A Wife's Point of View
Reprinted from the Indiana Farriers' Association Newsletter, IFA Quarter Clipsby Laura Davis
So pat me on the back - I married a horseshoer. Not just your ordinary farrier, either. He came with a tag on him that read "obsessive/complusive". But wouldn't you know - because he was always bent over, I never saw it.
At times it has been a real struggle for me. I have tried to be supportive on one hand and yet, on the other hand, wives have needs too! Like being a real family. Where the father shares in the responsibility of raising the children, the man of the house repairs broken fences, and the husband takes time to enjoy the company of his wife. Not too much to ask for, huh?
Instead, the phone became my worst enemy. Every time it rang, there was a needy customer at the other end and in the blink of an eye, my guy would be gone. Gone to save the world. It was so peculiar to me how everyone else's dilemma became ours.
Who knows what drives a person so hard? The search for an identity, one's ego, finances - or perhaps, insecurities. It seems like there's always a reason or excuse why one must work such long hours and shoe so many horses. I'm sure it's flattering, too, when everyone wants you to shoe their horse. It's hard to say "no", no matter how full your books are. You convince yourself and others that you're climbing the ladder of life. The problem is the climb becomes all too consuming. Sooner or later, though, something is bound to happen.
A man cannot run forever. If it is not his mind that goes, it will be his body. And so it was for us. In 1993, after sixteen years of shoeing, my husband ruptured a disk in his back. Although it was devastating, it was a blessing in disguise, as well. He had no choice now but to slow down, take a step back, and re-evaluate what was truly important in his life.
It also takes something like this to make you realize that there are very few loyalties out there - a lot of nice people, but only a small amount with true loyalty. Nobody is going to take care of you and your family if you don't. Your old customers will quickly become somebody else's new customers. Their lives will go on and their horses will get shod and you will soon be forgotten. Sorry, boys, but you no longer fill a need.
So guys, listen carefully to this message. Pull the ole' horseshoeing rig into your driveway before the day is totally over. I promise you the horses will still be there tomorrow. Go to your son's baseball game. Take your daughter to her 4-H event. Take your wife on a romantic weekend trip. You might discover a part of yourself you never knew before - and you might even like it.
I have also received an interesting comment from D'Juana Stapleton - a Farrier's Wife. Here is what she has to say about our phone message pad.
I know you are a true farrier's wife. All of the messages on the pad are exactly the truth. I have laughed thinking how many times I or the kids have said he is eating supper can I take a message, in fact we have said all of them and the customers have emergency horseshoeing problems regularly. I would have never believed some things we have heard if my husband was not a farrier.
You can find the phone message pad on our Business webpage.