After a local horseshoer was seriously injured 15 years ago, farriers in the Las Vegas, Nev., area came up with a valuable idea. They shod his horses and provided him with much needed income while he was convalescing.
Steve Werks says farriers pitched in $20 apiece and the result was formation of the Southern Nevada Horseshoer’s Association. The goal was to be available to shoe the horses of any injured farrier who was a member and the $20 per year traditional fee is still being collected.
“Our members will fill in for an injured farrier and never take that farrier’s customers even if the customer insists that he or she does a better job of shoeing,” says Steve Werks, who now operates the Iron Werks Ranch in North Las Vegas that often serves as the site for the group’s clinics. “In fact, members could be kicked out of the group if they don’t follow these rules.”
Providing support for injured or sick horseshoers is typical of farriers across the country. In fact, many stories could be told of shoers reaching out to farriers besides the three that are mentioned here.
When Whitewater, Wis., farrier Justin Mischka was waging a courageous battle with cancer, members of the Upper Midwest Horseshoer’s Association held a shoeing clinic on his behalf.
“The clinic raised $2,550 in much-needed funds for Justin and his family and he’s now back at work,” says president Lyle Stoner of Waterford, Wis.