Kaylee Bennett, CF owner of KB Horseshoeing LLC, stumbled into farrier work after realizing that an office job after high school was not something she was passionate about. Guided by her own farrier, Bethany Polston, she was urged to attend horseshoeing school to receive a well-rounded and complete education in the craft. What started as an 8-week commitment at Heartland Horseshoeing School quickly doubled to 16 weeks once Kaylee realized she was exactly where she wanted to be. There she learned valuable skills needed to run her own business and develop her own style of shoeing. She explained, “It really opened up my eyes to the endless possibilities and methods to shoe a horse and to help them perform.” Kaylee explained that while in horseshoeing school, they all used Mustad products, and she continues to do so today. Her favorite shoes to use now are the St. Croix Forge Eventer and EZ Plus because “they are thicker and have a narrower toe. They are also very easy to box and safe due to the edges already being rounded.”
Kaylee began taking on her own clients after graduating in 2015 and went into business for herself full-time in 2018. She is most proud that she is certified with the American Farrier Association (AFA) and the Farrier International Testing System (FITS). Kaylee says that she has been fortunate in her career to have been mentored by successful male and female farriers. She shared that the hardest part of being a woman in this profession has been overcoming her own doubts about her strength and stamina. Farrier’s work is not for the faint of heart; it is extremely physical, exposes you to the elements, and requires working with an animal who has an obvious weight and strength advantage over you. Kaylee explained that she had to learn to push herself past mental "limiters" and let herself do hard work.
The discipline she has learned through horseshoeing over the years has also extended beyond her career and opened doors to a new hobby. Around the same time she started working for herself, she was introduced to the sport of practical shooting. Since then, she has competed in the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) and International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC). The sport has provided her and her fiancé the opportunity to travel internationally and teach others. Kaylee shares that the flexibility horseshoeing provides is a “godsend” and allows her to take her competition schedule as seriously as she does her shoeing business.
Between her thriving business and her competitive shooting schedule, Kaylee has her hands full. She shares that one of the benefits of being a female farrier is the comradery she’s experienced within the industry. She says, “I am so lucky to have an amazing support group of female farriers across the globe. I have had some of the most fun in my life hanging out with the ladies at the AFA convention. They are incredibly supportive, and you can ask them anything.”
In a profession made better by passing knowledge from mentor to student, it is integral for female farriers to support and inspire others to push past any limitations they may see and become the best they can, just as Kaylee has done.