A group of veterans in Plymouth have found peace and purpose as farriers, specialists in equine hoof care. And for two decades, they’ve been passing on the skills to fellow veterans.

“Vets with PTSD gravitate toward horseshoeing,” said Bob Smith, owner of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School. “They do better working out in the field, working with animals, not working in a cubicle.”

After finding this out for himself, Smith opened the school. A Vietnam veteran, he took a “senior class trip to Southeast Asia” in 1968-69. Following his tour, he went to college and then spent a year as a police officer. But he found his calling as a farrier.

Smith opened Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in 1991 and has never looked back.

Joined by Chuck Presnail, a fellow Vietnam vet of 1966-’67, the two created a school that is the only California state licensed farrier school, attracting students from as far away as Canada, Israel, South America, New Zealand and throughout the U.S.

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