Fort Worth, Texas, farrier Jarrod Morris shoes horses by day and performs songs from his debut album, West of East, by night.
You might have heard his first single, Red Bandana, played on Texas radio if you’re in the area. And if you’re in town for the Larry Taylor Music Festival this weekend, be sure to stop by Allsup’s stage starting at 12:30 p.m. to hear Morris’ music live.
Originally from Decatur, Morris found music around the same time he discovered a love for horseshoeing as high school ended. He began playing the guitar with friends around the campfire, but it wasn’t until later in college that he realized he had a knack for songwriting too. During high school, Morris began shoeing horses with Matt Anderson who would later become his brother-in-law.
Under Anderson, Morris apprenticed for 6 years, learning everything he could about shoeing big-time show horses. After, Morris apprenticed under Danny Anderson for 6 months before starting out on his own. While he didn’t attend a horseshoeing school, Morris is grateful for his long apprenticeship that taught him all he knows.
“I just apprenticed for a long time. It’s tough to say what’s the right route. Going to shoeing school is a really good option to give you a strong foundation and a base if you don’t have anybody immediately to work for and who’s going to take the time to teach you,” Morris says. “I would always recommend apprenticing for a long while because there are some things that can really throw you for a loop.”
Morris shoes barrel, Western pleasure and reining horses around Gainesville, Pilot Point, Aubrey and the Jacksboro areas. Morris and his wife have a few horses, as his wife rides and trains barrel horses. If he had more time, he’d like to have roping horses, but his music and shoeing career are taking center stage.
“Horseshoeing has been such a large part of my life and given me the opportunity to make a really good income while having such a flexible schedule,” Morris says. “I love shoeing horses, but ultimately, you can’t do it your whole life, and I’d like to play music full time.”
When asked about whether he’ll trade in his anvil for the stage, Morris is reluctant to give up horseshoeing for good.
“Honestly, shoeing is something I just might always do because there’s something humbling about shoeing horses that gives you a lot perspective on life,” says Morris. “A lot of songs that I have, I’ve written at work. There’s just something about doing monotonous manual labor when you’re alone with your thoughts that sparks a lot of creativity.”
His new album, West of East, has been a project of several years after a previous few recording collaborations didn’t work out. His song, Red Bandana, was released as a single on Oct. 27, 2018, and did fairly well, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Texas 95.7 Top 25 Countdown the week of Feb. 11, 2019. On the Texas Music Pickers Spotify, his single reached No. 28 out of 102 songs.
For the next year or so, Morris will be touring regionally on the weekends. He plans to shoe horses three times a week and then tours Friday, Saturday and Sunday. He says he’s a “horseshoer by day, singer/songwriter by night.” He has several more gigs lined up, including German Fest in Muenster, Texas, and more.