Northridge, Calif., farrier Ink Knudson passed away in February 2021. He was 94.
Knudson’s love of horses began as a lad on Long Island, N.Y., when the United States Calvary Troop C, Squadron 155 stabled 200 horses on the outskirts of his hometown. He helped feed and care for the horses and occasionally rode one.
After serving in the war and specializing in metal work, Knudson was headed toward a career in carpentry or commercial art. However, he was encouraged to begin a career in farriery after stopping by a friend’s ranch in Texas on his way to California. Knudson attended California Polytechnic State University’s first farrier class in 1948. He spent 5 years working with other farriers in the Los Angeles-San Fernando Valley area before striking out on his own.
When starting out, Knudson was paid $6 for each shoeing job, $5 for resets and $1.50 for trims. He cut and made all of his own shoes because there were no “ready-mades.”
Throughout the years, Knudson shod for many famous horses and their owners. His clientele included Gene Autry, Kathryn Ross, Robert Taylor, Fred Astaire, Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers’ Trigger and Silver — the Lone Ranger’s horse.
Knudson shared his knowledge of shoeing and several of his understudies have excelled in the field including Blake Brown and Merle Rose. He finally laid down his hammer at the age of 82.