Courtney Bianco, better known as Stud Muffin, is next in line for introduction. Stud Muffin is one extremely tough and determined young lady that continues to surprise and impress us. She got her name because she has a couple of dermal-anchor studs in her lower back that show when she is bent over shoeing. I think those probably hurt pretty bad when they are new, but as I mentioned, this is one tough gal.
There have been a few instances where I have been a bit worried about Stud Muffin getting hurt because she continues to charge forward even when the horse is bad and her blood is flowing. She doesn’t even pause or look for sympathy. I have seen her fall while working under a bad horse and then grab the leg on her way up instead of looking for a way out. It is even more surprising because she doesn’t look like a girl that would have that toughness. (Or dermal-anchors for that matter.) I quite like seeing the different dimensions and layers that make up a person when they are not what you expect. Especially when those layers reveal stuff like grit and drive.
Stud Muffin is from L’Anse, Michigan, so the cold months we’ve been having are not a problem. Since she is in the Journeyman Farrier Course, we will eventually see if the heat bothers her. She didn’t grow up in a farrier family, but there are some family members with horses. However, none of them had the horse bug as bad as she and her twin sister. For Courtney, show jumping is her Olympic dream. For her twin, it is all about rodeo and barrel racing.
The greatest majority of students that we get at Heartland Horseshoeing School are here because a farrier sent them. We get a lot of students with farrier parents or farrier uncles, etc. However, Stud Muffin found us purely through internet research. I have always maintained that the folks that belong here end up here, and Courtney proves the point. Heartland Horseshoeing School is not the right school for everyone. Farriery is a hard job to do well, so success is more likely for those that go to a hard school. Farriers that send us students know this well, so we get people who know what they are getting into. When someone just finds us on the internet, they can sometimes be surprised and not tough enough for this school. Not a problem for Stud Muffin.
For Courtney, her love of the horse in general led her to pursue the farrier’s craft. She loves doing anything and everything with horses, being outdoors and being with her friends and family. Becoming a farrier will allow her the freedom to do the things that she wants as well as make life better for the horses she gets to work on.
Heartland Horseshoeing School has also held another experience for Stud Muffin. She has met her first official boyfriend while here. So far, that does not seem to be interfering with her schoolwork, so we will see if there is another successful Heartland romance. Even though she did not come to school for her MRS degree, you cannot always control everything, and boyfriends are going to end up being where you meet them.
One of our super successful graduates, Shearer Wludyka, CJF, ASF, of Anderson, South Carolina has agreed to take Stud Muffin for the internship in July. That is going to be a great placement for both of them.