This is my farrier, Jason. While I'd love to say he's all mine, he's not. I'd love to have a private farrier but alas, we're not there yet. But Jason is a wizard with horse feet. I know there are plenty of horse owners and trainers that feel the same about him. While he doesn't get a lot of the really fun perks or the really low lows we experience, he happily takes on whatever project horse I buy and makes their feet look like a million bucks. Seriously, wizard.
Kind of looks like farting...
My first farrier in high school was amazing. He did all the barn's horses with only a few exceptions. I don't recall him doing hot shoes but I do recall him lining the horses up all down the barn on cross ties while the barn manager dutifully swapped the finished ones with the to be done ones. It was a really fascinating system. He also was completely fine with horses being barefoot. My mare was barefoot for most of the time I had her ($25 trims ftw) but once we hit Training level in eventing, her feet were getting chipped from the drops and we swapped to front only shoes.
I never once in those 4 years knew about the anguish, horror, annoyingness, etc of "normal" farriers.
Enter my college years. I caught up on all the horrors. I've tried basically every farrier in this immediate area and wow, its been an adventure. Nothing has made me long to do my own horses' feet like trying out farriers in this area. I finally found a really nice person to do my horses feet and that was good - for a while. He was really good at maintaining the status quo. I had a pony that perpetually had white line no matter what we did. When I finally swapped to Jason, he had it cleared up in one trim. Spoiler - it wasn't white line it was separation of the wall because pony needed some extra temporary support with shoes while her hoof recovered from the 2 years of trying to "treat" the white line.
So much for nice.
I made the swap to Jason when I got Jade. Terrified of doing things wrong with my "big horse," I sought out someone that understood Friesian feet (they're square shaped if you don't know). My farrier at the time seemed indifferent to my thoughts about the mare and was even there doing a horse of mine's feet and seemed indifferent bordering on distant. At this point, I knew I wanted someone that was going to be on this journey upward with me.
After Jason not only being knowledgeable about Jade's feet, he was super stoked about the horse herself. I'd never had this before and well, it's an endearing thing that (from what I've seen), Jason does this with all the horses. He really likes his job and he really loves the horses (especially the big ones lol). I know Jason is a huge, huge part of why Vana is as sound as he is. The giant aluminum rockers that he came with were replaced with wedges and then swapped to a simpler flat show with a frog supporting pad (that's super pricey but thankfully reusable). He's helped Feina so much and kept her barefoot and happy since we got her.
Since this point, Jason has been our farrier and despite what most of the people around me think, he's excited when I get a new horse in and loves to meet them. He allows me to work them how I need to to get them steady and he just does an amazing job with each of them. Really, this guy is a gem.
I just can't even <3 #yesthatsahoofmontage
Earning a pony ride. Piper not impressed (per normal)