I finished up your book this morning around 5 am. I was up early to
head up to the Florida-Alabama line to pick up a load of hay. Experts are
saying, that because of the drought this summer, hay will be hard to
find and harder to pay for by December. So Im buying up ahead so our
four horses will have something to chew on this winter.
I must say that your book should be a must-read for all who are
thinking about buying a horse. You have hit the nail on the head, and on a few
toes, I expect.
As a farrier, I keep about 400 horses trimmed, with a few coming and
going all the time. Some of the new clients, and many of my established
clients, would have saved themselves much grief, dents and money by
following the advice in your book.
The farrier business is a little like some of your thoughts in your
book: someone watches a video, or another farrier, and they decided they
can do it too, decided without knowing the work involved, the dangers,
the sore muscles and bruised toes.
I deal daily with horses of all breeds, disciplines, ages and
dispositions. And yes, Ive been kicked, bit, stomped and run over a few times.
Thanks God no serious injuries.
Back to your book....
As a writer I found your style quick and entertaining. Your information
was on target and your timing was good. I liked the length, too. And
the ease of reading had me through it in three days, which is very fast
And the message is one that needs to be preached from every sale barn
in the country. The only problem is, how do you get this message out to
folks while they are in the process of deciding to buy a horse and not
after they have a mouth full of dirt or a hoof print on their back?
Thats the big question.
We got into the horse business about 12 years ago when our little girl
became interested. I had never been around horses before and didnt
know what to look for. We got lucky. Maverick, a mustang, 5-years old at
the time, turned out to be the perfect horse for our child: well
trained, soft eye, gentle...the list goes on. He was also the patient horse I
used to help me lean how to trim feet. We have three other horses
now: a Dash-For-Cash/Special Effort mare, a Hancock stallion and a grade
filly. All good horses.
I have had many professions in my 55 years: professional musician for
15 years, newspaper editor for 18 years, award winning political (local)
cartoonist, a worm counter, published writer, a logger, gospel bands
driving people to the Lord and honky tonk bands driving people to drink,
and other jobs sprinkled in (even once had a job digging to top off an
occupied grave). A year ago I quit my air-conditioned, computer
punching newspaper job and started my full-time adventure as a farrier. I
have been trimming part-time for five years.
My sane friends ask my why? Most of them are non-horse people, so they
dont understand when I respond, Id rather be around horses than
people, or I just got tired of the wanna be horses asses at the
political meetings I covered as a reporter, and decided Id rather be near some
real horses asses.
Anyway, I enjoyed your book, your message is one that needs to be heard
and i will recommend it as required reading to anyone I meet who is
thinking about buying a horse.
One other thing I found interesting in your book was when you talked
about your wife going to a horsemanship clinic to help her overcome her
fear of riding. Well, believe it or not, I feel much safer being
underneath a horse trimming his feet and on his back riding him. I do ride
Maverick some, but I, too, have this fear of riding. So, I will search
out a horse clinic where maybe I can get some help with that fear as
your wife did.
Let me know when you have another book out. I will buy it. And if you
ever come to North Florida, let me know. Ill do the same if I ever go
up north (until I was 21, the fartherest point north I'd ever been was
Dothan, Alabama, so I don't get up that way much...but you never can
Much success with your book and horse training