by | Mar 15, 2024 | Horse Care, Community

Allan Voeller, a community legend. [Photo: Tisa Peek]

BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA  In the heart of North Dakota, resides a legendary figure in the world of horse shoeing: Allan Voeller, a Certified Journeyman Farrier (CFJ), whose expertise and dedication have left a lasting mark on the performance horse industry across the region. Renowned for his skillful craftsmanship and unwavering commitment to horses, he stands as a beacon of excellence in a profession that is often overlooked.

Voeller’s journey into the ‘world of farriers’ began like many others with a deep-rooted passion for horses and a desire to make a difference. In a conversation with Dakota Horse Magazine, he reflected on the challenges facing the trade, saying, “I would say it might be fair to say horseshoeing is slightly a dying breed. I mean, it’s a hard, dirty job, but it’s very misunderstood, very underestimated for the complexity that it actually entails.”

Custom shoes for equine athletes. [Photo: Tisa Peek]

The art of farrier work is not merely about nailing shoes onto hooves; it is a delicate balance of science and craftsmanship, with profound implications for equine performance. Voeller emphasized this point, stating, “Especially in the rodeo world, there’s a lack of understanding of the impact that horse shoeing can have on the performance of a horse.”

Throughout the span of his career, Voeller has earned a reputation for his meticulous attention to detail and his ability to optimize a horse’s movement through expert shoeing. He explained, “You can measure the performance of that horse. If they are breezed every day on the same track, farriers can tweak the shoeing until they optimize how that horse is moving and traveling.”

Voeller, a master at his craft. [Photo: Tisa Peek]

Voeller’s expertise extends beyond the walls of his workshop; he is also a dedicated mentor, sharing his knowledge and passion with aspiring farriers. Speaking about the certification process, Voeller highlighted the rigorous standards upheld by the American Farrier’s Association (AFA), noting, “There’s a competitive aspect to the AFA, but through the certification, you are required to do written testing and make your own bar shoe. Voeller has an entire wall of custom shoes and inventory he has handmade himself.

If these chaps could talk. [Photo: Tisa Peek]

Voeller’s commitment to performance horses is demonstrated in his approach to horse care. With a keen eye for detail and a profound understanding of equine biomechanics, he says he ensures that each horse receives the individualized attention it deserves.

Discussing the importance of proper hoof care, Voeller remarked, “Long feet, imbalanced feet, etc. can have an effect on what goes on throughout the rest of the horse’s body.  You know, it’s hard to explain what pressure and support and biomechanics can do for a horse.” Voeller has made it into his own art form, one that can only be seen on the countless hooves he has worked on.

Finishing touches. [Photo: Tisa Peek]

As Voeller continues to ply his trade, his impact on the performance horse industry remains profound. His dedication to the well-being of horses and his attention to detail serve as a testament to the enduring importance of the farrier’s craft.

A job well done. [Photo: Tisa Peek]

In the words of Dakota Horse Magazine, Voeller is truly a “master craftsman and mentor,” whose legacy will endure for generations to come.

For the full interview, stay tuned to Dakota Cowboy on BEK TV.


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