Andy and James Nelson shoeing.   June 25, 2006   Photo By Stuart Johnsonphoto by Stuart Johnson

by Andy Nelson

Yep, we are the guys, your mothers despise,
they do not care for what we are doing;
We just shoe horses, have no resources,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

With work tools in hand, we travel the land,
poor bare footed foals we are pursuing;
We have forge to go, smell like DMSO,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Either donk or steed, we got what you need,
we will shoe anything that ain’t mooing;
Our old spines are wrecked, we’re a bit red-necked,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

The shoers are twice, and so is the price,
and there is no sense sitting there stewing;
Want it done today, should have called (2 weeks ago) yesterday,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

The price tag expands, with certain demands,
and if Buttercup needs a shampooing;
We do not do fluff, neither wax nor buff,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Bad habits may abide, were we reside,
but neither of us indulge in chewing;
We may impart, with an occasional… belch,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Our bellies may sag, and our butts may drag,
but you will never hear us boo-hooing;
Fresh Krispy Kremes, dance in our dreams,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Then it’s Mountain Dew, for me and for you,
it’s them with deep pockets we are wooing;
Some show horses here and a race track near,
for the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Sweaty and dirty, never look purty,
a good batch of B.O. (body odor) we are brewing;
The smell we built, could make a flower wilt,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

I’ve so many scabs, on my arms and abs,
it looks like I received some tattooing;
Your horses are fine, this blood is all mine,
and from the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Proud to be farriers, not man-purse carriers,
we shoe horses for riding and not gluing;
We’re rugged and tough, we can’t get enough,
we’re the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

Now, if your horses kick, strike, bite or lick,
here’s some tips to avoid someone suing;
Just go to the mall and don’t even call,
the men of the Full Nelson Shoeing.

© Andy Nelson
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

Andy Nelson, poet, humorist, farrier, radio show host, rodeo announcer, emcee, and more is one of those talents who can make you double over with laughter one minute and draw a tear the next. His new book, Culling the Herd: Poems That Made the Cut, collects many of his best, from those on the edge of the pearl-clutching precipice of political correctness to those written in pious reflection.


Speaking of political correctness, the book’s hilarious Disclaimer sets the tone. There’s everything from soup to nuts, with an emphasis on the nuts (human, equine, canine, feline, bovine, and porcine). There are favorites corralled in chapters, such as “Harvey’s Moon,” in the “Nailing on the Shoes” chapter; “Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death” from “You’ve Been a Friend to Me”; “Hogzilla” from “I’m Not Sure I buy That”; “Last of the Luman Cattle” from “No Ordinary Life”; “Only a Cowboy Knows” from “Opposites Attract”; and “The Old Crockett Spurs” from “All in the Family.”

A selection of Christmas poems includes the popular “Santa Must be a Shoer.” There’s an unexpected group of poems in a chapter called “End of the Day,” spiritual poems, some that are tributes, all from the heart of this poet known as one of the nicest guys in the cowboy poetry world.

In the book’s foreword, Baxter Black comments, “He reminds me a little of Bruce Kiskaddon, simple yet articulate, prolific, smooth and most of all…they’re funny. Waddie Mitchell’s blurb states, “Andy Nelson is noted as one of the best on stage cowboy poet entertainers in the game today, and deservedly so. He’s likable, funny, witty, interesting, knowledgeable and writes great material.”

Top cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane provides an action-packed cover and illustrations throughout. There are also many fitting photos from a variety of photographers.


Andy Nelson hosts the weekly syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show with his brother Jim Nelson. Andy Nelson shared this picture of the duo, taken by award-winning Utah photographer Stuart Johnson.

Find Culling the Herd and more about Andy Nelson at his site, cowpokepoet.com.

(Request permission to share this poem and photo.)



by Andy Nelson

Two brothers sat on a porch just talking,
About the way it used to be;
They debated the good old days while rocking,
But they never seemed to agree.

Seems each of them recalled it differently,
From the way the other one did;
Many years had passed, and not very gently,
From the time that each was a kid.

Bro 1: “Do you remember the pond in the forty,
Where we would skinny dip all day;
Boy, those were the days when a kid was set free,
We’d just pass the hours away.”

Bro 2: “But don’t you remember the stinging nettle,
That adorned our favorite pool;
When you fell, it really tested your mettle,
You couldn’t even walk to school.”

Bro 1: “What about the clod fights in the garden spot,
We’d spend hours pelting each other;
Ah, those were the days that just cannot be bought,
Quality time with your brother.”

Bro 2: “Don’t you remember when I picked up a rock,
And chucked it instead of a clod;
It knocked you out cold and it left a nice pock,
And I swear you nearly saw God.”

Bro 1: “How about BB gun trips to the old dump,
We’d shoot up beer bottles and cans;
Now those were the days, we’d reload by the stump,
Gunfighting those old pots and pans.

Bro 2: “But don’t you remember that rusty old nail,
You stuck though the sole of your boot;
And the tetanus shots that made you turn pale,
Oh ya, that was really a hoot.”

Bro 1: “But you have to admit the hours we spent
horseback was the time of our lives;
Oh, those were the days, all the places we went,
Pretending to be on the drives.”

Bro 2: “Ya, but don’t you recall when that little paint,
Dusted you off under a tree;
You broke your arm in three places, and that ain’t
counting what he did to your knee.”

Bro 1: “Well, you make it sound like our childhood just sucked,
That nothing we did was of worth;
That all our dogs bit and every horse bucked,
And did since the day of our birth.”

Bro 2: “That’s not what I’m saying, don’t make it sound bad,
Our childhood went out in a blaze;
I enjoyed each and ev’ry wreck that you had,
I’m telling you, those were the days!”

© 2019, Andy Nelson
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without the author’s permission

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show. Listen to the current and past shows here.

This poem comes from his own life, and Andy comments, “We had the best childhood ever, the kind that everyone dreams of. It is a wonder that we made it to adulthood in one piece… but that doesn’t mean we grew up! One thing is for sure and for certain though, big brother Jim is not just my brother, he is my hero and my best friend.”

Andy Nelson’s most recent CD is Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death. Find more about it and an included poem in a brief review here. Andy is at work on a new collection of his poems, due out at the end of the year.

Andy keeps a busy schedule and one place he’s headed is Utah’s 25th annual Heber Valley Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering, October 23-27, 2019. The popular five-day event has 33 shows on 8 stages with additional attractions, exhibits, and vendors.

There he will join poets Waddie Mitchell, R.P. Smith, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Jeff Carson, Jake Riley, and Rolf Flake. Featured musicians are Diamond Rio, Michael Martin Murphey, Bar J Wranglers, Billy Dean, Andy Griggs, Rory Feek, John Wayne Schulz, Brenn Hill, Sourdough Slim, Carin Mari, Erica Hansen, High Country Cowboys, Molly in the Mineshaft, Many Strings, The Cowboy Way, Stacy Despain, Belinda Gail, Hank Cramer, Charley Jenkins Band, Carter Junction, Flyover Town, In Cahoots, and the Heber Valley Orchestra.


This year’s impressive poster for the Heber Valley Cowboy Music & Poetry Gathering is by Steve Devenyns.

Find Andy Nelson’s complete schedule and more at cowpokepoet.com.

Pictured: Andy and Jim Nelson.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for other uses, request permission.)

We’ll be on a break from September 6-20,
but there will be regularly scheduled posts.