How many of you dream about meeting, falling in love with, and living happily ever after with a farrier? How many of you deal with hoof issues on a regular basis? How many of you cringe when you look at your latest shoeing bill? How many of you pray that a sweet, loving, caring, helpful, attractive, and talented farrier will miraculously walk into your barn one morning and never leave? We are all well aware of the fact that farriers are needed, and always will be needed. Horses and farriers go hand in hand; one cannot exist without the other. Brace yourselves, because you may or may not hate me after this next statement. Hi, my name is Lila Gendal, I am an event rider and I am in a relationship with a farrier, and we have been together for over eight years now. Should I stop now, or continue on?
Life with a farrier obviously has its perks. My horses always (or eventually) get cared for, and my bills are negotiable. I live with the man, so reminding him when my horses are due is not a problem. If I have a shoeing, or a hoof emergency I don’t have to wait a very long time to get help. I always get an honest and realistic opinion. Plus, I have learned a lot from watching him, and asking questions.
Perks for others. If I happen to enjoy your company, or I think somewhat highly of you, then maybe, just maybe I can assist you when you are at Tamarack and you are in need of a farrier. Truth be told, this man is like Where’s Waldo’s brother for most of the summer. If he’s not building fence, he is sawing lumber. If he is not at the sawmill, he is welding. If he is not welding, he is fixing his tractor. If he is not fixing his tractor, he has left for the afternoon with his dogs and god only knows where he vanished off to. So, if I am in a good mood on a particular day, and some poor suffering working student desperately needs to get a hold of this man, I might be of some assistance. So, future Tamarack working students, this information might be worth a mental note!
Life with a farrier also has its challenges. Laugh all you want, but as the years have passed, getting my horses trimmed, or shod can turn into a battle, a strategic mind game, a trade off, a one sided compromise, or an argument. For example: ME: Hey there oh wise one…you look especially buff today, have you been working out? HIM: The answer is NO. ME: But you haven’t even heard what I am going to… HIM: NO. ME: okay, IF I make you homemade chili, fold the laundry and buy you a 30 pack of your favorite adult beverage, would you consider shoeing Valonia? HIM: Hmmpfff…fine, but only when I have time, and you have to cook dinner for a week. ME: Done. Deal!
Again, not a hypothetical conversation. This occurred several days ago. Unfortunately I have to already start planning my negotiating scheme for the next shoeing cycle. Relationships, I am learning are built on compromise. This concept is not revolutionary, it’s been around since cave men were crawling around. If we want something from someone else, we give them something of ours that’s valuable. Unfortunately, I have very few real world skills, unless I am doing something with a horse. However I am becoming a better cook, baker and can perform simple and basic physical tasks, such as stacking wood, or raking leaves, which in this household are desirable skills. I’m learning that the art of trading, or compromise is key in some relationships, especially when your significant other has total power over your horse staying sound or not.