Different Strokes for Different Folks

by | Sep 30, 2020 | Articles, Equine Hoof Care, Perspective

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Do you know anyone in your profession who does everything completely backwards?

Seriously, most things they do defy all logic and sensibility, and yet somehow they have a successful business. Can you name a few?

Since I’m a farrier my story is about shoeing, but I believe it applies to every single thing we can do in life.

While we were shoeing at my shop the other day, a nice performance horse came in that a well-known farrier had shod. I wasn’t really on board with how it was shod, but the owner was happy, the horse was sound, and in those situations our rule of thumb is to not “rock the boat.” Meaning, we try to get as close as we can without changing a lot of things.

Beginning the job, I tell myself I am going to try my best to reset the shoes. I give it my very best effort and yet there’s no way I can make them fit. What to do now? I went back to our standard shoeing principles, but all I could think about was, “How did the last guy do that? Were the horse’s feet different then?” I really would like to know, since I wasn’t there when he shod him. I do know that particular style has had some success, but to me, on that horse, I just couldn’t see it working.

Later that night, I got on social media only to see other farriers bickering about shoeing styles, methods, etc. Of course, everyone has different opinions, but I came to realize that everyone’s opinions are supported by their experiences. That’s why it’s their opinion! Whatever experiences or educational routes they have gone down have trained them to think and function the way they do.

So what now? Do we train all the people that are out there doing it wrong, to do it our way? Wouldn’t that be just like the bickering on social media? What does that solve? I don’t believe judging or belittling anyone ever gets the response we want. People won’t ever make a change until they truly want to anyway.

So maybe we should just let them be wrong and someday, they might come to see the light. One question though, how do we know they’re wrong? Wouldn’t that just be our opinion? We could say we have lots of experience with this working well in that situation; it’s just the facts, history proves it. How do we know they haven’t also had similar successes? Maybe there’s something that they have learned that we can benefit from?

Each person is brilliant in some way, and agreeing to disagree isn’t a bad thing. I believe that there are far more important issues to spend our time on that arguing about personal preferences in our professions. Like being good to people, helping others, giving back and focusing on the greater good. I don’t know about your industry, but if the farrier industry all got together without any division, we could do some amazing things.

“People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

God Bless America

Lee Olsen

This article first appeared at Mustad.com