Everyone Has a Story: Farrier Chuck Potter works on 30 animals a - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Everyone Has a Story: Farrier Chuck Potter works on 30 animals a day

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When Chuck Potter shows up he means business. 

"Anything that has a hoof on it, it's the farrier's job to take care of," said Potter.

Typically it's horses, donkeys, and goats, but here at the Money Creek Buffalo Ranch, Chuck gets a little bit of everything.

Chuck says he doesn't have to study up on how to do certain animals, the ones he didn't learn about in school because the bone structure of animals is pretty much the same. It's the foot or pad on the foot that is different. The tools Chuck uses to trim hooves are pretty basic.

"This is the nippers. These are regular flat blades that we use for trimming the hoof walls. Then there is the rasp. It's just for filing the foot back into shape so taking flares off and the teeth are really sharp. You can see my gloves are all ripped up. I go through a pair of new gloves every week," said Potter.

Chuck lived quite the exciting life, serving 21 years in the military, many of those years as a Green Beret with the Special Forces and then as a bodyguard in Afghanistan. 

Working with animals is similar in that no two jobs are the same.

"The worst part of the job is summertime. Just the heat, humidity. The flies biting the animals. Wintertime I love because the body temperature of a horse is 101 degrees so when I'm up against them and it's 10 below I stay plenty warm," said Potter.

Being open to trying new things is a big part of why Chuck believes he found a job he loves.  If you ask him, he'll most likely tell you it's all about following your passion.

"With the jobs I've had throughout my life it's always been about helping people. In the military to now...now it's just moved on to animals," said Potter.

A few weeks ago Chuck was called to an animal rescue involving 14 horses with hooves that appear to have never been trimmed. It's stuff like this that Chuck says makes him mad.

"You have to take care of your animals," said Chuck.

Another thing that makes Chuck mad: People that spend their whole lives doing a job they don't like.

"You can do whatever you want to do. Your life can change. I went from the high school into the Army, switched jobs...got out and then did bodyguard work.  Now I'm a farrier. You can do whatever you want.  Just do your best and work hard," said Potter.

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