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Staying Out Of The Horse’s Way

Texas farrier Mike Chance finds successfully shoeing the Western Pleasure horse comes from treating it like an individual.

Looking back, Mike Chance believes he didn’t have the typical make-up to be a successful farrier. And maybe he wouldn’t have become a horseshoer had he acknowledged that.

“It never occurred to me that I couldn’t be successful in this trade,” he says. “Maybe I was lacking in some areas, but I was determined to be a farrier.”

The Crossroads, Texas, farrier sees horses the same way. Genetics and bloodlines are important factors, but what do those matter to the horse?

Farrier Takeaways

  • To grow your practice from no clients, spend time helping farriers who are well established and respected.
  • Your show clients’ measurement for your success relies on how well their horses perform.
  • Extra time spent minding the details may be the best investment in time for the horse’s long-term soundness.

“Individual horses don’t know that they aren’t designed to do the job they are doing,” he says. “It is desire. It is what you find in the heart and the head.”

That spirit of determination continues both in how Chance approaches his work and the show horses he works with. On this “Shoeing For A Living” day, he demonstrates how successful shoeing — whether it is Western Pleasure or any other discipline — relies on balancing farrier principles with the horse’s individual needs for its specific job.

Keeping It Close To Home

As we drive to the only stop of the day, Chance recounts his path in horseshoeing. After living a…

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