Making His Mark as a Cutting Horse Shoer

Texas farrier Jake Whitman draws from his time as a trainer to keep these athletes going

There’s something satisfying about watching a cutting horse doing its job well.

The speed, agility and balance of the horse to mirror a cut cow as it desperately tries to return to the safety of its herd is mesmerizing and thrilling all at once.

It was a world that Weatherford, Texas, farrier Jake Whitman wanted to be a part of.

“I grew up shoeing horses with my dad Terry Whitman in Wyoming, and it was the last thing in the world that I saw myself doing,” the younger Whitman says as he maneuvers his Chevrolet Z71 2500 HD along Farm to Market Road 51 en route to Springtown.

He was determined to make a go of training cutting horses. Whitman was well on his way, getting the opportunity to work for a quintet of hall of fame cutting horse trainers and riders.

“I lived in California and worked for several different cutting horse trainers out there — Gary Gonsalves, Jack Adams, Rock Hedlund, and Paul and Winston Hansma,” he says. “Then, I trained on my own for a year or so.”

Farrier Takeaways

To keep his cutting horses balanced longer and avoid feet that are strung forward, Jake Whitman fits shoes for growth and time.

Since cutting horses roll over their hocks because of the frequent side-to-side movement, Whitman usually fits with more lateral support.

Safeing the inside branch removes the sharp edge and the potential for scalping injuries due to the constant crossing over and scrambling with their front…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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