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Luke Simpson, Farrier
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer

   Luke Simpson, is a farrier, and for those readers who don’t know what that is, it’s someone who is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses’ hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves, if necessary. A farrier combines some blacksmith’s skills (fabricating, adapting, and adjusting metal shoes) with some veterinarian’s skills (knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the lower limb) to care for horses’ feet. And Luke has been doing this for 22 years.

    How often do horses need their hooves worked on?  Every 6-8 weeks a horse will need attention, just like the length of time for people’s fingernails to grow out appreciably. Luke moved here from the Tri-Cities area in Eastern Washington just over two months ago, having grown up on a cattle ranch in Pendleton, where his family has ranched for seven generations. 

    Right now Luke is working hard to build up a client list. He’s on the job five days a weeLukLuk, and his hours depend on what works for his clients. “Some people want me to start early if it’s hot out and they want to beat the heat, and then in the winter I start later in the day.  It really just depends on the weather.”

Luke Simpson and Coleton, one of his four boys.

   Luke has to be flexible in his working life, and when I asked him how his family handles that, he replied, “They’re used to it. My wife is very busy, being the manager for two banks in Coos Bay and Coquille, and we have four boys, aged 8 to 17.  They’ve been around horses all their lives.  My wife does barrel racing, and she comes from a longtime ranching family, too.  She’s the one that keeps me organized!”

    When I asked Luke how his Shopper classified ads have been working, he replied, “I’ve gotten quite a few calls from my Shopper ads, and I’ve been advertising for about two months, just a little longer than I’ve been here.”

    How dangerous is working with a wide range of different horses for a living? “I’ve been kicked, I’ve been drug, I’ve been bitten.  I was kicked twice just this morning. It’s part of the job.”

        Luke stated that he is a Certified Journeyman Farrier with the American Farrier Association, “but 90% of being a good horse shoer is experience,” he said.  “There are a lot of farriers out there that aren’t certified, but they’re still really good at what they do.”

    If you’re a horse owner looking for an experienced and knowledgeable farrier, give Luke Simpson a call at 541-290-6662. He summed our interview up with, “It’s important that I keep myself healthy, because I plan to be doing this for a long time!”

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