For a man who spent 60 years shoeing horses, Ed Schoening has a reassuring handshake.
If you think about it, if you’re going to handle a horse, a reassuring and almost gentle approach is probably a good thing.
“Sometimes, it’s just being firm at the time without being mean,” Schoening recalls in his book titled “Horse Sense.” “You do need to be firm, and it’s not a case of showing them who is boss either. It’s a case of you just trying to get along.”
Schoening will host a book signing from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday at EntertainMart.
He will be joined by the writer of the book, Beth Mader, who was encouraged to write Schoening’s stories down by her aunt and uncle, who marveled at the stories Schoening told.
Schoening spent much of his younger days working in Arizona, including his time in the late 1960s while he was in the U.S. Army, but he now calls Kerrville home.
He learned some of his skills in Texas, but his work has been wide-ranging.
“I’ve got 60 years of stories,” Schoening said.
The book is more than a biography, but an attempt to capture the stories of the horses he shod, which at times is the most fascinating part of the story.
Mader, a Schreiner University grad, spent years working on the book, learning the ins and outs of Schoening’s work.
Schoening’s daughter-in-law also helped with the editing of the book.
One of the most fascinating tales is how Schoening worked closely with veterinarians to ensure quality care for horses.
“I’ve had a couple of times when I’ve called the veterinarian wrong simply because I had seen the problem before,” he said. “But that was pretty rare, and it didn’t make me any smarter than they were; it’s just that I saw more often than they did.”