Kentucky farrier Thad Gouge is one of eight recipients of the first Good People for Good Horses awards.

The award was created by The Right Horse Initiative and acknowledges the notable work and accomplishments of those who help horses recover through the retraining and rehabilitation process.

As a dedicated farrier of almost 3 decades, Gouge has the credentials to match the time he has put in. His affiliations are with American Farriers Assn. as well as the American Assn. of Professional Farriers. He has worked at Fraley Equine Podiatry while practicing his therapeutic shoeing skills and now runs TG Forge, his own shoeing business in Willmore, Ky.

Gouge’s work extends well beyond his professional career. He has offered much of his time and knowledge to assuring that neglected horses at the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center are prepared to leave the facility. Gouge’s extensive knowledge of the hoof and passion for helping horses have allowed him to rehabilitate numerous hard-to-help equines.

Olivia Dixon, Gouge’s nominator wrote that, “He goes above and beyond to do the best job possible, making each horse as comfortable and as functional as they can be so that they have a greater chance of getting healed when needed and a greater chance at getting adopted.”

The Good People for Good Horses award has acknowledged some of the many deserving people in the equine community. Each recipient has earned a plaque and a custom belt buckle to recognize their contributions to the improvement of equine welfare.

For more information on The Right Horse Initiative and the award, visit