A Farrier’s Perspective: What It Means To Be ‘Somebody’

Steve Teichman of  Chester County Farrier Associates is one of the most respected farriers in the nation, with more than 40 years of hands-on horseshoeing experience in all facets of the farrier business and over 25 years of working with the US Equestrian Team. He is a true artist when it comes to shoeing horses and equine soundness. Thank you to Steve for writing!

Steve Teichman in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Steve Teichman in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games. Photo courtesy of Steve Teichman.

In this industry, whether as farriers or professional horseman, we seem to struggle with identity. What is it with our identity? This drive to be so important.

What is it to be “somebody” or for that matter a “nobody” in this business? I have spent 45 years as a practicing farrier largely shoeing three-day event horses. I have been fortunate to have participated in five Olympic Games, as well as several World Equestrian Games and Pan American Games, and seen and traveled the world.

I have become a “somebody” of sorts in the small circle of my associates and clients. I have also felt a little “sting” of what it is like to be the “nobody” too. Go out to dinner with a group of Olympic athletes and suddenly you can fade into the background. Life works best someplace in between.

Being famous or important one develops an enlarged sense of self, passion for his career, and huge recognition by his followers … does that makes you a “somebody”? Does it? Is this truly what we are after, or are they just symptoms of some slightly distorted view point?

We live a bit upside down in this industry … a too complex and busy outer life up at 5 a.m. (like me now!) and an ignored inner life. There is more to this drive in each of us. How about the powerful drive for meaning, and belonging, being helpful, kind, or courteous? All of these can and should be present in this sport.

We are so fortunate to work with such amazing animals and the equally dedicated people this sport brings together. This is being “somebody.” It’s not famous, but it’s what I think our souls seek.

Whether we know it or not, this is why we ALL go to the barns in the morning.