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Kirk Underschultz has been a hoof-care professional since 1979 — a testament to his love of the work and devotion to his clients. But it wasn’t long ago that his future as a farrier seemed uncertain.
Several years ago, Underschultz started experiencing painful arthritis in his fingers and wrists — the most critical tools of any farrier. While the discomfort was mostly manageable in his personal life, he needed aspirin and arthritis medication to offset the additional aggravation caused by the labor of shoeing. Underschultz, now 63, had worked long enough to see farriers age out of the profession and he knew what was coming next.
“I’ve known many guys — first class farriers — who, after shoeing a horse, had to crawl to their trucks because they are in that much pain,” Underschultz says. “I didn’t want to end up that way.”