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TOPIC: I could use a little help

I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 00:03 #1

Hello all. I have a big decision to make in the next few months and I'm looking for some advice or words of wisdom.

I don't want to go into too many boring details, but this is the brake down:

#1. First of all, I am a former Marine and I am VERY DRIVEN.

#2. Currently own my own business (for 5 years) and my flame is out. No desire to keep going with it because I'm not interested in the work anymore. Its still making a little money, I'm just too interested in farrier work and horses to keep my head in the game.

#3. I was enrolled in a short shoeing school and was to be going right now but I broke my leg on Nov. 1st and had to stall until this spring.

#4. I have a VERY experienced farrier who works on my horses and who has taken me under his wing, willing to teach me everything he knows. He has worked with our vet (who is also my close friend and wants to teach me everything he knows regarding lower legs and feet) for the last 13 years. He is extremely professional, knowledgeable in all types of shoeing. I have LOTS of very experienced people in place to help me achieve my goals as a farrier.

#5. My wife recently finished law school (after being an engineer for a while), so I really wanted to try a new career when she finished law school...

So the time has sorta come around and HERE IS THE KICKER:

A close friend of mine (a VERY successful guy and NOT in the horse industry) is opening a new business. He has asked me if I'd be interested in being the president of the new company. The job comes with a $90k salary. I'm sure anyone out there would say "hell yea" but I think it would be miserable in the long haul. It would obviously be an office job and that seems like a prison sentence to me, but I cant stop thinking of the $90k. Yeah, money is nice, but I THINK I'd rather do something I love and that's working with animals and being outdoors.

All I've been doing for the last 6 months is learning anything I can about becoming a farrier, reading, watching, working on my blacksmithing skills, getting ready for my school and getting ready to turn up the heat with taking the next steps in becoming a farrier. Then I brake my leg, and then I'm hit with this "other" job opportunity.

All I'd like to know is: if I'm really driven, can I make a reasonable income being a farrier? What is a realistic annual income starting out? Am I being ****** not to take this "other" job?

Any advice or wisdom would be GREATLY appreciated.....

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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 00:21 #2

  • solidrockshoer
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Take the 90K job and learn shoeing on the side. It takes quite a few years to become and build a successful shoeing business that can bring in the money you're being offered now. Start shoeing full time once you've stockpiled all that money so you can get though the lean years of building a cliental and learning, which never stops ! Best of Luck to you! Gary
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 00:24 #3

I can tell you this, it will take you at least 3 - 4 years to start grossing half that much. You will get injured, ache like hell in your back, arms, wrists, legs and other parts of the body that you didnt even know existed, sometimes you will swear your becomeing crippled. With all that said, I think it is worth it, after awhile your mind and body can't function unless your shoeing and if you really have it bad you don't enjoy takeing time off. :D

Thanks for serving and protecting our freedom. I did 4 years Active in the USAF and 18 in the Air National Gaurd.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 00:34 #4

  • Wannabeee
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Gary's advice is good and you can buy a extra horse of your own to practice on while your in prison(office work),and make sure you like the everyday part of shoeing as much as the dream of it. Scott
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 00:35 #5

I am doing exactly what Gary recommends. I work full-time in another job and am a hobby-farrier. I do my own and a few friends' horses. Having another job makes it easy to cherry pick the best jobs and walk away from anything dangerous/undesirable. The limited volume is enough to keep you strong/fit without wearing out your body prematurely.

To stay proficient, I read a lot of horseshoeing books, watch videos, attend clinics, and will call an experienced farrier whenever I feel like I am in over my head.

I enjoy my lucrative full-time job, but my heart is in riding and hoofcare. A lot of farriers on this site will resent me for making it harder on them by competing against them, but if they feel threatened by my weak skills and tiny client base, then they have bigger problems.
Cordell Rogers
CPA, MAcc, not yet CF
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 01:26 #6

Take the 90K job....

You shouldn't have to ask.
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 01:49 #7

  • Gary_Miller
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With your wife now out of law school and working and you knowing that you won't like the office environment. And being former Marine you know what it like to work for someone else and have to take orders.
I say presue the Farrier Business. If you take the other job you won't be able to go to school, you will get locked into the job and won't have the time needed to properly ride and apprenticeship with you mentor. And with your wifes job you probably don't need the money.
Go to school, serve a full time apprenticeship while building up your own client base. And best of all do something you like to do.

Gary Miller, PF

Ride hard, shoot straight, and always speak the truth.
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"Our level of quality is how well our eye can see it." (Eric Russell, Oct 2008,

"Discover what it is that makes you passionate then grab a firm...
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 02:47 #8

The question is: Can you and your family survive if you're not bringing home any money? Can your wife sustain your family for a few years? Most of us that shoe full time right now, were shoeing part-time (building a business), and working a full time job to pay the bills. With your wife being a lawyer, you may be in a better situation. In any event, unless you can go on the road, right away, follow the show circuits, and ride with the guys that are knocking down $300,000-$400,000 a year gross shoeing horses, then it will take you a few years to break the $40,000 mark. Unless you live in a high dollar horse population and can work with/for someone making that kind of money at home. In all probablility after 5 or 6 years with an average business at average prices you should be making $60,000 to $80,000 annually gross. That means $50,000-$70,000 take home. That's average, if you have the will and the drive to do the big money horses the world is your oyster if you can get in? And you have to know the right people, and have the skill to make it happen.

My advice is do what makes you happy, and at the same time, allows your family to sustain a nice comfortable way of life.

good luck
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 02:47 #9

  • caballus
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Follow your heart. Everyone is given a gift. If one doesn't pursue that gift and do what is given as a heart's desire, one ends up being a tired, bitter, prematurely old human. Life is too short and too precious to build up regrets.

:) -- Gwen Santagate
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” -- Albert Einstein
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 03:03 #10

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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Do whatever makes you happy. Life's too damn short to do anything other than exactly what makes you excited about doing it and wanting more.

"Far better to dare a mighty thing, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat..." -T. Roosevelt
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 03:05 #11

  • Jim Sweeney
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Thats an easy one, I would shoe anything before I went into buisness with a "close " friend.
Jim Sweeney

"I started with nothing and I still have most of it left". The Logger.
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 04:02 #12

I'd let your "Friend" run his NEW successful business venture for a few years before I jumped into a controlling seat of an unproven big money maker.

I go along with "Life's too short to be miserable"! Follow your heart! The rest of you and yours will be better off for it!

Just my two cents!

Those who only consider cost, do NOT consider the cost to the horse!

The more we know, the more we know we need to know more! Ya know?
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 04:08 #13

  • T.L. Buck
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I too agree, that if you can sustain your livelyhood while you learn and build a business, I would definately go after your heartstrings. I couldn't do anything else. I took a couple of years to get the client base under control and the rest is history. I don't make the high end but I am doing what I love and I do reap the profits.
~ Buck
~ Buck - Farrier

Main Entry: 1ex·pert .. Pronunciation: 'ek-"sp&rt, ik-'
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin expertus, from past participle of experiri
1: eX ... is an unknown factor.
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 04:23 #14

  • Red Amor
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Dont make me come over there Morgan ;)

take the 90k
Mark Anthony Amor
If we want anymore excrement like that outta you we'll squeese ya head :eek:
Mind how ya go now ;)
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RE:I could use a little help 22 Dec 2005 07:53 #15

  • tbloomer
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I've had the 90k job and been in prison . . . about the same level of enjoyment. You get one shot at life. Do something you truely enjoy. CARPE DIEM!!!
Tom Bloomer

Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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