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Handling Footcare at the 6666 Ranch

The varied hoof-care needs keep Blane Chapman busy at the historic Texas ranch

A cold morning 2 days before Christmas found Blane Chapman and two apprentices shoeing at the famed 6666 Ranch in Guthrie, Texas. They didn’t let the closeness of the holiday keep them away, because it was Monday, and Blane has been traveling the 100 miles from Lubbock to Guthrie every Monday for 14 years.

The Four Sixes, along with the Dixon Creek Ranch, covers 275,000 acres in the Rolling Plains and Panhandle of Texas. In addition to a substantial cattle program, the ranch is also known for its Quarter Horses. The Sixes has a sizeable mare herd and stands 30 stallions.

Chapman and his team take care of those mares and stallions, plus he trims colts and recipient mares, shoes the sale colts, shoes the cowboy horses, show horses and even some racehorses. It’s a lot of work for the 45-year-old Chapman. “It’s not for the weak-hearted,” he adds.

With all the horses to work on, Chapman needs help. He usually takes his brother Baker, as well as two apprentices.

“If it wasn’t for Baker, I’d be out of business,” Chapman says. On that December day, Baker wasn’t present since he had left town for Christmas, but the two apprentices, Austin Garvin and Tommy Walters, were both in attendance.

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With all the horses to be done at the Sixes, everyone stays busy. They always have several horses being worked with at the same time. Left: Blane Chapman has been shoeing for the 6666 Ranch for 14 years, working on everything…

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