Monday, August 23, 2010

Friends at Work: Farrier Jim Kline's Client List Hasn't Changed Much in 20 Years

Video courtesy of the Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal

I'm glad I watched this video. Now I have a new yardstick for judging change in the horse world. They say people are in and out of the horse business; Jim Kline says he hasn't been taking on any new customers for the past 20 years or so. There might be people hanging onto their horses just so they won't fall off his client list.

Does that sound like a successful horseshoer to you? I think it should.

Jim lives in a nice part of the world, the Hudson River valley, a few hours north of New York City. His territory would be the magnificent hunt country and Thoroughbred farms of Millbrook and Rhinebeck, rolling into the Litchfield hills of Connecticut.

I don't know what you will get out of this video; it's a little snapshot of  a few minutes spent with one of New York state's senior farriers, but he offered a lot of food for thought for me.

"Thought" is a word that is easy to connect with Jim, because he thinks a lot and I always stop and listen when he speaks because I know he's been pondering things. If you ever have the chance to meet him, you'll be glad you did. You can ask him about almost anything and you're sure to get an answer back that will turn around and put you to the test, whether you ask Jim about Thoroughbred feet or what's for lunch.

This video accompanies a feature article about Jim that was in the Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal today, along with a beautiful photo of him. Sometimes I cringe when I see these articles and wonder if the journalist knew just who he or she was interviewing but this piece is great--Jim just talked about what it's like to be a farrier in one of the best places in the world to be one. And the reporter had the good sense to just write down what he said.

Watch the video, read the Poughkeepsie Journal article, and get to know Jim Kline.

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to
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