Artist: Arthur J. Elsley

Paintings of a Farrier Resonates Years Later

Career in horseshoeing might be more than just a coincidence

There is a print of a painting that has hung in our living room for many years. The painting depicts an older farrier working on the hind foot of a large draft horse. Standing at his elbow are three children holding a toy horse mounted on a wheeled pedestal so it could be towed behind them as they walked. The legs had broken and detached from the base. One of the children asks the farrier if he could fix their horse, too

The print by artist Arthur John Elsley was attached to a calendar hanging at my local farrier’s supply store when I visited. The manager said he had been saving one for me. I took a glance and said it was cute. He said, “You better take another look at that.” When I studied it, my jaw dropped because the farrier looking at those children in the picture was me! A good bit older and grey, but with the same crinkles around the eyes, and the same nose, no one would confuse the guy in the picture for anyone else but me. More than a few local shoers who knew me came in, took one look and said, “Geez, that’s Dave isn’t it?” I liked the print and the likeness was always a conversation starter, so it was framed and has hung in our house ever since. Years later, the second chapter in the saga took place.

At the time, I subscribed to a farrier and blacksmith magazine called…

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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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