Well here it is a week later and if I’m going to keep my word to you folks and my Web Master so I need to get another post started. I figure you might be a bit forgiving if I’m a little late but my Web Master is a different story. More about her later.
Like the title of my first Post, From Start to Finish, I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. In 1983 I was shoeing horses out of Molalla Oregon which is a small town just outside of Portland Oregon. I was working six days a week shoeing horses, trying to be a good single parent raising my son and daughter by myself, fixing up a five acre place that I had bought in 1982 so it could become a nice piece of horse property, and carrying on a relationship with a gal who was undoubtedly one of the most craziest ladies that I have ever met. My body was starting to fall apart from the work load and my brain was well on it’s way to having a major melt down from the stress of trying to keep everything on track by myself. I new I had to make a change in my life but I didn’t know what to do or how to go about doing it.
After Viet Nam and my short flying career and my life as a professional patient, I had made my living with horses, either on top of one or under one nailing on Iron. I was driving between customers one day going through a small town called Damascus and I just happened to notice a red building beside a house and it had a sign on the front that said Saddle Shop. I was in a hurry to get to my next customer and didn’t really give it much thought. I was always going as fast as I could because I had to finish all of my horses for the day and pick up the kids at the baby sitters by 5 o’clock or I would be in trouble with her. Then it was fixing supper, cleaning house, doing laundry, returning phone calls to book more horses to shoe and work on fences and the 45×60 foot two story all wood barn that I was building, call my crazy girl friend, get a shower and fall into bed by 11 o’clock so I could get up by six and start all over again. I knew that I had to do something different or I was going to come apart at the seams, but WHAT??
The only thing that I knew was horses and a little bit about the custom made equipment that I used on mine. I was grasping at anything that would get me out from underneath the horses that I had to crawl under six days a week. I guess if I was totally truthful, the horse owners were getting to me more than the horses were.
I really like nice people and well mannered horses but being a real loner at heart it was just becoming input overload for this old country boy. I’ve always been extremely lucky in my life, I’ve dodged more bullets than the average guy and I always seem to come out OK. As I look back on my life I probably was a bit more shaky on the mental side of survival than I was on the physical side. I learned how to put on a good front so everyone thought I was doing great. I probably still suffer from a lot of the same problems but now, like back then, I just put one foot in front or the other and life goes on.
I was laying in bed one morning before getting the kids up and I thought to myself, with all of the people that I know in the horse business around Portland, I wonder if I could learn to build horse equipment and become a saddle maker.