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Fame And Fortune? Or Life And Lifestyle?

This Canadian maintains there are many benefits to being a “marginal farrier”

Beautifully cambered and smoothly paved, the twisting switchback curves of the blacktop snaking up the Niagara Escarpment beg for more speed from the big Honda motorcycle. One of the walls of Ontario’s great Niagara Rift Valley, which spawned the falls further south and continues for 100 miles or so up to Lake Huron, climbs 800 feet vertically within a mile or so of the road.

Sharp shafts of summer sunlight strobe through the branches of the tunnel of trees that overhang the road with increasing frequency as the speedometer needle creeps up to 60, then 70 mph.

The characteristic musical jingle of shoes and farrier tools, this time in saddle bags rather than the back of a pickup truck, is muted by the engine’s powerful note.

The customer wasn’t surprised to see a farrier driving a motorcycle since she had already seen me in my more conventional work truck, although less than conventionally, I either had my toddler with me or was carrying a powered paraglider in the back of the truck. 

I’m not one of the rich-and-famous variety of farrier that shoes Olympic horses, drives a fancy rig and drinks pricey beer at the bar. Being a farrier is a lifestyle for me, and  one that has made me truly blessed; not with money or fame, but with an existence that is the envy of many friends.

I’ve also learned more about the conditions that can afflict horses than many of my more famous colleagues, all by being happy…

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