Donnie Arnold of Brooksville, Fla., stays busy trimming 15 horses a day on the go.
Arnold couldn’t walk for 2 weeks last month after a horse kicked his left leg. It wasn’t the first time, but incidents like these cannot stop his love for farriery and the horses he works with.
“I’ve been shoved, stomped on, rolled over,” Arnold told the Hernando Sun.
“It’s just part of the job I do.”
Arnold has been shoeing for 20 years, following in his grandfather’s footsteps. “I’ve been around farriers and horses my whole life,” he says.
When the Hernando Sun interviewed him, he also has his son Jesse, 11, with him. Jesse also wants to be a farrier and he is already learning from his father.
But Arnold stresses the importance of formal hoof-care education.
“Although I learned the trade from my grandfather, I also chose to go to The Brotherhood of Working Farriers school in Lafayette, Ga., because I thought it was important to get certification,” says Arnold.
Arnold also received farrier instruction from Cytek.
Employing his expertise, Arnold drives to trim and shoe for his clients everyday, mostly within 150 miles of his home. He tows a customized trailer containing all of his tools and a portable forge.
Together with his education and experience, building client trust has taken time. Now, all of his clients come from referrals.
“I don’t want someone who calls me just because they need a farrier, I want someone to come to me because they want Donnie Arnold.”