Scott Trainor, who holds a masters degree in social work, never thought he’d end up working as a farrier. He’s been working in the trade for 26 years.  

“My life was heading one direction and my career took a complete 180,” Trainor tells Reminder Publications.  

The East Longmeadow, Mass., farrier says he grew up around horses, both his mother and sister had horses, but it wasn’t a primary interest for him.

“When I was in college just looking for a part-time job, a good friend of mine, who was a farrier and went to horseshoeing school around 1970, he asked me if I could help him out … come set things up, hold the horses, because obviously I didn’t know how to do the work,” Trainor says. “So I started riding around with him and I ended up spending 4½ years with him.”

While he was attending graduate school, Trainor says he continued his apprenticeship as a farrier. When he first finished graduate school, he continued to work as a farrier while doing social work; however, he decided that “wearing two hats” was too much for him.

“When I finished graduate school,” he says, “I was proficient enough so that I started to build up my own business.”

In Western Massachusetts, there are about 24 or more farriers, Trainor says.

“The horse population is much larger than people think,” he says.

Trainor says for the most part, he loves working with horses. It’s very rare that a horse misbehaves when he’s doing his job.

“If this horse didn’t want to have his feet done – a 1,000-pound animal kicking and thrashing – it can be very dangerous,” he says. “I don’t do ill-behaved horses.”

Trainor says he respects horses and considers them noble animals, but noted he’s actually a dog person.

“I just have the utmost respect for them,” he adds. “I have long-term relationships with, not only my clients, the people, but my clients are also the horses. For example, some horses I’ve been shoeing their feet their entire lives. … These horses get old and sometimes they die and I certainly shed a tear on occasion for a horse. You can’t help but get attached to them. Just like dogs they all have distinct personalities.”

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