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TOPIC: How did you all start out?

How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 05:51 #1

  • 13puppet
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Was wondering how everyone started out. Did you buy a business, take over a business, or build your own?

I moved to TX and started at square one, trimming out of my old pick up and sometimes a car. Then I was Shoeing out of the back of my truck, now I bought a new truck and have a custom aluminum tool box, and Im int the process of buying my first trailer. I was just hoping some of you all have some good stories about getting started.
Bo Crotta - Equine Specialist
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RE:How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 07:29 #2

  • Ray_Knightley
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I think I started with an infection and then it went on to be a full blown illness .......:D
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RE:How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 08:53 #3

  • Anthony_Lawrence
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Ray_Knightley wrote:
I think I started with an infection and then it went on to be a full blown illness .......:D

Why else would you have you backside higher than your head most of the day, get leant on, kicked, bitten, smell like singed hair, pop bute sachets and whiskey to get through the day, and have to get as cunning as a outhouse rat to extract money from clients? :confused:



:D
Ant.
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RE:How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 12:28 #4

  • Mike Ferrara
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I served an apprenticeship of sorts which provided access to a shop, tools and some clients to start with.

When I first started I was shoeing out of a 1980 Chevette...a little 4 cyl hatch back.
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RE:How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 12:39 #5

  • vthorseshoe
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I had horses from age 13 on. I rode more miles all through my school years than most ride in a life time.
I was always on a horse. I had my first date because of a horse. (but thats another story on its own)
My first experience at seeing horse shoeing was knowing of John and Joe Kriz.
I believe at that time they had 5 crews of farriers covering the New England area.
Many a New England Farrier got his start because of the Kriz brothers.)

When I was discharged from the army (1970 Vietnam era), I used my veteran benifits to go to one of the very first horse shoeing schools in the country. (Eastern States Farrier School in Phoenix, Ny.)

My instructor was a student of Buster Conklin resident farrier at Cornell University, at that time.
When I finished the 8 wk course I headed for Dover, NH.
I was a poor man at the time and lived with my younger sister and her husband.
I came home and would advertise and word of mouth brought in calls.
I would make an excuse to go visit the horse and look at the size of the foot. Then rush to buy shoe's that would fit the horse. (back then it was Diamond plain/bronco's/satalites etc).
I would go shoe that horse and take the money to buy 2 sets of shoe's and continued to build my inventory that way.
Trims were $7.00 new shoe's were $25.00 resets were $12.00

My first shoeing rig was a 1967/8 ford station wagon.

Over the years I moved to a lot of different states. Wanderlust to see the USA was a huge part of my life back during the younger years.
Some times I shod full time, sometimes I shod part time while working at another job.
I shod horses in Idaho,(Bear Lake/Thatcher/Montpielier area)Oregon, (Pendleton area,tri city area) California,( (Tehachapi/Bakersfield area) North Carolina,(Waynesville/Canton area) Florida, (Ocala area)Massachussetts,(Agawam/Springfield area) New Hampshire,(Dover/Rochester area) Connecticut,(Somers.Ellington,Stafford Springs area) Maine,(South Berwick area) New York state(Wallkill, Pinebush area) and Vermont.(the whole state)

I have shod horses in the 1977 Rose Parade, and couple of horses on the 1977 Death Valley ride.( I also did the ride, Leaving Ridgecrest, California 3 days of camping out every night,picketing the horses, and enjoying the flowers and wild burro's I rode on a nice pinto gelding and I did the whole ride bare back. Right up to Scotty's Castle..)

I shod horses on a cattle ranch in Thatcher, Idaho.

I worked on a cattle ranch on the indian reservation in north eastern montana and experienced bring in their herd of horses from the range.

During all these miles and times I learned all I could about working on and with many breeds of horses.
I also watched and learned from all sorts of horseman and farriers.
I have been here in Vermont the longest and built the biggest business and had the Best wife a man could want.
Now with clinics and writing and teaching along with a full time business I am still busy at age 60.

That is how I started.
You will find a number of farriers had similar starts.

I imagine it is because of starts like this that many farriers started schools to teach new farriers and give them a good basic start so they could get the experience without wandering all over the country.

The different rigs I have had through the years would be another story in its own. :D

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 19:01 #6

  • Jack Evers
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Great story, Bruce. So I’ll tell mine. Born 1938, underprivileged, didn’t get my first pony until I was five years old. Two wars, with Korea still to come had used up the older farriers without new ones being trained, and the Government with infinite wisdom declared the horse age to be over and the GI bill wouldn’t pay a farrier education. There were of course a few cowboys nailing some on in this area, but that was it.

Luckily, Wyoming in those days was another world. 200,000 people spread over 100,000 square miles. My home town with 3000 people was one of the major towns. Wildhorse Annie was in the future somewhere, so the public range and the public horses truly belonged to the public. If you could catch a feral horse, you owned him and if you wanted to chance turning one of yours out, he’d better be branded if you wanted to be sure of getting him back, but that was all you needed.

I didn’t really need to have shod horses thru high school because I took advantage of the situation. Owned several horses at any one time, would keep one or two in a shed behind the house or out at a friend’s ranch. The rest were just turned out on the range, and I’d catch them and rotate horses as needed. The little trimming that I did was apt to involve setting the foot on a board and sawing the flares off – the original “trim from the top” method. Made a little money breaking, training and selling (quite often, catching one of mine involved bringing in the entire wild bunch plus if I turned a mare out she was apt to come back in foal.) but not shoeing.

Then came college (1956-1960, my fifty year reunion is this spring). I found an abandoned open pit mine near the college, vertical sides, the single road in had a gate, an explosives storage area dug back into one wall made a fine stable. The owners were glad to have me use it – no charge. I brought my horse, but the game had changed. The pit tended to be damp, feet were soft, riding trails were rocky and I couldn’t rotate horses. It was time to learn to shoe. People would ask how I could afford to have a horse at school, but all I had to buy was the feed and I used to reply that feeding a horse was a pack a day habit – I didn’t smoke, but in the fifties almost everyone did so they could put it in perspective.

My first shoeing was an eight year old from a mustang bunch (didn’t look like a mustang), never been shod – Heck, he’d hardly been curried below the knees. Took Saturday for the fronts and Sunday for the rears, blood was shed by both of us (where were Bruce’s methods when I needed them), but a career was launched. Strictly cold shoeing, but that was the norm. No one really expected hot work and I could make more money on Saturday than a week of flipping burgers. Shoeing was $7.00, minimum wage was 50 cents an hour.

Formal schooling – Doug Butlers first advanced class – came a number of years later.




I know, Bo, that this kind of start won't fly today, but thought I'd add to Bruce's story of how things have changed.
Jack Evers CJF AFA#426

The best things about the good old days -- I wasn't good and I wasn't old.

The older I get, the more horses I shoe, the fewer things that I can absolutely, positively fix.
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RE:How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 19:28 #7

  • Rick Burten
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Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:How did you all start out? 25 Jan 2010 23:29 #8

  • vthorseshoe
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Jack :D trims when I started were $7.00 new shoe's were $25.00 and resets were $12.00

When I was on the indian reservation in Montana the owner, his daughter and myself rode out to bring in the herd.
I was lead horse an they flanked.
Too fast no good to slow they bunched. what a great experienced for a boy who grew up in the north east.
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:How did you all start out? 26 Jan 2010 02:46 #9

  • Mike Ferrara
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I started at $10 for a trim and $30 for shoes. It doesn't sound like much now but it sure did in those days.
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RE:How did you all start out? 26 Jan 2010 03:27 #10

  • Gary Hill
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$6 for trims, new shoes $25 and resets $22. That was the market in the sticks, in Big D one could get a about 3 times that. Of course that was the late 70's.
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:How did you all start out? 26 Jan 2010 03:28 #11

  • BS-Horseshoeing
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Mostly we started out slowly through the hot ans sweaty steps of farrier hell just like you are. Doing bad horses for not so great customers. Hang on like your riding a horse you stole running from the law. You'll make it.:eek::D
Ben Sturman
AFA CF #7558

Tough times never last, but tough people do!

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, one lick and you will suck for ever!

Folks who think traditional farriery means perimeter fit don't know a heluva lot about shoeing. Tom Stovall,...
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RE:How did you all start out? 26 Jan 2010 17:59 #12

Slave labour from age 14 - What the hell am I thinking stage

Underpaid from age 18 - Haven't you learned that it hurts stage

Paid from age 21 - This is not to bad considering my mates work in an office 8-5

Really learning what to do from age 35 - In my own opinion knew nothing before this stage.

Knowing I have a lot more to learn from age 45 stage:

What is it about this trade that keeps us all trying so hard all the time to get it right.
Derek Poupard CJF, Dip WCF
www.quixshoe.com
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RE:How did you all start out? 26 Jan 2010 21:53 #13

  • solidrockshoer
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not picking a better major in college :rolleyes:

sersouly tho ive been around horses my entire life. mostly race horses. came up around bowie and charlestown. allways was interested by the work the farriers did. when i was about 13 our farrier at the time who was also my godfather taught me how to trim the broodmares and finish a foot. i trimed for several years after that. right before i went to college i started a aprenticeship and worked under him all thru college and for 2 years after college. after 5 years i took my state farriers exam in wv and passed it. got a few bad paying clients to start off with and strugled thru the next few years. im still at it today and still plating mainly runner for the most part. i have taken on a few hunters and pleasure horses recently.
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RE:How did you all start out? 26 Jan 2010 22:44 #14

  • Ray_Knightley
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The first ever Horse I trimmed for money ,was owned by a guy that got a paint horse because he had watched cowboy films all the time ...In some village here in germany..
The problem was the horse went up on its hinds everytime you tried to pick up its fronts ...
I spoted a tin Hut in a field and asked if we could go in there....the horse went up two more times and band´ged its head ,with alot of noise and after that stod still ....The guy was so happy He gave me a big tip:p
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RE:How did you all start out? 27 Jan 2010 00:58 #15

  • Jay Mickle
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vthorseshoe wrote:
Jack :D trims when I started were $7.00 new shoe's were $25.00 and resets were $12.00
.

In 1970 VT shoeing was higher priced than NJ ($16.00 new, $6.00 trims). Probably not so now.
Jay Mickle
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