Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Friends at Work: John Deans Is a Farrier in Maine

What makes a farrier tick? And what makes a farrier tick after 30 years on the job? Maybe it's those horses who hug you back. Maybe it's a walk on the beach with your truck dog in between barn calls. Maybe it's living in a beautiful place like Maine.

Or maybe it's just being comfortable in yourself and loving what you do every day.

I think that's what we have here.

I've known John Deans probably for as long as I've been around the hoof world. We've sat through some of the best and some of the worst lectures and clinics that the farrier associations and vet clinics in New England could organize.

Watching this video made me realize just how long that's been, and how we all get a little sentimental about our jobs when we settle in and realize we've been doing it for a very long time--because it's what we want to do and because we live where we want to live.

I have a feeling that many people could fit the template of this video, but with different landscapes behind them and different truck dogs. It's a fitting template for someone who fits right in in their environment, and is as comfortable with themselves as they are with the animals who share their days.

Technical note: If you're looking closely at what John's doing in this video, you might be confused if you're not from a snowy part of North America. He's applying what we call "snow shoes". They are standard-issue around here. It's hard to see the shoe, but the pad has a big bubble in the center that pops the snow out so that no snowballs form in the foot. The shoe might have borium (hardsurfacing) on it or tiny studs, both for traction, or John might have driven in a couple of tungsten-tipped nails that add traction.

Thanks to Emma Deans (left) for making this video. Emma is John's daughter; she recently graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington and is pursuing what will surely be an exciting career in multimedia journalism. 
You can learn more about Emma and her adventures at http://emmadeans.com/. Something tells me we'll be hearing more from her!

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