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Last updated on 5/22/11
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Farrier Stories

Keller Horse/Dog Drawing


This series of drawings was started when I decided to come up with a way to document all of the funny stories that my husband told me each night when he came home from shoeing. I added to the scrapbook each year at Christmas time and we laugh together at the stories, old and new. Please enjoy them in the humorous light that they were intended.

-as told by Rob Keesling to his wife, Gina
It was one of those accounts that you take on when you're first starting out. Several horses to do in one stop seemed to make it easier to overlook the crummy working conditions.

The man had 5 horses, and an attack trained doberman pinscher, of which he was very proud. "Bruiser" was an odd dog, the professional attack dog trainer had taught him not to bark, just to slink around and bite people (supposed intruders). He was fastened securely with a log chain in the aisle of the barn. What he was protecting was never apparent to me. His droppings were scattered all around, under the crossties especially. Although the owners never thought to clean up this filth, they were kind enough to shorten the dogs chain when I came so that he couldn't sneak up and bite me.

On this particular day the owner was working late, so arrangements had been made for me to get there early, and be finishing up whe he arrived home. Bruiser was in his usual sorts as I let the mare through the remaining dog dung (that I couldn't sweep or shovel because of it's, well, "viscosity"). This time his incessant slinking about was making the horse nervous. As her fidgeting brought her nearer to where the dog was tied, I began to get concerned about my safety, cornered between this horse and "trained killing machine". My fears were realized when I felt the horse tense up. Bruiser had silently grabbed hold of her tailbone. There we were, in a ridiculous sort, as the mare tried to pull away, tightening the dog's chain and lifting him completely off of the floor. They remained in this dog-dangling head and tail lock as I frantically wondered what to do. The dog would not let go and the mare would move no more. Finally I was able to dislodge him with a few well-placed "bonks" to the snout with my rasp.

I never told the owner of the incident, as he had always maintained that the dog was trained not to bother the horses.

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