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.

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