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Shoeing out of Cicero, Ind., farrier Rusty Derrer used to work on several types of horses, including a large number of drafts. Wanting to decrease the amount of work needed per horse and the wear and tear his body would endure, Derrer chose to work exclusively with hunters and jumpers about 8 years ago.
Over time, his philosophy about work evolved with the types of horses he shod. “My shoeing changed a lot at that time,” remembers Derrer. “I was focused on my education, so the quality of my work improved and I became a better shoer.”
As Derrer’s business and reputation grew, he began acquiring more higher-end hunters and jumpers. At this time, he recognized that these owners were more affluent than those he was accustomed to. He thought his shoeing rig — a 1994 Ford F250 and trailer — could use an upgrade because of the perceptions, fair or not, of the new clients.
“When you go to some of these barns, having a nice rig is important,” says Derrer. “These people have nice horses, they pay a lot of money for the horses to be shod, so you want to look the part and be professional — the shoeing rig is a piece of it for me.
“But you need the skills, too. I’ve seen guys who had nice rigs, but they…