A letter I thought you would like to read..

Greetings Friends,

Here is a letter I received from Mr. Billy Blackman a cowboy poet, author and farrier from Florida. I thought you might like to read it. Regards Smokie

Hey Smokie,

I finished up your book this morning around 5 am. I was up early to
 head up to the Florida-Alabama line to pick up a load of hay. Experts are
 saying, that because of the drought this summer, hay will be hard to
 find and harder to pay for by December. So I’m buying up ahead so our
 four horses will have something to chew on this winter.

I must say that your book should be a must-read for all who are
 thinking about buying a horse. You have hit the nail on the head, and on a few
 toes, I expect.

As a farrier, I keep about 400 horses trimmed, with a few coming and
 going all the time. Some of the new clients, and many of my established
 clients, would have saved themselves much grief, dents and money by
 following the advice in your book.

The farrier business is a little like some of your thoughts in your
 book: someone watches a video, or another farrier, and they decided they
 can do it too, decided without knowing the work involved, the dangers,
 the sore muscles and bruised toes.

I deal daily with horses of all breeds, disciplines, ages and
 dispositions. And yes, I’ve been kicked, bit, stomped and run over a few times.
 Thanks God no serious injuries. 

Back to your book....

As a writer I found your style quick and entertaining. Your information
 was on target and your timing was good.  I liked the length, too. And
 the ease of reading had me through it in three days, which is very fast
 for me.

And the message is one that needs to be preached from every sale barn
 in the country. The only problem is, how do you get this message out to
 folks while they are in the process of deciding to buy a horse and not
 after they have a mouth full of dirt or a hoof print on their back?
 That’s the big question.

We got into the horse business about 12 years ago when our little girl
 became interested. I had never been around horses before and didn’t
 know what to look for. We got lucky. Maverick, a mustang, 5-years old at
 the time, turned out to be the perfect horse for our child: well
 trained, soft eye, gentle...the list goes on.  He was also the patient horse I
 used to help me lean how to trim feet.  We have three other horses
 now: a Dash-For-Cash/Special Effort mare, a Hancock stallion and a grade
 filly.  All good horses.

I have had many professions in my 55 years: professional musician for
 15 years, newspaper editor for 18 years, award winning political (local)
 cartoonist, a worm counter, published writer, a logger, gospel bands
 driving people to the Lord and honky tonk bands driving people to drink,
 and other jobs sprinkled in (even once had a job digging to top off an
 occupied grave). A year ago I quit my air-conditioned, computer
 punching newspaper job and started my full-time adventure as a farrier. I
 have been trimming part-time for five years.

My sane friends ask my why? Most of them are non-horse people, so they
 don’t understand when I respond, “I’d rather be around horses than
 people,” or “I just got tired of the wanna be horses’ asses at the
 political meetings I covered as a reporter, and decided I’d rather be near some
 real horses’ asses.”

Anyway, I enjoyed your book, your message is one that needs to be heard
 and i will recommend it as required reading to anyone I meet who is
 thinking about buying a horse.

One other thing I found interesting in your book was when you talked
 about your wife going to a horsemanship clinic to help her overcome her
 fear of riding.  Well, believe it or not, I feel much safer being
 underneath a horse trimming his feet and on his back riding him.  I do ride
 Maverick some, but I, too, have this fear of riding. So, I will search
 out a horse clinic where maybe I can get some help with that fear as
 your wife did.

Let me know when you have another book out. I will buy it.  And if you
 ever come to North Florida, let me know.  I’ll do the same if I ever go
 up north (until I was 21, the fartherest point north I'd ever been was
 Dothan, Alabama, so I don't get up that way much...but you never can

Much success with your book and horse training


Billy Blackman
Havana, Florida

Thanks a bunch for the comments! Im glad you enjoyed it and good luck with your horses :) Smoke

About Smokie

Smokie Brannaman grew up on a 5000-acre horse and cattle ranch in Southwestern Montana. Working with horses, cattle and rodeoing as a professional trick roper was his way of life as a youngster. Upon graduating from high school, Smokie chose to serve his country in the United State Coast Guard. Although his military duties did not always allow much time to spend with his horses, he never the less, rode and trained horses of his own and others throughout his military career. Smokie retired in 2000 from the Coast Guard and worked as a Corporate Operations Manager for a security company. But he soon realized that his true enjoyment came from being around horses, training, riding and helping others with their horses. After working for 2 years as a stable manager for a large boarding stable, Smokie hired on at Ots Sunrise Farm to work with the young horses halter breaking, ground work and starting horses under saddle to progress to more advanced training. Smokie started his own business, Horseman’s Services Limited, llc in 2006 and now works full time as an educator of the horse and rider. Smokie utilizes the training methods of his brother Buck Brannaman, Jeff Griffith, and others, as well as his own techniques learned during a lifetime of working with horses. Smokie is a published author of two books about horses and their riders, Whisper This… Not to your horse, to yourself, and his newest book Equiknowlogy 101… and numerous horse training DVDs. Smokie lives in Greenleaf Wisconsin with his sweetie Vickie, and has three grown children, Kat, Travis and Jason. He raises and trains registered quarter horses of his own, which he uses as, Cavalry horses for his hobby, Civil War reenacting, and performing in Wild West Shows throughout the Midwest.
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