In central Texas ranch country, Shawn Nanny shoes a variety of horses, including ranch horses, rodeo horses, backyard ponies and even some gaited horses. However, the backbone of his business and his specialty is the all-around horse.
The all-around horse in that part of the country is owned by ranchers and cowboys. It is used for ranch work by day, covering miles of rough terrain through the rocks and brush to make its owner a living. More often than not, that same mount shows up in the rodeo arena at night or on the weekend, since most of those riders rope as a hobby or even professionally or semi-professionally.
“Then that same horse might be packing their little girl around the barrels on Saturday,” the 40-year-old Nanny says.
The owners want the horses sound and ready for the arena, but they also don’t want to notice a missed shoe at daylight when they’re already miles from home and in the rocks.
“I’ve blended everything together to fit my customers,” says the Knickerbocker, Texas, shoer. “I like to consider my shoeing tough enough and correct enough to pound through the rocks all day, and correct enough and pretty enough to go to the rodeo that weekend.”
Nanny’s shoeing career began about 16 years ago — out of necessity, really. He was fresh out of college with no job and a pregnant wife. He had done some cowboy-type shoeing but had no real training. He enrolled at Hill Country Horseshoeing School in…