Bailey Campbell’s Journey Through The Heartland

Bailey Campbell hasn’t really been given a nickname that has stuck. It just does not always happen to everyone since some parents do get their kids’ name right. Bailey is an 18-year-old from East Rochester, Ohio that actually had to miss a day to go home for his high-school graduation at the end of week three. Now week three of this course saw a Wednesday with 44 horses and the class of 17 did right around 155 head this week. On Thursday afternoon, Bailey headed back to Ohio. To be young again... I would have had to have three naps before I had made it half way, but Bailey worked until the last minute that he could before leaving. He did not really want to go back for the short walk, but I am glad he did. Definitely something that marks a passage into the next stage of life. Bailey had made arrangements to leave before high school was over and get to the Heartland early enough to overlap high school with horseshoeing school, which is a testament to his drive to learn this craft.

Bailey has spent his young life trying to follow in the steps of his grandfather in the Harness Racing industry. He has a passion for training and driving harness horses like his grandfather, and becoming a great farrier is just going to help him get the best shoeing for his horses that they can have. When you are passionate about anything, learning another aspect that has an impact on your passion is great. Like the painter that learns to mix pigment into his own paint and the chef that raises a garden on the side. The most successful horse enthusiasts are backed up by the best horseshoeing, and if you are the one that can do your own shoeing, it is just that much better. I’ll be interested to see if farriery takes first place in the rank as a passion once Bailey starts doing it for a living.

When you look at Bailey, you see a serious young man that is intensely trying to learn this trade. Then you get him to smile and he looks like a youngster that is having the time of his life. It is quite a change, and I did not expect him to be my go-to-guy for the joke of the day. He always has one when needed, so he was missed on Friday when we went without posting a joke of the day.

Before coming to Heartland Horseshoeing School, Bailey has worked a lot of odd jobs. From farm work to servicing welders and natural-gas engines, he has kept busy. He had done some trimming on horses before coming to school for friends and family, and that made him realize just how much he wanted to learn about being a farrier. His main goal is to become a competent and respected farrier that is running his own business. Years from now he will be in a position to help the next young farrier learn and become a farrier like he is doing.

My favorite quote from his blog interview was when asked why he chose to come to HHS. Bailey said, “You have to learn from the best to be the best.” He is certainly working hard to become the best, and I look forward to seeing that happen.

Bailey shoeing one of my horses

See, he can smile and it is a great one.

This is the serious face I wrote about that he wears most of the time

Finishing a foot

Early days in the forge

Cody and Bailey discussing some forging

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