The Butler Professional Farrier School in Crawford, Neb., recently received the 2018 Third District Excellence in Economic Development award from Congressman Adrian Smith. The third district is made up of 75 counties.
The school will also be recognized on the Congressional Record of the House of Representatives.
Longtime farrier Dr. Doug Butler created the school after first working as a cowboy. He earned a PhD in veterinary anatomy and equine nutrition at California Polytechnic University and has taught farrier science at several universities.
Today, the school is still a family-run business: his sons Peter and Jacob are instructors at the school and Jacob serves as the director. Jacob says their whole family is honored to receive the award.
The Butler school offers a 12-week course that utilizes a combination of hands-on, online and textbook learning.
They focus on seven key topics throughout the course: anatomy, horsemanship, customer skills, iron and forge work, running and managing a business, self-care and hands-on practice trimming, cutting and shoeing horses.
The school also recognizes the importance of working with veterinarians to maintain the horse’s health.
“You have to be able to work around horses and know when they are in pain. They don’t talk so you have to recognize the signs,” Jacob Butler told KTIC.
While new technology has allowed for manufactured horseshoes to be made, Jacob says that they make sure students know how to make their own custom shoes.
“We make custom shoes for horses with a broken out foot, where the nails have to go in different locations or make a shoe specifically to a horse, such as therapeutic shoes,” he says.
The Butler school often attracts students from across the United States and is one of just 50 operating farrier schools in the country.
“We’re just honored to be part of this community, we love it here and enjoy raising our families here,” says Jacob. “We look forward to being part of the community for a long time.”