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How I grew up made me a horseman. I was fortunate having my father Bill to follow as a farrier. My grandfather and father lived so far out in the country, that in order to keep shoes on those horses, they had to learn how to do it themselves. If you have 100 horses and mules that you work every day, that’s quite a job if you can just keep shoes on them.
My father could recognize any problem that a horse had just by observing the animal. He could see a little puffy place on a knee or near the hoof and flag it. He was just so observant and had so much experience with animals, that it was easy for him to spot these little discrepancies that a horse might have. My father also knew a lot of remedies for problems back then because we didn’t have veterinarians in our area, unless we had one that was making rounds.
Observation is such an important part of horsemanship, possibly the greatest asset to develop. It isn’t easy to develop. I remember working with my dad and not seeing what he was seeing. He would say, “Now, you’re looking, but you’re not looking.” I would then think to myself, “What in the hell is he talking about?”
I eventually figured out exactly what he was talking about over the…