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A Farrier’s Legacy

Passing on your hoof-care knowledge leaves an indelible mark on the industry

It occurred to me a long time ago that no matter how diligent you are in your work, no matter how much energy you put into improving your skills and enlarging your knowledge of the trade, 6 weeks after you put down the last foot with one of your shoes on it, there will no longer be any physical sign of what you did for a career. 

Unlike other trades, like those in the construction business that leave physical evidence of their work for years to come, ours is a business that leaves no lasting evidence of our work. OK, there are those horses that are more sound and capable than they would be without our efforts.

I was working across the road from a fellow who was building a house. He finished for the day and asked if he could watch me work. He told me that his daughters had horses and he always admired the work of the farrier. He commented that I seemed to do good work, at which point I made the above observation.

He smiled and said, “Seems to me what you just described is job security. When I finish this house, it will be around for a long while, which means I have to find somebody else who needs a house built. You will be back here in 6 weeks.” I hadn’t thought about it that way, but it still bothered me that my work seemed so ephemeral.


Good enough never is …


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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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