I grew up in the horse business, but the 1980's was a tough time with the oil industry in bad shape and banks going broke.
Our shoer at the time could really get around a horse and make it look all too easy. He showed me a thing or two and told me I could make some extra money trimming. I picked up a few tools and got after it. I gradually went to shoeing full time, and just starting out, you don't cull nothin'. I was young and if you could catch it, I thought I could shoe it.
Which brings us to a day in August, the phone rings, he seemed like a nice enough fella, said he had three geldings to trim. We set up a time and he gave me directions.
I mean this place was in the country, I had just about run outta road when I found his place. The house and the barn set up on a little hill about 40 yards off the road. As I turned up the hill I was blinded, kinda like the sun on new snow. Slowly I pulled up to the house all the while studyin this road.
I realized the entire driveway was paved with CRUSHED BEER CANS! It seemed they had a preference for Coors Light and Keystone. The man that came out of that barn was the one single largest human being I had ever seen!
Six ft., or so, sleeveless shirt massive hands and arms. He grabbed my hand, shook me so hard that I got light headed. I complimented him on his unique driveway. He was awful proud of it, said it took him and his brother most of the summer to finish it. He offered me a beer, I said I would pass for now.
I gathered up what I needed and we walked around an old semi with a bull wagon hooked to it. It was a typical older farm house in about three different stages of remodeling, with a HORSE LAYING ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH A LARGE PICTURE WINDOW! Not saying a word, I eased up closer he was looking around, but wouldn't move a hair. Two little kids were a sittin on an old couch watching TV about four feet from the horses head. They didn't look to be too concerned about the situation, ignoring me and the horse. I backed away a few steps and asked what the hell happened. He kinda grinned a little and said . . . well, I brought him to the house, was going to wash him off a little, but he got mad, reared up and fell through the window. He paused for a minute then went on to say, . . . he got himself into the house, he can get himself out! I suggested we give him some more time and come back later. He nodded and said the next one was tied around back.
We walked around the back of the house where trim # 2 was tied to a rusted out stock trailer, sitting on blocks. They must have tied him with way too much slack. Somehow or another he got the rope around one of the wheel hubs, and managed to snub his head and one front foot up tight against that wheel, there he stood on three legs, couldn't move an inch. Neither of us said anything but I guess he knew what I was thinking. I'd cut it, he said, but it's my best rope.
As I asked, Where's the third one, I could only imagine was in store for me next.
He told me that he had his brother down at the corral and he figured he'd have #3 halter broke for me by the time we had finished the first two. There was kind of an awkward silence and I knew what I had to do.
Mister, I can tell you work hard for your money, and honestly I don't think these horses need trimmed, it just wouldn't be ri9ght for me to take your money. He slapped me on the back, almost knocked me down, and said "its good to meet an honest man!" Before I could stop him, he hollered at his brother "never mind were gonna have a beer instead. He half drug me to the barn where I met his brother, they must have been twins. I nursed a few along while they put away about a 12 pack a piece. I was finally able to excuse myself and head home. I walked in the front door, wore smooth out, tryin to explain to my wife why I didn't make a nickel and smelled like a brewery. But that's another story.