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Like many equine veterinarians and farriers, Jay Merriam says his work was his only hobby for many years. But the Uxbridge, Mass., equine vet says that all changed 5 years ago when his wife told him he needed to get a hobby in order to stay healthy.
While delivering the Burney Chapman Memorial Lecture at last winter’s fifth annual International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Merriam urged farriers to make changes in their lives in order to relax and enjoy life.
“My wife, our kids and I had enjoyed a good life and we did a lot of stuff together,” he says. “But she told me to find something to do rather than just driving the tractor around the farm and working with a chainsaw on weekends.”
As a result, Merriam became a runner. He now runs almost every day. “This is the healthiest thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “I’d also encourage every farrier to join a gym, although at first this may sound silly with all the work you do.
“You can lift feet, trim feet and nail on shoes all day, but that’s lousy exercise. Farrier work will tear you down, work you hard and it doesn’t make you healthy. So join a gym, as I did.”
In addition, Merriam also does agility training and fly fishing as a hobby.
“The best part about a hobby is having something you really enjoy doing,” he says. “What really matters is that you’re not talking to anybody…