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Walt Neel has worked for 4 1/2 years for Mike DeLeonardo. The Porterville, Calif., AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier makes a 200-mile trip to Salinas several times a month.
“I’d priced myself out of the northern California area,” says Neel. “I’d known Mike for 10 years and we talked about me working with him 6 or 8 days a month.”
Neel normally makes a trip to Salinas every other week, depending on the shoeing schedule.
“I find my wife and kids enjoy the break from not having me around all the time,” he says. “I have a trailer in Salinas where I stay, so housing is not a big cost.
“Both of us can stay very flexible and I can still shoe for clients when I go home. But it is a real relief not to have to deal with the paperwork of operating my own shoeing business.
“Mike is a very good businessman and I’ve learned a great deal about both shoeing and business from working with him.”
Neel says one of the biggest benefits of a multi-farrier business is helping younger guys get started as shoers. Still another major benefit is not having to shoe alone.