Andy “Elmo” Salzmann is the student that is the next subject of this blog. Andy is originally from the Kansas City, MO., area, but has been a Floridian for the last several years. Like a lot of us, Andy doesn’t care for the cold that much. Not a great trait if you are going to live full time in Missouri, but not a problem for a Floridian.

Andy has had a ton of jobs and experiences in his 26 years before finding himself in the Heartland. From high school, he ended up doing 3 years of college in both KC and St. Louis. I would bet that academics were pretty easy for Andy based on how well he has done on the exams I have given him. He has worked in landscaping, irrigation and retail as his main income since leaving school. However, Andy had some demons that he had to face and vanquish. In fact, that is how he ended up in Florida where he went into recovery and got sober.

I have had a lot of friends through the years that have been down that road. In fact, I have had family that have been through it, and some that needed it and never got it. What I have found in almost every case is that these people are amazingly talented and gifted folks that just happen to fight addiction. Once they beat that, they can beat anything. Andy falls into this category and I think he is going to make a huge asset to our trade.

Andy came to school in a very non-traditional way. He does not have a horsey background, but he does have a belief in himself and a quiet confidence that made him believe that he could learn to do this trade. He read an article about Heartland Horseshoeing School is a Missouri Conservation Magazine, and since he hated working in retail, decided to pick up and move back to Missouri to go to school. It was a great decision on his part.

Andy hopes to use farriery as a means to travel and see the US. Knowing how to shoe horses certainly does open doors around the world since it is a skill that is needed almost everywhere. I don’t think Andy quite knew just how well farriery was going to fit him and his desire to see and experience some cool things in the world.

Putting down roots is not in his near future, and hopefully one day, his farrier skills will allow him enough money to acquire a sailboat and he can sail around the world. Some big adventures await this young man and we are proud to be a part of them.

First day seeing forging.

Getting seasoned as a farrier as his beard gets longer.

Working away

Checking level

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