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Jimmy Petty had the reputation of being able to shoe any horse brought to him. He shod seven days a week, for 12-14 hours a day and was proud of the status — until he got hurt. In 1997, a Quarter Horse mare flipped over on him, crushing his lower lumbar.
“I went from being a full-time farrier shoeing 100 horses a week to shoeing 12 horses a month,” says the Concord, N.C., farrier. “I bought my own truck and trailer for hauling cattle to make a living.”
He worked as a part-time farrier for 14 years. In 2011, he resumed his full-time business. Just 7 years later, he needed surgery to alleviate numbness in his right arm, a condition known as an ulnar nerve entrapment. Two neurosurgeons warned him that without surgery, his arm would be dead by spring 2019. He didn’t have insurance and arranged a payment plan. Realizing he needed a safety net, Petty asked a client who is also a financial planner to offer advice about insurance and retirement.