In the comments section below, share your oddest/funniest horseshoeing story with us.
I have a client who has a pony that goes insane when I attempt to trim him. Last summer, as I was trimming one of her other horses, I heard a commotion. There was the owner and her friend, also a woman, with 3 ropes ties every which way around the pony and the two women are trying to lay him to the ground so I can trim him. Her husband and I just stood there and watched the fiasco. It was like something out of a Baxter Black book. In the end the husband and I got the pony down and trimmed.
About 2 weeks ago my wife returned a phone call about a farrier appointment. The husband answered the phone and asked for Ms. Dorothy he asked who was calling my wife replied: Gilbert Holland Farrier Service. The poor man was so shocked he thought we were calling from a burial service,and hung up on her. She called back and the wife answered. They had a good laugh over that.
Back in the 70's I had a Volvo 122 station wagon that I used for shoeing I had a coal forge mounted in the back w/ the stack thru the roof AS I drove down the road it smoked. During the first gas crunch people thought I ran on some sort of hybrid steam/gas mix
On way home today from attending to horses at a barn, I was assaulted by a stow-away that I had not known was in my farrier truck. Nearly drove off the road getting myself to the side of the road to eject the stow-away from my vehicle.
Here is the rest of the story.......................
I had been given a bag of treats from my customer that I left in the back seat of my truck. On way home, I went into bag of treats and I had noticed one of the chip bags had been chewed by rodent. Knowing that barn owner has a barn chipmunk I just figured it had got into the bag at the barn and decided to treat itself. No worries. As I drove down the road for home, I thought I kept hearing something rustling or moving in my back seat of the truck and occasionally thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. On the way home it started to hail and rain very heavily which made a racket in the truck. At that moment I had a chipmunk run its own Kentucky Derby race around my truck and over my legs, up my body, and run up by shirt sleeve as I was swatting at it to get off me. It was now doing lapse inside my shirt just "freaking me out." Driving erratically I managed to get to the side of the road and jump out of the truck and lift up my shirt to have the chipmunk drop to ground and run off road into woods. The passing vehicles of people probably thought I lost my marbles see some guy jump out of truck lifting his shirt up on the side of the road. So if this is my customer’s barn chipmunk, it has now relocated to the Syracuse, NY area. Sorry. Perhaps he is working his way back to Western Massachusetts to his barn.
—Esco Buff, PhD, APF, CF
When I started my farrier business, a truck was my first purchase. Chevrolet had a deal where if you bought the truck in the business' name, you got a $500.00 discount.
So I went to the Chambers County (Alabama) courthouse to apply for a business license. When the woman at the counter asked what I did for a living, I told her that I was a horseshoer. She said, "You mean you sell games and such?" I guess she thought that I sold pitching horse shoes.
I said, "No ma'am, I shoe horses."
To which she responded, "Well I'll be. Where do you shoo them to?"
Beautiful spring day two years ago. Just south of the Annapolis Naval Academy. My clients property overlooks the Chesapeake Bay. Beautiful blue sky, gentle breeze off the bay with a temperature in the low seventies. Two easy trims with motionless equines, falling asleep as the sun soaked into their bodies. My truck, with all windows
open and radio set to the classical music radio station, sufficiently loud to add background to this perfect day.
My client's Jack Russel Terrier, who always reminds me that the truck door is open enough, by immediately jumping on my lap, is not in his usual place, under the horse.
As finish trimming one of the hooves, I straighten my back and breath in the beauty of the day. "I get paid for this!"
Now my client's husband has a beautifully restored 1950 something Chevy parked under an adjacent shed. At that moment, the Jack Russel jumps up on the Chevy and then to its roof. I commented to my client, "Look there, I don't think your husband is going to like that.
As we both focused on the dog, he looked up into the rafter and then leaped straight up about five feet, grabbed the edge of a barn sparrow nest, pulled it down along with about six to eight baby birds. The birds bounced off the roof of the Chevy and fell to the ground. The Jack jumped to the ground, and proceeded the gobble up the baby birds like an enraged Pacman. I grabbed my client, turned her away and shouted, " Don't look".
It was such a contrast. From the serenity of a perfect day, to the horrific sight of this dog gobbling up these baby birds. A very memorable moments, and yet, looking back, very funny.
I was shoeing horses for a hunting lodge in Alaska, Rainy Pass Lodge. We of course had to fly out in a float plane and the pilot was not happy when I pulled out my anvil and several boxes of shoes. I had a little 75 pound an anvil so I had elected to take it rather than my 100 pound anvil, the pilot was still not happy but the horses had to be shod so we loaded the plane and took off from Anchorage, pretty much right after we landed the clouds moved in and we were socked in. I was shoeing a raspy mare at 10:00 at night, it was still light of course and the pilots and some of the hunters were watching me work when we heard a plane flying over the pilots were shaking their heads that someone would be out in the weather we were having. We then heard the plane crash so I put down my tools and pulled off my chaps which I was wearing over waders the pilots asked me what I was doing I said "we're going to the crash right?" "Nope you'll just wind up being someone else that needs to be rescued." So I went back to work, soon a very disgruntled man in camo dragging a canoe full of gear came out of the fog followed by a pilot. The hunter fired his pilot/guide and paid the lodge to hunt with them instead. Then the pilot asked if he could borrow a plane to get back to Anchorage, they laughed and sent him down river in his canoe to see if the fishing lodge down stream would fly him back, it was the second plane he had wrecked that year. The next day I spent some time training on a filly who had been born out there she was doing well so I was putting her first set of shoes on. She kept straining her neck around to look behind her while I was trying to nail on the last shoe, I put her foot down to see what she was looking at and about one hundred meters away there was a brown bear sitting on its hunches watching me shoe the horse, I snuck off and got some hunters, all I had was a pistol, and they ran out to get the bear but he was gone so I finished shoeing the filly.
I knew the vet at the Bronx Zoo in NYC. He asked me to come and trim the Zebras who were off. They shot them with a dart and 4 guys jumped on them and held them down. I trimmed their VERY hard hooves. They then gave them the antidote and we got outta there. Again young and invincible
Many years ago I got a call to shoe a pair of large mules in a junkyard. When I got there they were BIG and SNORTY. The owner put a sling on one and picked him up off the ground with a crane. Being young and invincible I shod him that way and did the other. They couldn't kick while off the ground and settled quickly. I collected my 50 or 60 bucks (good money then) and came back at least one more time.
I was shoeing for a client. While she was holding the horse, one of her boarders asked, "Got a different shoer? What are the requirements to shoe for you?" I was shoeing the left front and from behind me the client replied, "You have to be old and very good at shoeing, or young and have a nice butt." We had a good laugh at that.
The recent intense flooding in the UK reminded me of an episode in a previous period of flooding. Working as a vet, at the time, I was called by a gentleman, who was concerned about his neighbor's horse, this neighbour happening to be the local farrier. He reported that he could see this horse lying on its back and not moving. I immediately turned my car around and headed off to this emergency. Before I arrived, I received another call from the gentleman, who coyly reported that everything was ok. He had taken out his binoculars and had been surprised to see a very similar horse standing on the top of the hill. He had then realised that the horse lying on its back was in fact a reflection in the flooded field of the horse standing on the hill! Subsequently, I did send this gentleman a bill for £10.00, but reversed the image and added on the bottom 'On reflection, I think we can forget about this 00.01 account.
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