Dakota Bayless, aka Little Cody or PeeWee.
This kid is only 14 years old, but he actually has more experience in horses and horseshoeing than a lot of older people. He has been hanging around every chance he has had. Being from Lockwood, MO, and part of a horsey family really helps. When you watch him forge and swing a hammer, it is obvious that he has a lot of experience behind the anvil. While he has been under horses pulling shoes and doing a bit of knife work for quite a while, the actual trimming, shaping and nailing has been what he has had to concentrate on here lately.
Little Cody was a great steer rider back in the day, and he saved enough money from that to buy a used riding mower for $125. The mower allowed him to start a mowing business and pretty soon he was able to buy a Lincoln welder. With the welder he was able to start another business and he is now the proprietor of DB Blacksmith Shop and DB Lawn Service. Remember, this kid is only 14. Through family support, saving money and working hard, he was able to raise the tuition and attend HHS as a student. This will lead to DB Farrier Services. I have no doubt that he will someday need several corporations and a personal assistant.
I still remember well, (having video helps), when the hammer came off the end of the shaft and landed on the back of his head. It had to hurt immensely, but you wouldn’t know it from the video. If you have a chance, look back through the website or YouTube channel and find the Farrier Blacksmith video from several years ago. If I can figure out how to attach it to this blog, you can click on the link. Being tough is a great trait for steer-rider and a farrier. Video link: https://youtu.be/Gmiugl7oLbk
Ever since I have known this kid, he has always been a first class helper. If you are shoeing a horse, he will sweep the barn without being asked. If you dig a hole, he is the first one there with another shovel. It is that kind of attitude that ends up making great farriers, so I have big hopes for this one.
When he was younger, it was about impossible for the older students to get the better of him. I have to admit that he is as ornery as Cody used to be when he was a kid, so there is always a bit of mischief about when Dakota is around. This has been kind of a hard thing for him to change as he has had to bear down and focus on becoming a farrier. Being super-social as well as ornery are a fun combination, but it can also get in the way of learning at times.
This school is hard for college graduates with years of school behind them. I can only imagine how daunting it must be for a youngster that has to make the same standards as an adult. In the forge, he is shining bright. In the book, he did get a passing score on the first anatomy exam. Under horses, we are still rooting for him doing final horses and we still have another written exam coming up. We will see how it goes, but if you have a spare moment to pray for him, I am sure he would appreciate it. There are only a few days left of his class, so the next week is going to be a big one for Little Cody.
Someday several decades from now there will be a legendary successful old farrier telling stories that the others don’t really believe. He will talk about starting out super young and how hard it was “back in the day”. About the other students in farrier school with him, and how the sun was hotter, the horses meaner and the wind colder. Those stories are going to amazing and true when they are being told by Dakota, who used to be called Little Cody, “back in the day”.