– by Brian Crandall
Pat and Buck Buchannon moved to the Grand Valley in the early 1970s due to the demand for a show quality farrier of Arabian horses. Buck had been shoeing horses on the Front Range for ten years prior to the move to Grand Junction.
They settled in Grand Junction for good shortly after beginning his farrier services on the Western slope. Buck shod a wide variety of horses throughout his 50 plus years of farrier work. Many show quality Arabians, Quarter Horses, Paint, and Saddlebreds owed their soundness to Buck. Many of his clients’ horses had multiple national and world championships under their belts.
Word of mouth spread and Buck began training horses for some of his clients. At the same time, Pat began her hunter jumper career with the help of the Wynns of Kannah Creek. Pat began as a student and within a year she began to help with training and teaching mostly kids. Pat soon found herself involved with the 4H program.
This evolved into a full-time teacher for kids and adults. During the summer months Pat and Buck worked seven days a week from sun up to sun down. One summer Buck hired a cook to help at home because there was no time to cook.
While Pat focused on the teaching aspect, Buck continued to shoe and train. This evolved into a show career in the distance riding. Buck shod many of his competitions horses but this gave him the opportunity to study his horse feet with them at work. One year at the Arabian National Trail Competition at Powderhorn, Buck won a top ten award for best conditioned horse.
Fifty plus years later, Buck still shoes the occasional horse and operates a farrier supply store while Pat continues to teach and had developed as an artist of predominantly pastel animal prints along with custom jewelry. During their 50 plus years in the Grand Junction horse world, no matter what the task, their ethical standards were always of the utmost importance. That is evident by the amount of respect the two continue to receive by the horse community.