Tuesday, October 16, 2007
1965 - 1967 Horseshoeing
I attended the Oregon State University School of Farriery, taught by a retired calvary sargeant who treated class like bootcamp. Again I was different, the "college kid", as other students were cowboys, truck drivers, and roofers. My respect came from perfect scores on all the written exams. Once I graduated I quickly developed a following because I was not an unreliable alcoholic -- qualities that my competition had. The one thing they didn't teach us in school was how to do the job quickly. When I started it took me four hours to shoe a horse. My first customer stood patiently while I caught my shirt on fire, and cut up my arms with his horse jerking his feet. Fortunately, he was blind and saw none of it. He became my first regular, and I eventually could finish the job in under an hour. I made $10 a horse, which at the time, was enough to support my family and continue at the University of Washington. Good horseshoers now make $100 or more.