Rick Russo's Art of Horseshoeing

Professional Farrier

    I met Rick in 1998.  I owned a Dutch Warm Blood named Leon 70 “Leo”, who was a driving horse that competed in a pair at The World Championships at The HEG in 1993.  Leo retired from driving so I used him as a Dressage horse. Leo had to be tranquilized in order to put his hind shoes on.  Rick was at the barn working with another horse, but was watching what was going on with the Vet and Blacksmith trying to put a shoe on Leo.  Rick approached me later and said, “I can shoe that horse”, using round pen techniques.  The problem was we didn’t have a round pen.  So Rick put Leo on a lunge line using the same body language as if he were in a round pen started working with Leo, all of a sudden he stopped and faced Rick.  Rick rubbed Leo’s face, ran his hand over his back and down his leg and picked up his foot.  Rick called over, “Barb I need a hammer, nails and a shoe!”.  Rick tacked both shoes on in the middle of the field.  Leo stood calm as could be never made a wrong move.  After that Rick would shoe him anyplace without using drugs ever again.  Rick worked with Leo a few more times after that to resolve other issues.  In 2001 Leo went to a nice home.
    I bought a Quarter Horse “Barry”. He came with four different feet,  Rick changed the angles, rounded and balanced his feet. Rick has been shoeing Barry for ten years.
    I wish Rick  all the best in California.
    If you have horses you should have Rick shoeing them!
Barb Coe
Ocala, Fl.
  Hello.  My name is Ann Hexham and I live in Ocala, Florida.  I am writing this Letter of Recommendation for Rick Russo, who has just moved to your area, and he was our farrier for 8 1/2 years before moving to California.  I had been looking for a good farrier for my two pleasure horses when I saw Rick's ad in our newspaper, and I called him.  The rest is history!  He is a very personable young man who truly loves horses and will do the best job for you.  He is honest and reliable and knows his job!   I have a 23 year old gelding that I trail ride, barefoot, and Rick sure fixed him up.  He was in shoes when he first started doing our horses, and I probably paid hundreds to keep him in shoes over the years that he really didn't need.  He has been sound for years, barefoot,  and balanced , thanks to Rick and his knowledge. 
 We also have a 17 year old mare that we purchased last fall.  Little did we know she had foundered some years back and has chronic Laminitis.  Rick started working with her and before he moved, she had been perfectly sound for 4 1/2 months and I had started to ride her again, walking and trotting a little.  She was a happy horse and even ran and bucked a little at times.  It did our hearts good to see her move so well after being so lame that she hopped on three legs to turn around.  Rick took the time to come by and see her one last time before moving to California and to say his "goodbyes" to us.  We just love him and he is more than just a farrier--he is our friend!!
You can trust him with your horses.  He will take good care of them!
Ann Hexham
Ocala, FL 
  Rick was the best shoer I have used and I am pretty particular. He was with me.......for years...and the horses were always very well taken care of. Rick always shows and is ready to work.  I would happily recommend him, he is professional, friendly, knowledgable and willingly shares knowledge and would go out of his way to help anyone.  He also did some excellent carpentry around my place, and in the bathrooms consistent in all his work and high standards..which is why I kept him so long, and would still have him if he hadn't moved.
Chris Crowhurst,
Weirsdale, Florida
  I am writing this letter of recommendation for Rick Russo, my farrier of two years.  During that time I found him very professional , caring , very reasonable in cost, very knowledgable about thoroughbreds.  Also took time with my weanlings.  I would recommend him to people who really care about their horses health and feet.
Rick Kilburn
Kilburn Farms
    I had Rick as my Farrier for almost 2 years.  A friend of mine and I were looking for a new Farrier,  we walked out of Jersey Mike’s in Lady Lake Florida and there was his truck not knowing who he was we went into Moe’s and there he was. Talked for a few minutes and the rest was history. Rick would come to trim every 7 weeks always on time but the best was how great he was with the horses. One horse had foundered a couple of times and no Farrier we had could handle her until we met Rick, she has paddle feet and was a challenge. Rick asked for a towel and placed it under her back foot and was able to pick up the other one with no problem and she stood still for him. From that day forward he was our Farrier. I was devastated to hear he was moving to California! Offered Rick a place to stay and a vehicle to use if he would fly back and forth to trim our horses. Many people I know miss him. New Farrier is ok but Rick is missed.
Millie Powell
Weirsdale Fl
    I had the pleasure of dealing with Rick at my place of employment,
where we have a horse with very bad feet and 2 donkeys that were
purchased from a rescue farm.  The donkeys had been abused and beaten
and are very shy and skittish around people.  Rick was able to get the
horse on a path to having healthy feet and us NO VET BILLS each time
his feet were worked on.  He was able to take care of the donkeys feet
without sedation, which no one else ever had been able to do.   He has
a very gentle soothing way with animals.  He pets and talks to them in
a calming way that I feel reassures the animal he means them no harm.
He never seemed to be in a hurry to just get the job done and move on.  He always took his time and did what was best for all concerned.  I was very sorry to see him leave Florida.  California is fortunate to have him as anyone who gets the opportunity to work with him will see.
Billie Jo Scroggins
Ocala, Florida
Rick Russo came to me highly recommended by my neighbor.  One of my horses had conformation problems with his hooves and Rick was able to improve the conformation as well as the aesthetics of his hooves.   Rick shoed both of my quarter horses for over 5 years before moving to California.  He was professional, on-time and very caring with the horses.  Their feet were balanced and looked good. I would highly recommend his services.
Mary Jo Stockmaster
Ocala, FL
I had Rick Russo as a Farrier for several years, and for several horses. One that was a bit unruly when it came time for trimming.  But I am pleased to say that Rick was always firm , but patient and gentle with him.  Rick was always prompt with a smile on his face.  He always called in advance if he had to reschedule, and he always worked his schedule around if I had to reschedule.  I miss Rick.  I highly recommend him as your horse’s farrier and for other foot care.
Julie Avera
Ocala, FL
Christina Langer
When I was twelve years old, I bought my horse, Beau, and went through many farriers, looking for one that would treat Beau as I would. Eventually I found Rick. His work and manner showed he was knowledgeable in handling horses, and he earned my trust in caring for Beau. He has been my farrier for 8 years now, and I was found at a bit of a loss when he told me he was taking his business out to California because I was not only losing my farrier, but also a friend. I learned a lot from watching his work, and he influenced me to seek out my now blossoming career in equine dentistry. Good Luck in Cali Rick!
Let me start by saying that if you are looking for a Farrier and you are reading this, you don't have to look any further......Rick Russo is the BEST I have ever worked with in my 30 years with horses......I have 4 horses, 2 mini's and 2 full sized, the 2 big ones are rescues and had trouble with trust issues from past abuse, they took to Rick like they have known him forever, one of my mini's is a 9 month old stud colt that came to me with pretty much no handling whatsoever and had never had a professional trim, Rick was able to calm this baby within minutes and trimmed all 4 feet while allowing the lead rope to just hang on the ground, I was there and ready to hold the rope but he didn't need me, it was amazing....I know it's an overused term today and mostly undeserved but this man is truly a "Horse Whisperer"........As long as I own a horse, this is the ONLY Farrier that will touch my horses........
Laura Lambert
Escondido, Ca
Rick Russo is an amazing farrier. I just moved to Southern CA myself, and having moved to a new area, I was nervous about who to call. I had a previous farrier out who I was less that pleased with, so this made me even more apprehensive. I found Rick through the AFA website, did some research and found his website. I read the testimonials and was impressed by what I saw in the "Before and After" photos of his work. I called Rick and scheduled an appointment. He responded quickly, showed up on time, was professional and did a GREAT job. My gelding, who is an AQHA Hunter Under Saddle horse, is moving like a dream. Judges are very picky on these horse's movement and the shoeing has to be "just right" and Rick did a fantastic job! My gelding's feet were a mess and even after just one shoeing with Rick they are in super shape. Call Rick, your horses feet will thank you!
Kathy Schluer
Temecula, CA
Rick has been the most reliable farrier  we have ever used.  He does wonderful work . His patients with the horses ( and me) is awesome. Since he shows up every time he says he will, I say he is a keeper! Forget the rest Rick Russo is the BEST!  Thank you for taking such good care of my horses.  From Salina Nemish
 Rick is responsive, quick to return phone calls, texts or emails unlike the several days I was used to waiting with other farriers. He shows up for appointments and on time. He explains what he was doing and what he was hoping to achieve, always very willing to answer any questions I might have. Highly recommended and I don’t usually offer referrals.  Dean
My 8 yr old AQHA gelding has had an ever so slight club footing type growth pattern on his front right foot for over 4 years. I’ve been recommended shoes, gone through several farriers but to no availl he always had this slight limp due to the growth pattern. I gave Rick a shot and within 4 trims (no shoes) he already has this beautiful float to his walk and the limp is completely gone and he’s barefoot! We still have more work to do to complete the process, but just since Rick’s worked with him I have results. I’m sold and saving money. I’m so glad he moved to California and look forward to many years of business with him.
Patty Saglin & Tanner
Escondido, CA
If you are reading this, you have come across a great farrier. I was lucky to find Rick's ad about a year ago now when my stallion was really in need. The farrier I had been using hadn't returned calls or showed up to his scheduled apt 2x in a row. My horse was over do and we got hit with allot of rain. My poor guy threw an abscess over night. Tried my old farrier one last time and no reply. I searched and came across ricks ad. He was awesome from the start. Refused to make my stallion suffer in wait in pain. I called Rick in the morning and he was there by 5 that day to relieve my horse. His concern over my horses feet was real, he actually called and checked on his progress during the week. Rick has been caring for all my horses hooves since. And let me tell you , the work Rick does is amazing. I only wish I had taken before pictures to add to this note. My horse's move so much better now, are out of pain and discomfort from improper angles. Rick has been beyond a God send for my animals, and he will be for your horses also. He is patient and kind with horses, even when they are not at their best behavior. I feel he really takes pride in his work and cares for these great beasts we all love.  So if you are sick of having a farrier that doesn't care, do sent call , doesn't show or your sick of spending money and your horses are still off and move like crap, CALL  Rick . He will be there on time, he will return your calls and he will get your horse performing to its best ability.  Thank you so much Rick for all the hard work you have done for my 4 legged kids,,I mean that truly.
  Nikki Kracht in Ramona CA
I was fortunate to find Rick through an online search.  I have been sponsoring a rescued Thoroughbred and the poor horse desperately needed his feet done.  The regular Farrier who visits the rescue was incredibly unreliable, so I ventured out to find his replacement :)  Not only was Rick early to arrive, he was kind and patient with both me and my horse.
I am very new to the world of horse care and Rick was very good at answering all of my questions.  I had been concerned about the horse having water on the knee and after Rick had me trot him, he noticed that the horse was not sound in a leg I hadn't even been concerned about. SInce I had no idea what to do in that instance, Rick offered to follow me to a local tack shop where he picked out wraps, cotton and ointment. Rick instructed me on how to care for the damaged tendon and has been in contact with me ever since to check up on the horse's progress.  
Never in a million years would I have guessed that the Farrier I randomly picked out would be so dedicated to his work, his client and her horse.  I'm certain that all of Rick's clients would agree -he's a gem!
Kate Salmon
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
I am a barn Mom, love our horses, but they are my daughters love.  We moved here in March, 2012 and we were spoiled--had the same shoer for 10 years.  WE are blessed to have found Rick.  He looks at horses with respect, love and admiration, never losing sight they are still horses, with behaviors of a herd mentality.  With that in mind, our 'wild child' horse has never really adapted to being with humans.  The first time Rick worked with him, he was blowing, snorting, prancing around, ready to explode. 
Rick showed  my daughter how to work with him, gave her valuable training tips while he was trimming his feet.  Within 5 short weeks of showing my daughter how to work with him, how to help him overcome his fears, not only are his feet being cared for in the best possible way!, but his manners, his fears are being rethought, retrained.
Thank you Rick, for understanding the energy of horses, our horses in particular.  Our wild child is a different horse.  He has manners, my daughter is learning how to work with him, with confidence and his feet, well....perfect--almost.  Another trim or two Rick says and then they will be up to Rick's standard of excellent.  
I recommend Rick for any project you have regarding horses, his expertise, his energy, his love & respect of horses and people is amazing to watch.
With respect of an amazing talent and gift,
Lanette Higley
Del Mar CA  
I am writing to give my most enthusiastic recommendation for Rick for all your farrier needs. He conducts himself in a professional manner and is always punctual and thorough. When my horse needed him in an emergency, Rick did not hesitate. When I had only two days to get my horse sound before a camping trip, Rick made it happen. I can contact him any time, and he always answers promptly. He always puts genuine care in to his work, and is meticulous about checking the horse's gaits to insure that an improvement was made if there was any problem. Rick's encyclopedic knowledge of the equine foot, coupled with his unbelievably sharp eye and easy manner make him a first-class farrier. He is truly a credit to the best in his profession.
~Janel Poulos and "Angel" Bonsall CA
Having moved from Virginia to California I was most worried about getting my horse safely settled. There were many closer farriers, some working local, but no horse I saw had feet that made me go “wow”. With a history of hoof issues that ranged from thrown shoes, abscesses, shoeing of all four feet (I was told he had very bad hooves), to going lame after pulling all shoes to be barefoot (which led to Gel-Pads), it has been four years of trying to get a decent foot. I was spending thousands of dollars a year on supplements and farrier services that never seemed to improve the horse. I believe my search has ended, I found Rick Russo at the American Farrier Association and his background, history of working with a wide range of breeds and disciplines, and quality of education sold me. My biggest worry was trying to lure him all the way to Oceanside! The first trim and shoeing we discussed the hours spent each shoeing with a farrier beating at my horses feet, his being sore afterwards and sometimes lame, and the possibilities that my horses hooves could ever improve. The first shoeing was an education, the second has him moving better, and I cannot wait for Rick to come back. The trim in back is holding up, no more dishing out and breaking of the walls and the front has shown growth without splitting, and best of all he is relaxed with Rick. No more stamping, head tossing, waiting to hurt, my horse was falling asleep.
Thank you Rick for the patience with both the horse and the many questions of his owner, I am a huge believer that you get what you pay for in services and would Your money is well spent on the experience and professionalism of Rick Russo.
Michelle Wardman, Oceanside, Ca
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