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BUSY MAN. Farrier Tom Martin of Auburn, N.Y., sees to the hoof-care needs of some 500 horses.
As Tom Martin pilots his shoeing rig down winding upstate New York roads on a cold February morning, a number of cars pull over to the side and let him pass.
“That happens a lot with the rig,” says the big man with an infectious laugh. “I guess it’s one of the benefits you don’t really expect when you buy it.”
In its previous life, Martin’s rig was an ambulance. He’s painted over its various “Ambulance” or “Emergency Vehicle” signs and removed the flashing lights as required by law. Still, when some drivers look up and see the vehicle looming in their rearview mirrors, their first thought is to clear the road.
Martin lives in the country outside of Auburn, N.Y., and does most of his shoeing around there and in the Syracuse area. The vast majority of his shoeing takes place within a 60-mile radius of his home.
“There are a lot of horse barns in this area,” he explains. “There’s one place near here where there are probably 13 or 14 barns within 8 miles of one another.”
That’s a real plus, says Martin, when you’re “Shoeing For A Living” in upstate New York.
“I used to have some barns over around Buffalo when I was getting started,” he explains. “And I know some guys from around here that still make that drive.”
TRIMMING THE TOE. Martin uses nippers to trim…