As we wrap up National Farriers Week, we've heard many great stories about valuable mentors farriers have had throughout their careers. Who are the influential mentor(s) in your shoeing career and why?
I apprenticed with Joe Magistri in Stockton, Cal in the early 70's. Joe was hard working, excellent teacher, put up with my lack of knowledge for a year or so and helped me get a start into a fantastic 40 years. Joe always said something that its good as long as you can take it. Meaning its a rough job and you better stay tough. Thanks, Joe.
I have many guys to thank for influencing my farrier career. First would be Kirk Caudle; he was my first teacher, and was always willing to share his time, his shop, and his expertise to help anyone. Bob Bruce encouraged me to work towards my certification, Gene Ovineck spent a good deal of time on the phone with me, others that I had little direct contact with, also influenced me with their professionalism, willingness to share information, and a positive attitude such as Burney Chapman, Jim Poor, Henry Heymering, and Dave Farley.
There have been 3 people who have influenced me in my career. The first was Doug Butler, after reading P3 as a young Farrier I realised that a Farrier could be a knowledgable and influential person and not just a guy with a bad back. Chris Gregory is the second, his book "Better Basics Better Horseshoeing' encouraged me to make all my shoes and improve myself. His latest book has again inspired me. And the most recent person is Kelly Gregory for her support and encouragement at Forge Welding, something I had given up on being able to to about 15 years ago, but after just 1 day she had me believing I could do it and I did, it's not the neatest job, but I welded in my forge. It's nice to be able to acknowledge these 3 people. Thank You Guys.
Without a doubt I could have had no better mentor(s) than Gene Ovnicek and the members of the ELPO. From Chad and Cody Ovnicek, Carrie Miller, Jennifer Ovnicek, Patty Stiller, Steve Foxwoth, Gene Legerski, Eddie Bullock, Brad Dirickson and the list goes on. They took a 50 plus year old horse owner (female, no less)and "wanna be" farrier and made it happen. They still put up with my phone calls and unfailingly answer every single one. These are the most generous people on earth with their knowledge time and talent and the farrier and horse worlds are the better for it. Gene's often heard comment is "Welcome to the ride" and what a ride it has been for 12 years now... THANK YOU!!!!
I would like to thank Billy Lampley, Buck McClendon and Caleb Harper for sacrificing their evenings to help me through the Certification Process and all of the hammer ins to help prepare me for the Journeyman's. Of course Billy worked me like a dog!
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