I first came to know Olaf Batt in the early 1980s when I had just started my medical practice. I used my gaited horses for field trialing pointer bird dogs. A friend recommended Ollie for farrier services. That's over 40 years ago and I still ride gaited horses and Ollie still shoes them.
We initially bartered, swapping my doctoring services for his shoeing services, since we were both young and broke. He put up with my rank, ruff horses until I could afford better stock and he got medical advice and sometimes pretty darn good medical care. I don't think anything but his pride was ever seriously injured by my animals.
My biggest problems arose from laminitis affecting several head of my better horses. Ollie would come at a moment’s notice, therapeutically shoeing the affected horse, weekly if needed. He did everything in his power to alleviate the animal's pain and hold my hand during the illness. Most of the time the animal recovered, sometimes not. He has walked my pastures several times to try and identify any plants or grasses that may have caused the issue.
Through the years, I saw he and Nancy develop a thriving business built on caring, trust and skill. He now takes care of my family and friends horses. We have solved many of the world's problems during his visits, and since we're both Scandinavian we laugh a lot. He enjoys his work and the horses come rain or sun, heat or sub-zero temperatures, always with a keen observation and his wry smile.
So for Ollie, my friend, the gate's always open and the horses are in their stalls waiting.
I would like to submit my farrier, Olaf Batt, as a candidate worthy of recognition during National Farriers Week. Olaf works in central Oklahoma and has been my farrier for 26 years. In fact, he was the farrier for my very first horse, Gracie. Although Olaf originally trained to teach high school, he became a farrier due to his love and understanding of horses. This has been quite evident over the years as I've changed horses and participated in many riding disciplines. Olaf always works toward improving the horses' feet regardless of whether they need hot or cold shoeing, therapeutic shoes, pads or clips, or no shoes at all. And he goes beyond footcare to mentor his clients by providing a sounding board and a wealth of information. He is very trustworthy, and once told me to “get rid of that horse, she's going to hurt you,” and I promptly did. He is not controlled by the opinions and beliefs of others, so you can count on him to give it to you straight. I greatly appreciate his honesty.
Olaf is a certified professional farrier. He regularly attends clinics, contests and conventions to enhance his skill set. I admire his effort in maintaining a solid reputation and professionalism as he tiptoes through the equine politics in our area. Veterinarians and other professionals like to work with Olaf, and he fully supports the horse industry. It appears that all his working relationships are based on respect and mutual appreciation. Oh sure, we've had simple misunderstandings over the years, but these were easily handled through conversation. I know I can count on Olaf to handle my current horse, Wheatie, with great care. I feel very fortunate to have had Olaf advising me all these years.
I would like to recognize Olaf Batt as an amazing farrier! He took me on as a client 15 years ago because he was concerned about one of my horses. I am his only customer in Muskogee, Okla., and am an hour away from everyone else he serves. His compassion for the horses is unparalleled. I have dressage horses that sometimes need special work. He works well with the equine vets and they respect him!