. If you are looking into this trade, you will be amazed at the incredible individuals that make up the farrier industry. If you are already in this trade, then you are one of those incredible individuals. I have been so blessed in my career to be exposed to farriers from every corner of the world, and I literally have friends in this trade on every continent but Antarctica (maybe Antarctica, I just don’t know). This leads up to the focus for this blog: Emilio Jose Gianotti.
Emilio is a 39 year-old veterinarian, trained in Argentina, but has been practicing as a farrier since he was 24. Here is his story. At the age of 11, Emilio started helping the local Army farrier in Argentina. He was always around horses and rode jumpers until he was 18. At the age of 14, he started nailing shoes on the horses that his family owned. He ended up going to vet school, but was focused on equine medicine, and particularly lameness. While he was in vet school, Emilio sold a horse with the intention of using that money to attend Heartland Horseshoeing School after vet school. Unfortunately, the Argentine government had a major change and many people lost all their money. Emilio was among them.
He finished school on a Wednesday and ended up meeting with Pedro Pechar, (1996 Heartland Horseshoeing School graduate and one of the fathers of farriery in Argentina) the following Monday. Pedro asked Emilio if he wanted to go to Chicago and shoe polo horses, and Emilio took the offer. So, without any formal farrier schooling, Emilio headed north to North America to start shoeing polo horses with one of Pedro’s contacts in Chicago.
Emilio shod horses in Chicago for many years, as well as having to go back to Argentina where he has another farrier business. Right now, he lives in Argentina and comes to the US on a regular schedule to take care of his remaining accounts in Chicago. After getting his CJF, he began to look for other ways to test himself in this industry. That led him to the Farrier’s International Testing System, (FITS), which is how Emilio ended up in the Heartland.
We offered a FITS exam in the summer of 2016, and Emilio finally made his trek to HHS. It is only 14 years later than he wanted to be here, but at least he made it. Taking the clinic prior to the exam and then making a couple valiant attempts, it was such an honor to work with him and watch his skills grow. He told me that Pedro once told him, “If you want to be a great farrier and are really serious about it, you have to go to the Heartland.” Of course that was awesome for us to hear coming from Pedro. Emilio is also playing a large role in the translation of Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery, although the guy in Colombia seems to be stalled out on that one.
Emilio has passed the CJF, the Therapeutic Endorsement, and all but the practical shoeing portion of the FITS Advanced Skills Farrier exam. Cody was an examiner in Brazil last year when he attempted the exam again, and he has another chance coming up at Five Star Horseshoeing School at the end of March. We are really rooting for Emilio since we have a FITS Exam in Argentina in June, and I want him to be helping with that exam, not taking it. No pressure mi amigo.
As I worked on this blog, I realize that I was very bad about taking photos of Emilio. Sorry my friend, but this blog is going to be a little light on the photos.
Emilio has been helping with the school this last week, and the students have found him to be an incredible asset. We will miss him as he moves on, but he claims he will be back many times as he continues his journey to whatever levels of the farrier industry he can test for. Like the many friends we have from so many different cultures, this craft we call farriery gives us something that is such a common passion that it overcomes any differences. Hasta luego amigo, vaya con Dios.