Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oklahoma Farrier, Victim of Trailer Theft, Boosted by Fellow Viet Nam Veterans

Please wait for the remote video clip to load.

Sometimes when bad things happen to good people, it brings out the best in other people.

That's the case for CJ Ward, the 64-year-old Oklahoma farrier who was devastated by the theft of his shoeing trailer from his front yard last month. It looked like his career was over, but then someone spotted his hammers for sale at a flea market, and was able to return them to him.

Mr Ward's loss was reported earlier on The Hoof Blog.

And now, as detailed in this news video, a Viet Nam Veterans group in Oklahoma has raised some money to help him buy the basics he will need to at least get back to trimming and some limited shoeing.

Polyflex SUV and horsegluing trailer outside Palm Beach Farrier Supply
One of the advantages of a trailer is that a farrier can use the truck or SUV that pulls it for other purposes. But what happens when it is unhitched? Many trailers, and their contents, are almost as valuable as the vehicles pulling them....and much harder to replace. Here's one seen at Palm Beach Farrier Supply last weekend. (Hoofcare and Lameness photo)
Mr. Ward, whose credentials include journeyman-status certification by the American Farrier's Association and is a tester for the Brotherhood of Working Farriers, had given up shoeing in the 1990s and only tooled up for a return to the trade a few years ago because, as he said in a BWFA interview, "I was shoeing horses in my sleep."

I checked in with two horseshoeing trailer agents recently on the subject of trailer thieves. The popularity of trailers means that this should be something that is carefully considered by anyone who invests in a trailer.

Farrier Esco Buff
Esco Buff
Esco Buff. a farrier in western New York, promotes Purdy-Built trailers. He commented, "Trailer thefts are common by thieves who think there are construction tools inside.  I once had mine stolen but caught the thieves. Hitch locks will prevent most thefts of trailers."

In Louisiana, farrier Dick Fanguy is agent for StoneWell Forge. His advice? "A trailer hitch lock in not that expensive and is well worth the investment.

Dick Fanguy (photo by April Raine)
Dick Fanguy
"Locks may be for honest people but they do slow down the bad boys. If they have to work too hard, perhaps they will move on and look for easier pickings."

He continued, "The worth of our equipment is not measured in just dollars. Without it, we cannot make a living. Buy a hitch lock or chain your trailer to a tree. It is too hard to make up lost work."

At a farrier event this weekend, I saw a parking lot full of shoeing trailers--with just a few in-truck rigs--outside Palm Beach Farrier Supply in Florida.

You can feel CJ Ward's pain in the news video. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to help him, and who make an effort to understand that when bad things happen to good people, you can turn the whole thing inside out with an offer to help or an expression of sympathy. It works, believe me.

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