Where are the two most peaceful places on Earth? For me, it’s a barbershop and wherever there is a farrier.
Whenever I go to a barbershop to get my hair cut or to a farrier to get my horses’ hooves trimmed, I am able to escape from the outside world and totally relax.
That’s all well and good, you might say. But some of you also might be asking, what the heck is a farrier? It’s a person who bends over all day, holds a horse’s hooves between his or her knees and trims their hooves and nails on metal shoes.
Why do horses wear shoes? They do it for the same reason that you and I do — to protect their feet.
Being a farrier is tough work. Despite that, there are two things working for your benefit: You are your own boss and you are in high demand, because farriers don’t grow on trees.
Plus, did you know that there are about 9.2 million horses in the U.S.? If you know anything about horses, you know that, when they get out of bed in the morning, they can’t just slip on their loafers. Someone has to do it for them.
Now, no one seems to know who was the first person to shoe a horse. But we do know that Romans were doing it in the first century and we know that Henry Burden of Troy, N.Y., patented the first horseshoe manufacturing machine in 1835 that made up to 60 horseshoes per hour.
I like taking my horses to Lee Hecker's in Dickinson to have their hoof trimming done. He was recommended to me by legendary North Dakota rodeo cowboy and horseman Rex Cook. And if Rex says Hecker is good, he’s good.
The added benefit of going to Hecker is that his shop is so pleasantly warm on a cold day, that I often glance over and see my horses wink at me and smile.
In addition, there are a couple of reclining chairs inside that you can plop down on, and I invariably find myself fighting off fast approaching slumber, so relaxed am I.
Then, there is also the conversation that Hecker initiates which, over the course of a couple of hours, covers most of this planet’s latest issues. It’s a great escape for a nominal fee and a nice bit of therapy. In fact, sometimes I wish my horse’s hooves would grow out a little faster so I could go there more frequently.
Then there is the Queen City Barbershop, also in Dickinson, where Jeremy not only cuts hair to your specifications, but works your neck and shoulder area over with a large vibrating massager to finish things off. After that, some of his customers have to be invited to leave, and do so with a glazed look in their eyes.
It reminds me of a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
In other words, peace doesn’t just come to you. You have to do something to obtain it. Like go see Lee or Jeremy.