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A Deliberate Approach with Every Horse

Texas farrier Tommy Boudreau combines enthusiasm and skill to help cutting horses stay in competition

Farrier Takeaways

  • Walk the horse before your work, after you trim and after you shoe to evaluate your work.
  • Give clients with multiple horses a few months warning that you will raise your prices so they can have time to adjust their budget.
  • Drill four holes rather than two when making sliding plates to save yourself time fixing the problem if a hole becomes damaged.

Being a farrier is a challenging profession. It is even tougher if you don’t enjoy the work, horses or clients. There are easier ways to make a buck if you aren’t having fun shoeing horses. That seems to be Tommy Boudreau’s philosophy. The Mineral Wells, Texas, farrier brings an infectious enthusiasm to his truck and the barn aisle every day.

Boudreau started shoeing part-time in the 1970s, while working in the oil industry full-time. A downturn in the Texas oil industry convinced him to make shoeing his full-time profession. He struggled early, mainly shoeing ranch horses, but started making a name for himself after shoeing some top performers in the 1980s, including Brinks Royal Hickory and later Dash for Speed. 

Mentors played a huge role in helping him improve as a farrier. Boudreau has a long list of mentors, but Texas farrier John Marino had the biggest influence on him when he returned to shoeing full-time in 1981. The late Hall of Fame farrier introduced Boudreau to concepts for improving his work.

“He helped me change from being the guy with rusty tools in the…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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