The Grass Is Always Greener

Photo Above: Dr. Stephen O’Grady

Many farriers aspire to show the top level of sport horses and dream about shoeing in Wellington, Fla. Be careful what you wish for. There is a lot of stress that comes with this world.

Like anywhere else, it is a service business here. You have to be good, but you also have to give great service. On any given day, I’ll start my day that I planned the night before. So I’ll show up at a barn at 8:00 a.m. to shoe six with my crew. Then my phone rings at 8:30 with a client who says, “I need this now.”

So how will I shoe my six horses and service that other customer? I will have someone who works for me get in a second truck and run around to put shoes back on or whatever the need is. It is constant and changes every day. But the pressure and expectations are always there. They lose a shoe at 10:00 that morning while jumping, they expect a shoe to be on within 2 hours. I can’t say, “We’ll see you tomorrow.” That isn’t an option.

Getting them ready for the horse shows is a big part. There are so many horse shows now. Then you get up north of here and you’ve got Salem, Saugerties and Kentucky. The clients have to go for points, so these horses all have to be ready to go to these shows. Then you’ve got all the indoors…

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