Vision Comes Through Experience

Watching a Thoroughbred trot gave a young shoer a lesson about age and wisdom.

In the farrier world, there is an impressive list of legends. But there are the shoers who work quietly for decades, often somewhere in the backcountry — certainly far out of the spotlight. Those farriers still manage to acquire a sterling reputation for their ability to successfully tackle any number of challenges. They have been responsible for mentoring generations of farriers. Even after retiring, I still remember the influence of one of these unknown legends

Bud Ferguson had been around the farrier world of central Washington for decades before I showed up in 1973, fresh out of farrier school. Born in 1912, Bud showed the strain of the hard life he had lived. When a number of the people I was shoeing for, in addition to a couple of vets in the area, recommended I seek him out for any advice I might need, I took the first opportunity to do so. He was gracious to the extreme, inviting me to ride along anytime he had interesting work. 

Years after I met Bud, the phone rang one night and his familiar voice on the other end, asking if I wanted to go with him to a Thoroughbred farm near Moses Lake, Wash. Not only was it a chance to watch this skilled shoer and pester him with questions, but there also was the hour-long ride from Ellensburg to Moses Lake to pick his brain. I heard many great stories from him. For example, Bud told me that he and other…

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David hazlett

David Hazlett CJF

David Hazlett is a certified journeyman farrier based in Ellensburg, Wash. He has been shoeing for nearly 50 years.

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