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Shoeing For A Living: A FIERCE Passion For Helping Horses

California farrier enjoys the rewards of therapeutic shoeing


Pictured Above: Marijke Ellert enjoys the therapeutic aspect of farriery. “I love ... coming up with out-of-the-box ideas and applying them to a horse.”

"And though she be but little, she is fierce.”

Helena famously des­­cribed Hermia this way in A Mid­sum­mer’s Night Dream. In fact, since William Shakespeare’s words first were uttered on stage in the late 1500s, it’s been used countless times to describe people and things. When Placerville, Calif., farrier Marijke Ellert opens up her rig, the quote is there for all to see, emblazoned on the back wall. The word “FIERCE” is prominent by appearing in all capital letters.

It’s a statement to be sure. When one thinks of the word fierce, it might evoke thoughts of a wild animal or a violent individual. Another definition of the word is furiously eager or intense. It aptly describes Ellert’s passion for the trade that she’s a part of, not to mention her clients — the horses.

8:18 a.m. Ellert greets her ap­prentice Carlina Grey as she emerges from her Northern California home for another day of “Shoeing For A Living.” Grey loads her tools and pink Hoofjack into Ellert’s Stonewell drop-in unit and jumps into the red Dodge Ram 2500.

After a 30-minute drive, Ellert maneuvers her pickup off the main road and onto a dirt driveway. Six trims — a Belgian mare, a trio of saddle horses and two minis — await on the Shingle Springs property.

“The owner has horses that she uses as some…

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