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Every shoeing business has a limited amount of services. Whether it’s hand-making shoes from bar stock or giving prepurchase advice, no two businesses offer exactly the same thing. But if there ever was a farrier service that had unlimited services, it would have to be Ross Smith’s at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
Smith is one of those farriers who no matter how busy, no matter how tired, can’t turn anyone down, even if it means working 12-hour days or looking at that old gray mare when he just dropped in to say hello.
But that’s not the most unique part about Smith. Smith’s business isn’t just a business, it’s his livelihood. In fact, he loves what he does so much that he often buys horses that would otherwise be sent to the rendering plant, to see if the right shoeing job might turn a lame horse sound.
But he’s also very humble about it.
“At first, I bought a couple of horses and guinea-pigged them, hoping to learn a little bit,” he says. “They were horses the owners were sending away for meat prices, but I knew they were still good horses. They were just lame.”
ABOVE AND BEYOND. To alert owners that he is willing to save their lame horses, Smith places ads like this one in the local paper to decrease the number of horses that are unnecessarily euthanized when they just need proper shoeing.
The majority of these horses are navicular. Encouraged by a…