Volume 124, Number
Minnewaukan farrier covers large service area
BY ANN BAILEY
Grand Forks Herald
Hoof grasped firmly between his knees, Chad Hoffart deftly slices dead sole off the bottom, then grabs the nippers from his nearby toolbox and begins trimming the horse’s foot.
This is the 25th hoof he has held by mid-morning on this brisk November day. Hoffart expects the number to climb to 80 by nightfall. His daily record is double that number, set when he trimmed and shod 42 horses.
The number of horses’ feet he handles varies from day to day.
"It kind of depends on what I’m doing," Hoffart says. For example, shoeing, corrective shoeing and corrective trimming take longer than standard trimming.
Hoffart learned the basics of farrier work at Oklahoma Horseshoe-ing School in Purcell and has honed his skills during the six years he’s been on the job. He researches on the Internet and reads trade magazines and books to keep up on the latest corrective techniques.
"Horses’ feet are just like people’s; some walk crooked, some walk straight. What works on my feet might not work on the next person’s," Hoffart says. "Sometimes what works on one isn’t going to work on the next one."
Hoffart, a horseman himself, has an easy way with his clients — both the two-footed and four-footed ones.
When he isn’t doing farrier work — usually a five-days-a-week job — Hoffart enjoys team roping and pleasure riding competition in horse shows.
He and his girlfriend, Tammy Tollefson, have seven horses at their farm north of Minnewaukan.
Hoffart has met some of his clients through horse shows and rodeos.
For example, he is a familiar-figure at Jenny Marback’s rural Grand Forks barn, shoeing and trimming her half dozen horses every six to eight weeks.
As he moves around Hondo, Marback’s dappled gray quarter horse-Arabian cross, he talks to Marback about showing horses.
Though Hondo is a model client, standing quietly while Hoffart picks up and holds his hooves, other horses sometimes are not.
"You get stepped on, kicked, that kind of stuff; a few stitches here and there," Hoffart says.
Hoffart puts 40,000 miles a year on his vehicle — currently a dusty, blue van — traveling from his home near Minnewaukan to shoe and trim horses across eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.
His work takes him south as far as Barnesville, Minn. and north "a stone’s throw" from the Canadian border and east to Crookston, he says. He has several clients in the Grand Forks area.
Hoffart, 35, has been a farrier for six years. He worked for a mechanic for 10 years after graduating from Rugby High School in 1990 and attending Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, then worked on a cattle ranch in Arizona.
It was during his year at the ranch where he was responsible for taking care of the feet of the horses he rode, that Hoffart decided to become a farrier.
"It’s something I’d always wanted to do." Switching careers was the right choice, he says.
"I love my job. A lot of people can’t say that," he says. "Meeting all the people, all their different kinds of horses" makes the job worthwhile. "The different things people do with their horses is pretty interesting," Hoffart says.
Though most of his horse owner clients have day jobs, they are agreeable about arranging their schedules so they can be at home when Hoffart arrives.
Clients such as Marback appreciate Hoffart’s skills and dependability.
"Farrier work is something that needs to be done; can’t really say no," says Marback "They’re kind of hard to come by around here."
This article first appeared in the November 16, 2007 issue of Prairie Country, a supplement of the Grand Forks Herald and is reprinted with permission.
Chad Hoffart files a horse’s hoof in Jenny Marback’s barn near Grand Forks. He covers a wide area with his farrier work. The photo is by Shawna Widdel of the Grand Forks Herald.
Dave Mitbo of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. displays the 4×4 buck he killed with bow and arrow on the Jim Hofstrand farm north of the house in the pasture November 29. Mitbo and his father have been coming to this area and staying with Cathy and Allan Nord at Minnewaukan during hunting season for about four years.
New 1958 Ford on display
I enjoyed seeing the ad for the 1958 Ford in the December 5 issue of the Farmers Press. I am the third owner of a 1958 Custom 300 as pictured. I do not know where the car was purchased new but I do know its life after that. The first owner was Joe Schneider of Rugby. The car was later traded in at M.J. McGuire at Rugby. On Sept. 18, 1967 Harry Burns of Surrey purchased the car for $462.25 less his trade of $75 for a 1953 Chevrolet. In 1980 Harry gave me the car for mowing his lawn several times. I have owned the car since and have "frame off" restored it to as good or better than new condition. The car is displayed at the Rockin’ 50’s McDonalds in Bismarck.
I am the son of deceased Leeds natives Gordon and Patty (Burkhardsmeier) Owens.
3042 Deer Lodge Dr., Bismarck, ND 58504
Sixth place team in state
The 1942-43 BCATS Aggies Basketball Team which took sixth place in the state tournament is pictured. Left to right, back row, are Lester Christianson, Darrel (Mush) Thompson, Coach Thomasson, Howard Palmer, Clint Freeman and Bud Swanson. Front row: Gordon Smith, Wallace Aanderud, Kenny Simon, Lane Milde and Robert Lalum.
New minivan for Leeds area
Benson County Transportation received a 7 passenger wheelchair equipped minivan on November 29. Funds for this purchase were made available through the ND Department of Transportation, federal funds, North Dakota State Aid and local matching funds. The North Central Planning Council of Devils Lake coordinated the purchase of the vehicle. Driver Bruce Smeltzer of Leeds is shown with the minivan which will primarily serve the Leeds area.
November winners in the Oberon School’s Read! Read! Read! program are pictured. Left to right, back row, are Nakia Hill (6th), Emily Thumb (5th), Shirley Driver (2nd), Larissa Dunn (3nd), Cheyenne Whitetail (4th), Ryilee Littleghost (2nd), John Anchondo (3rd), Robert Cavanaugh (2nd) and Darica Deckert (4th). Middle row: Michaela Buckles (1st), Louie Black Lance (2nd), Alexis Driver (1st), Jacen Deckert (1st), Jore Thomas (1st), Donise Old Rock (2nd), Jade Old Rock (1st), Destanee Black (1st). Front row: Felix Black (K), Anthony DeMarce (K), Emilee Driver (K), Renee Cavanaugh (K) and Riah Littleghost (K).