Pictured Above: American Farriers Journal featured Kyle Crawford in the May 2015 Shoeing For A Living.
Nancy Rucker’s husband Pete is an Excelsior Springs, Mo., veterinarian, but when it’s time to shoe or care for her horses’ hooves she calls a specialist.
Kyle Crawford, owner of Kyle Crawford Farrier Service in Lawson, is trustworthy and reliable, Nancy says. Plus, he makes house calls.
Crawford recently visited Watkins Mill Meadows to shoe Maggie, 24, a primarily white mare. He’ll come back and do the same once Dancer, 11, recovers from an injury and is back from the vet clinic.
It’s hot in the barn, but Maggie’s a well-behaved horse, just the kind Crawford likes. When he started shoeing horses in 1993, he wasn’t as experienced as he is now, nor could he be picky about who his clients were.
“I’ve done this long enough that I don’t have to work on those kinds of horses,” he says of horses that lack good manners, are more spirited or just happen to have bad days now and then. “It’s mostly a matter of training.”
Even so, horses are large, powerful animals. Last fall, Crawford broke a rib when one jumped on him. Then there was the horse that fell asleep while being shod, woke up with a jolt and kicked him in the calf.
That cost Crawford a couple of days’ work.
Crawford loves to ride, so he’s comfortable around horses and they can sense it. Maggie’s an older mare and well trained, and she hardly budges as Crawford moves from one hoof to another to replace all her shoes.
If he doesn’t have a shoe in his trailer that’s a good fit for a customer, he has the forging skills needed to make his own out of straight bar stock.
“You learn how to make a shoe and you’ll never be without a shoe because you can modify the commercially made shoes anyway you want,” he says.
Crawford attended Oklahoma Farrier’s College in Sperry, Okla., and has since been certified by the American Farrier’s Association, first with basic certification in 1996-97, and then with journeyman’s certification in 2001.
He attends clinics in the area and, despite being in the business almost 25 years, Crawford still makes a point of learning new techniques, things that might work on one horse but not another.