In a rare change of pace this year, the next bio is from a male student. I write them in the order they come in, and the girls beat the boys when it comes to handing in their bios. This one is named Joe Richer, and I have taken to calling him GQ Joe. Since there are two Joes here this year, he often gets called American Joe, which actually fits him pretty well since he brings to mind the All-American young man that you would see in a poster from the 1940s. Same reason the name GQ Joe also fits pretty well. He looks like he could easily be a fitness or magazine model.
If you have been keeping up with these blogs about students, you know by now just what an incredible bunch of folks come through here. In fact, the blessing of our lives is that we get to spend time with some of the most amazing people around. We get to add to these dynamic people’s lives by teaching them to shoe horses, but even without that, every one of them is a remarkable person with a story to match.
GQ Joe is only 19, but he has done a tremendous amount of things prior to coming to Heartland Horseshoeing School. He grew up in the small town of Archbold, Ohio, on a family farm with 8 siblings in a Christian household. His dad also owns and runs a construction business, and his mom has a natural health store. Extended family introduced Joe to horses, and he fell in love with the species. Not a love shared by his folks, so he did not have his own horses. However, he did get access to every piece of information about horses that he could, as well as spend time with horses at every opportunity.
Through high school, Joe was involved in a ton of different activities. He was a captain on the football team, track athlete, FFA officer, as well as active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, choir, and a lot of church activities. He placed third in the FFA for advanced public speaking, received honors for choir, and was part of a Bible quiz team that placed 7th in the national tournament.
Hobbies were almost all outdoors. Hunting, fishing, leading a local trail ride, and spending time on the river. GQ Joe also likes to restore and work on antique cars and trucks.
For work he had a garden/orchard with a roadside stand, worked in a transmission shop, a body shop, and nighttime in an ice cream shop. He graduated a year early so that he could spend a year making money to come to Heartland Horseshoeing School. He got his CDL and drove a truck for a fertilizer/propane company, and also worked in his dad’s construction company. Being bored has never been a problem for GQ Joe.
At the age of 12, Joe decided he would be a part of the horse world as a farrier. He toured the Kentucky Horse Park where the farrier showed him around and told him about the incredible farrier trade. Thankfully for us, he also told him about Heartland Horseshoeing School, and Joe has been holding on to the dream of coming here ever since. Besides that recommendation, Joe did a lot of research into the best school for him. He contacted me one time many years ago about coming here, and I suggested he pray about it and if he were meant to come here, the Lord would make it happen. I am glad he took that advice.
As a Journeyman Farrier Course student, GQ Joe will be going on an internship. He is going to be on a fantastic trip for the month of July with our great friend Gregg Kremer, CJF, CPF, and his family in Nebraska. I am certain that this is another perfect internship placement.
There are two main reasons that Joe wants to be a farrier. First, he is passionate about horses and working with them. Secondly, he loves working and creating with his hands combined with hard physical work that is also mentally demanding. Put all this together, and there really isn’t anything in the world to compare with farriery.
Joe has some very specific goals. Earning a Heartland Horseshoeing School Journeyman Farrier Course graduate buckle is first amongst them, but he also wants to pursue his farrier certifications. Start a successful farrier business, and if it is the Lord’s will, start a family of his own. He Is thankful for everything his parent’s have taught him and their help in getting to the Heartland. But most of all, he is thankful for his Lord and Savior for directing his every path.