My name is Jim Apple, and I am a 4th generation farrier and blacksmith. I started shoeing horses with my father and grandfather in 1980 at the age of 14.
In 1990 I graduated from the Kentucky Horseshoeing School at the age of 24, and at the age of 28 took my anvil and forge out of my truck and walked blindly into the world of barefoot horses.
I can tell you it was lonely in 1994 being the only barefoot farrier around.
I found out much later there was other people who believed the same as me. I had no clue who these people were, i had no internet, no computer and no cell phone!
I just had an idea....
I kept following my instincts and never looked back!
Hunter Apple is the 5th. generation of our family to take up hoof care as a profession. He received his first farrier apron at the age of 11 on his birthday in October and trimmed his first horse the next month. He has always been a sponge when it came to remembering things and was already ahead of the game when he put on his apron again, but he needed to get him a bigger pair....
Now at 6.3. he is taller than Me!
I grew up in middle Tennessee and travelled quite a bit working on different breeds and disciplines of horses; shoeing everything from backyard horses to hunter jumpers. But what I really liked was a lame horse to work on. I had my farrier rig full of shoes and if I didn't have what you or the vet needed I would just get out my anvil and forge and make it!
I worked on hundreds of foundered and navicular horses plus just about anything else you can imagine. I had moved to Connecticut and was working as a blacksmith at Old Sturbridge Village living history museum and, of all things, they had me shoeing their oxen. During this time I had my first two articles published, one on oxen as a historic draft animal and the other on how to make and apply oxen shoes....
How's that for a barefoot farrier story?
But there was a problem. I had 4 horses at four different barns. Three were foundered and one had been vet diagnosed with navicular disease. I did it all "by the book" and they just got worse. This was huge blow to my ego. I wasn't used to failure, and let me tell you I tried it all; eggbar shoes, heartbar shoes, pads and wedges, you get the picture?
Then in one swoop all the owners wanted to pull all the corrective and therapeutic shoes at about the same time. I advised against it and so did the vets. Surely the horses would all have to be put down if we did that.
I had an idea..... I had had some success with keeping horses sound WITHOUT shoes, crazy right? So I pulled the shoes (the vets were not happy) and I bet you know what happened. All four improved at a alarming rate. Maybe I was on to something, no one else was just trimming foundered and lame horses but I did, and they got better! That was in 1994 and I'm here to tell you I was the only one doing this it seemed and I was almost totally shunned by all the vets and other farriers. But like I said I was onto something....
I moved back to Tennessee and went to work, leaving my forge and anvil at home (after about a year, I thought I would eventually need it) and I worked full time as a Natural Hoof Care Specialist from 1994 till 2016 when I moved to Navarre Beach, Florida.
There are plenty of more stories that I have to tell about what I learned along the way so call and schedule me to come out and trim for you and I will share a few!
For what it's worth, the oxen were the last thing I put shoes on...
Donkeys, Ponies and Minis $60
Draft Horses and Mules $80
There is a "Your horse just bit me!" fee.
1st. strike $100
2nd. strike $200
3rd. strike $400 annnnnd you are out.
This is 100% non-negotiable.
** Overgrown feet are subject to extra fees**
Hoof wall Resection
$10 and up
$5 per shoe
Hoof Armor Application
$10.00 per foot
Hoof Casting per foot
$30 per foot and up.
Contact me about Glue-On Shoe pricing.
* CHECK THIS OUT BELLOW *
I offer to you $60 if I forget or don't show up for our scheduled appointment.
If you forget or cancel the scheduled appointment you owe me $60 Your time is worth money and so is mine.
Bring your calendar with you to all appointments, I will be scheduling your next trim in advance.
It is your responsibility to remember our appointments.
I do not call or send reminders.
Renegade Hoof Boots Dealer
I can trim, size and fit your horse for hoof boots on site.
Scoot Boots fitting specialist
Let me size your horse after trimming for a perfect fit!
Out of service area, emergency visits or other unscheduled circumstances will be subject to $1.00 per mile one way.
If your horses can stand still for the farrier, I can trim them.
If you have a horse that is unruly an additional fee may be charged
$1.00 per minutes after first 15 minutes.
Horses that cannot stand still for trimming will still be charged the full trim price.
Planning your visit
I always schedule in advance for your next trim date, so bring your calendar to the barn.
I know things can happen or come up at the last moment to all of us ( doctor appointments, car trouble, weather, etc.) that is out of our control, and I will always work with you on finding a solution that benefits both of us!
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Jim Apple and I share a common hobby (living history) so I've spent many hours with Jim driving to and from events. I've been a community college biology professor for over 30 years now. I've learned more PRACTICAL nutrition, anatomy and physiology from Jim during casual conversation than I ever learned in a college class. I use his knowledge every time I cover Equidae in class lectures.
Everyone told us that our old farrier was hands down the best in the area and we never questioned their knowledge. He said that 6 to 8 weeks between trims was perfect for horses, boy was he wrong!
we used to have cracks and flares, but no more. No more chipping and sore feet after trims. Plus Jim trims her with without a halter or lead rope!
If you think you farrier or trimmer is really good, I promise you Jim Apple is better!
Jim was our farrier here at Avalon Farms in Tennessee for many years. He did a great job and we were sorry to see him go. You are lucky if he's in your area.
I totally trust your judgment and you have became a good friend. You can get along with any horse and make beautiful hooves.
Happy for you that you went south to Florida, but wish you had come to Texas!
Jim Apple rocks! My horse Prophet loved him. Jim was so good to him and did such a wonderful job. Always dependable and caring for the horse.
I wish he never moved! I trim my own now since no one stacks up to the expertise and knowledge that Jim has and shared with me over the years
Mary Ann said....
Yes he is a fine trimmer for sure! I miss my buddy.. my TRIM BRO
Jim Apple's hoof and horse physiology knowledge is superior. He not only provides hoof trims, he also offers education. Listen to him!
His main concern is in the horse's best interest. Diet, environment, hoof maintenance and veterinary care.
Jim was always reliable and my horses loved him. Any equine would be lucky to have Jim be his/her, hoof trimmer!
I'm so very sad that you didn't come a little further south :( Been missing your expertise since I left Tennessee!!! Best hoof trimmer ever!!!
Jim Apple is the best ever hands down if you don't use him you're crazy. So mad at Fl. for stealing my farrier. If you want someone who researches and reads and is passionate about the physiology of not just the foot but the horse as a whole Jim is your man!!!
Jim kept my herd's feet healthy for about 12 years. Sad to see him move on to Florida, but just know he's the best farrier I have ever used.