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When Chino Valley, Ariz., farrier Shaun Woodsum started shoeing horses more than 30 years ago, it seemed like a good way to pay for his college education. His father Bob James was a horseshoer and the aspiring heavy equipment operator was acquainted with the profession — he knew it would offer a flexible schedule to earn a living and pursue a degree. Once he got a taste of the industry, however, Woodsum quickly changed course.
“I pretty much ditched the idea of college and went full throttle into the horseshoeing lifestyle,” he says.
Woodsum attended Western Horseshoeing School in Phoenix to learn the profession. Woodsum recalls that there were no gas forges at the school and everyone learned how to make shoes in a coke fire.
“Before you could shape your shoes, you…