Alaska and Oklahoma farrier John Arkley passed away Thursday, March 11, 2021. He was 63.
From an early age, Arkley loved to hunt and fish and just be outdoors. He always had a horse and that led to rodeo competitions for team roping and winning two championships in the state of Alaska.
After a year at Colorado State University, Arkley decided to go to farrier school and it became his passion. He was a sculptor at heart and, of course, it was outdoors and that suited him fine. He enjoyed going to conventions and passed along his knowledge and expertise to others.
Arkley made the decision to move from California to Palmer, Alaska, (outside of Anchorage) where he set up a farrier business. He loved Alaska and its wide open spaces and he hunted and fished all over the state. During this time he also became a hunting guide in Montana. There is a legendary tale involving Arkley and a bear. He ultimately bought a “home” in Cold Bay, Alaska, where he took delight in walking the beach and picking up fishing net glass balls, hunting ducks and fishing for salmon. There is also a tale of Arkley and a friend getting marooned on an island. They were rescued but Arkley’s fingers and toes were frostbitten and never were the same.
He also had adventures in the lower 48, specifically in Arizona and most recently outside of Hollis, Okla., where he built his forever home and set about yanking every mesquite tree out of the land as he tried to reestablish the prairie. Horses were there, of course.
He and his wife Stephanie were married March 3, 2018. It was truly a love match and although their time together was cut short by his death, they has such fun.
Above all, John lived his life on his own terms and with gusto.
John Arkley and a host of shoers offer 53 of their best tips on every aspect of shoeing in cold, cold weather.