Why Finding a Farrier is Easy….it’s just keeping them that’s the problem
Our first farrier came recommended by a fellow horse owner and was named Tiny, which means of course that he was well over 6ft and 300lbs (men have the strangest ideas when it comes to that sort of humor), then there was Stretch (you guessed it….short and tubby) then we had Danny or maybe it was Donny, I forget. All I remember is that they came once or twice never to be heard from again…..I was being ghosted by my farriers.
I was beginning to get a bit of a complex about it. My horses were well behaved (for the most part), Maisy the donkey wouldn’t let them touch her, so they didn’t even have to deal with ugly donkey feet. I was even on my best behavior, not a sarcastic remark crossed my lips once, I swear! I wasn’t even snarky, Not.Even.Once!
I was bemoaning the fate of my horse’s hooves to my lovely friend Marti (of Dairy Extension fame for those of you who’ve been with me for a while) when I found the root of my farrier woes…..we weren’t money makers. Our equine doesn’t do much in the way of work or eat anything other than grass which means our four lawn ornaments don’t need shoeing or quarterly trims. We just weren’t worth it.
Somehow knowing I just wasn’t worth their time made me feel a lot better! There was nothing I could do about it, except find a farrier with a barn full of horses near by who would be willing to fit us in after he had finished with someone else’s fancy lawn ornaments.
I ended up doing one better, I found a farrier who lives right around the corner. He fits us in at the end of a short day or when he has a cancelation, it was destiny.
Ed gets that we aren’t going to spend huge amounts of money on our horses, he understands that Maisy is a donkey and likes her for it. Ed doesn’t have a ridiculous nickname or is so eccentric that you wonder how he functions in life. Ed is a normal man who loves and understands all things equine. When talking to friends about Ed you never have to add “I’m not kidding, that actually happened”. In the world of livestock where there are so many “characters” Ed is blissfully normal.
Ed askes thoughtful questions about our business, he makes jokes that don’t make you blush (you can even repeat them in polite company), in fact, Ed is by far the most unbizarre person I deal with in the farming world. He is refreshingly boring, and I love him for it.
The horses and Maisy seem to agree, they are so at ease in his company treating their hoof trimming as a self-care event, almost like a luxurious bath or an extra 5 mins under a nice hot shower. He’s a hoof masseuse.
It had been well over a year since the horses had a spa day when I reached out to Ed last week (it was getting a little embarrassing to have people to the farm). After apologizing profusely and asking Ed multiple times not to judge my competency as a horse owner, we headed out to the pasture and our four-legged, 1000lb plus, pasture potatoes.
As usual Felix went first (better to get the unpredictable teen out of the way). He began by acting out a little, but Ed walked up to him without a word running his hand along Felix’s strong neck, over his shoulder then down to his knee pulling his front leg up and back as he placed our youngest troublemaker’s hoof firmly between his knees. Ed quickly got to work scraping away dead material and picking out any rocks and clumps of dirt all the while chatting away about the farm and answering my questions about his training program. An absorbed Ed didn’t notice as Felix leaned slowly over his back and lightly mouthed the hood on his hoodie. I tutted, Felix immediately whipped his head back to attention acting as though he only had thoughts of fluffy bunnies and summer flowers on his mind. If he could have whistled nonchalantly, he would have. He avoided my eyes for the rest of the trimming, stinker.
Next we had our sweet Ariana who quickly fell asleep, I was surprised not to see drool dripping from the corner of her lower lip….I wonder if horses drool? Anyone know the answer to that?
By this time the cows had noticed, coming up for a better look. Ed just kept working, not concerned in the slightest that our horses might get spooked or that a cow might take off with one of his files (I obviously haven’t told him about the time Bella took off with the fastening bolt for a drill the power guys needed to put in a new pole). Ed had quite the audience.
Buck was his usual professional self. He stood at attention the whole time as if he needed to keep an eye on Ed just in case he might do something that needed protecting against. I did notice his relaxed lower lip hanging loose as Ed finished up his last hoof…..don’t tell anyone Buck would be embarrassed.
Last was our sweet and sassy donkey, Maisy. Until we found Ed, we couldn’t catch her when the farrier showed up. She would take one look at that farrier’s apron, turn around and, kicking her heals, head to the furthest section of the pasture, keeping a watchful eye the whole time.
It was love at first sight with Ed. Maisy walked up, let us halter her and let Ed pick up her feet. The plan was to just pick up each foot, brush it a little then put it down to build confidence. Things went so well Ed was able to do a little bit of trimming and pick out her feet. I’m not sure if she just felt like her hooves needed a trim, was jealous of the obvious pleasure the other horses took in their trims or it was Ed’s aura. No matter what the reason we were all shocked!
Maisy waited patiently as Ed took care of her herd mates…I say patiently but she was as close to Ed as possible without actually crawling inside him. At one point, with ears moving back and forth (it’s funny to watch those big ears moving independently) trying to gauge how much attention I was paying her, she gently leaned towards a bent over Ed and tried to remove his wallet from his back pocket with her teeth. Luckily, I caught her just in time. Everyone needs to be on their best behavior, we can’t scare Ed off, we need him!
As much as these horses make me insane, I felt relieved that I was able to avert any disasters and happy our equine were on their best behavior as I waved goodbye to our farrier. I was so proud to be their mama (which doesn’t always happen, remind me to tell you about the time Maisy took off dragging the vet behind her), even though I have to make sure they don’t steal his wallet.
For those of you who have signed your kid up for Farm Animal Camp, Ed will be our guest on horse day. He’ll talk about all things horses and show the kids how to trim a hoof……what did we all do to be so lucky!
DRAFTJS_BLOCK_KEY:533ojIt was love at first sight with Ed. Maisy walked up, let us halter her and let Ed pick up her feet. The plan was to just pick up each foot, brush it a little then put it down to build confidence. Things went so well Ed was able to do a little bit of trimming and pick out her feet. I’m not sure if she just felt like her hooves needed a trim, was jealous of the obvious pleasure the other horses took in their trims or it was Ed’s aura. No matter what the reason we were all shocked!