There are some jobs in this world that take passion before all else. Jobs that require incredible amounts of knowledge, strength, and downright grit to get done. Being a farrier is one of those jobs. It is absolute backbreaking work with just enough danger to make me more than appreciative that someone else is the professional.
Ryan has been my farrier for the last two years, ever since we bought my daughter her pony. Kind hearted and quick witted, Ryan is always willing to teach and be taught.
Originally, Ryan grew up on a farm in Springboro Pennsylvania and grew up riding horses. His very first horse was named George who he owned from his childhood days in the early 90’s. George traveled with him to all of his stateside duty stations during his Army days until he passed in North Carolina back in 2005 .
Ryan is an Army veteran, having served from 1998-2005 and his last rank obtained was sergeant. His first military job was as a professional musician with the Army Band field. His primary instrument played was the electric bass/upright bass and secondary instrument was percussion. He was part of the 98th Army Silverwings Band at Ft. Rucker, Alabama from June of 1999 through January of 2001.
He fell in love with and married his wife in October 2000. From there he was put on orders for a hardship duty tour to Camp Red Cloud in South Korea, to be a part of the 2nd Infantry Band from January 2001 to March 2002. He then re-enlisted to reclass into Aviation as a Chinook Helicopter Technician ( Ch-47) in March of 2002 and came to Ft.Bragg, North Carolina in June 2002 to be a part of the Charlie Company 159th Aviation Regiment on Simmons Army Airfield. In August of 2003, he was attached to the 82nd Division All American Band at Ft.Bragg so they could go on tour to Iraq and Afghanistan and perform for the troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In June of 2004 he was sent back to Camp Humphries for another hardship duty tour in South Korea to be in Aviation again.
Ryan was honorably discharged from the Army in October 2005.
Prior to leaving the Army in 2005, he and his wife were always riding horses together. Their strong common bond of horses that they both had led them to giving riding lessons and going to horse shows in our free time, and this led them to establishing a family owned equine business from February of 2004 through October of 2008. With the help of his In-laws and father they offered boarding, training, lessons, sales, onsite horse shows and events and clinics. His wife went to Oklahoma to become certified in equine massage and chiropractic care and he started on his educational journey in to his passion of becoming a farrier around that time.
During that same time-frame he and his wife had the opportunity to work and associate with multiple different equestrian professionals and farms in the Southern Pines and Pinehurst area and further their own horsemanship skills. From 2009 to 2016 he and his wife had three other farms together that they lived on. Ryan worked on Ft. Bragg in government contracted security from September of 2008 through November of 2011 until he decided to go back to college to receive two applied science degrees in Aviation Systems Technology and Aviation Electronics Technology. He graduated in June of 2014 with intentions of working in the Aviation field again but life ironically pulled him in a different direction.
Ryan was offered a job to work for a friend who owned his own company as a sub contractor from June of 2014 until February of 2019, and he learned many lessons about running his own business from his boss. From the time he started learning and practicing the fundamental skills of being a farrier from 2005- 2019, it was always just a passion of his that he initially learned and enjoyed doing to help others if need arose.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2019 that he started having thoughts of becoming a full time farrier. He felt like this was truly the natural progression of where his life and direction was heading; everything just started to fall in place.
He met Martin Kenny in August of 2019 and with his fantastic mentorship, Martin has transformed Ryan from being just a part time weekend farrier with fundamental skills into a more competent, organized, systematic farrier that is more than capable to deal with many issues.
For many people, 2020 was a very difficult year but Ryan feels very blessed as it was a very successful, big year for him stepping in to being a full-time farrier. He has had many opportunities that he feels very fortunate to have received. All the years of being in the horse world finally felt to Ryan like things were falling in to place. With the continued guidance of his Mentor he’s moving in the right direction as he focuses on learning from his experience, knowledge, and techniques.
This past year he has been working diligently on a horse with an aggressive keratoma in her right hind that led to the resection of the entire front of her hoof all the way down to the bone. His skill and the owner’s dedication to her rehab were no doubt the major reasons why the mare is still here today.
I feel very fortunate to have Ryan as my farrier. His patience, skill, and ingenuity always shine through even on the toughest of cases.