Laminitis can cause the coffin bone to rotate and come out of the bottom of the hoof.  It is very painful for the equine.

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My shop on wheels

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Hoof of People Dont Change

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Hoof of People Dont Change

The hooves are of a thoroughbred that I got off the race track.  He had road foundered and I was working with Dr. Ted Kellerman of Homestead Veterinary Hospital and we decided to use Steward Clogs.  He had very poor hooves so we decided to attach the clogs by using casting material.  It worked quite well.

Looking back it has been a lot of fun.  I am going to keep about 30 head of horses on the books.  I will also help anyone who needs it.  I can’t quit completely because I really enjoy shoeing and I still have my three.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Tip for the day:  Don;t squat with your spurs on.  Be kind to one another, spread the love and God Bless you one and all.

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Me trimming one of mine.