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Just 4 months ago, Ritner Goff was ready to hang up his apron and call it a career after 30 years of
He had stocked his shop with a plasma table, forges, anvils, powder coating system and a Big Blu hammer to start CrossRoads MetalWork LLC, a metal business that he launched with his wife Susan Hermanson.
“My last apprentice finished up at Christmas,” recalls the Burgaw, N.C., farrier, “and I said, ‘You know, I’m going to retire and focus entirely on metal work.’”
The plan was for Ritner to perform custom metal work full-time and let his son RJ and RJ’s brother Blake Rivenbark take over the shoeing business.
Over the next 2 weeks, Ritner’s morning routine remained the same. He cooked RJ and Blake a big breakfast and made a plan for the day. When the brothers cleaned their plates, they jumped into RJ’s farrier rig and hit the road for a day of shoeing.
“You know how long my retirement lasted?” Ritner asks with a smirk. “Two weeks, because after they’d roll, I’d stand in my shop by myself thinking about all the horses the boys were trying to cover while I was working on metal projects. They were having a tough time keeping…