Rodney and Natalie King left their home and horses in New Zealand for the exposure to lameness and hoofcare technology at Kentucky's Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Podiatry Clinic. From the sounds of it, Rodney will be bringing skills and experience that will make his trip mutually beneficial!
For many in the USA, a life’s dream would be to visit the sparkling green country of New Zealand. We’d buy horses or we’d go skiing, or we’d race a sailboat, or bungee-jump into a rainforest. For Americans who’ve been there, New Zealand always tops the list of places they’d like to escape to again…and not come back.
So why would anyone leave?
New Zealand is also one of the horsiest places on earth. There’s a racetrack in every town, the three-day event riders are major sports personalities, and a farrier can make a good living there.
But Rodney King thinks there’s more to see and do in his career as a farrier.
Last week, Rodney started his new job as a farrier at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. Rood and Riddle has a very successful “podiatry” clinic staffed by a talented team of vets and farriers and technicians…and loaded with cases and clients.
Rodney’s accent should puzzle the Kentuckians!
Rodney knows what he is getting into. He visited Rood and Riddle last year on a New Zealand Equine Research Foundation scholarship and, when a position became open, he applied for it.
Now Rodney and his wife Natalie are living in Lexington, and learning the American way of doing things. At Rood and Riddle, that means lots of aluminum glue-on shoes, lots of laminitis, and lots of long hours. In return, a farrier or vet has the chance of a lifetime to learn about the horse’s foot and be around some of the leading minds in the world of the hoof.
Rodney has already passed his AFA journeyman certification test and, in fact, was told that he had the highest written-portion score of the year.
Dr Scott Morrison, director of the clinic, said today that Rodney “fit right in and went right to work. He knows what the routine is,” he said.
Welcome to America, Rodney!