Shoeing From California to Boston, farrier Danny Dunson travels often, but his rig doesn’t. In fact, his Homesteader trailer is usually parked inside the Nolensville Veterinary Clinic, in Nolensville, Tenn., where he runs an equine podiatry clinic.
A recent addition to the building provides a space into which Dunson backs the rig, which becomes a room within a room. Being at the clinic, where the horses come to him, allows Dunson to work closely with equine veterinarian Mark Wooten. And Dunson’s exclusive focus on therapeutic shoeing makes the storage space of the 16-footlong, 7-foot-wide trailer a necessity.
“I shoe so many different breeds of horses, and all of them are lame or laminitic. I’ve got to have almost every kind of shoe in there so I have what I need to fit everything from walking horses to Arabians, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds and everything else.”
Racks of shoes line one of the rig’s walls, but many more are kept in the extensive cabinets that are the trailer’s dominant feature. The rig’s interior is Dunson’s own design, and the cabinetry was custom-built by his brother-in-law, who owns a cabinet shop.
ROOM TO SPARE. Storage space and elbow room are emphasized in this rig geared for therapeutic shoeing at an equine podiatry clinic.
Besides the large collection of shoes, the rig contains a forge, oxyacetylene torches, welding equipment, grinders and whatever else he might need to custom fit a therapeutic shoe. All of the equipment is used regularly because, as Dunson notes, “Everything I do is from X-rays, and I almost never put a plain, flat shoe on a horse.”
Dunson knew elbow room and storage space were what he wanted most in the rig, which is now 2 years old. “This is my third trailer, and I’ve been learning by trial and error,” he says. “Every time I built one, I found something I wanted to do differently. This trailer is just bigger than the others. There’s more shelf space and enough room for two people to move around in it.”
The rig isn’t permanently parked at the clinic.
Dunson puts about 300 to 400 miles per month on the rig, pulling it behind his Ford F250 pickup truck to seminars and conferences, or to occasional shoeing jobs, “Where all I have to do is plug it in and I’m ready to work,” he says.
On The Road
AND THERE’S MORE. The racks of shoes are just some of those kept in Danny Dunson’s rig. More are kept in the cabinets, so he’s ready for any kind of hoof he comes across.
The second trailer he designed, a smaller version of his latest rig, is kept in Texas, where he continues to provide shoeing services to a show barn.
He also spends a week each month at his satellite equine podiatry clinic in Franklin, Mass., just outside Boston, where he works with veterinarian Liz Maloney.
Dunson, who started shoeing nearly 30 years ago as a teenager and has been concentrating on the therapeutic work for the past 15, rents the rigs of farrier friends when he’s called to clients in other locations around the country.
But it’s his Tennessee rig that makes him most comfortable. “I think I pretty much got what I want on the third try,” he says. “I wouldn’t change a thing about it, and I expect to keep it for a while.
HITCHING A RIDE. When Danny Dunson does take his rig on the road, his Ford F250 does the pulling.
SHOE SHAPERS. The forge, saw, grinder, drill presses and welding equipment are used often to custom fit shoes for lame horses.