EQUINE HOOF CARE specialist Glade Rankin is a kind but no-nonsense man with an attitude of “just git it done, and git it done right.”
He hails from the other side of the Hood Canal Bridge in Kitsap County, venturing over to work on the hooves of the ponies, horses and mules taken in by Debra Pavlich-Boaz and her husband Tony Boaz at their home in Sequim.
“The only reason I come over here is because they used to live on the other side of the bridge,” said Rankin, who’s got a long history of working on their equines. “They’ve got enough of them here that makes it worth coming over. Plus it makes for a pleasant morning to visit with them.”
Rankin began his horseshoeing business in 1979, providing basic trims, along with hot or cold and corrective shoeing. He took a few breaks throughout the years to do other things like truck driving, but he always came back to do work with the animals he loves — horses.
As a young adult, he was a cowboy who liked competing in bull riding. When it came time to settle down and earn a living, he went to a community college that taught him the trade of horse shoeing.
“We don’t have programs like that at community colleges anymore,” Rankin said. “It’s a shame because we need more farriers.”
The good news is, there are still farrier schools scattered across the country. The nearest to us is Mission Farrier School in Snohomish.
The Pavlich-Boaz family moved to Sequim from a home on a hillside they lived on in Kitsap County for 38 years. After retiring — he as a mechanic from Washington State Ferries, and she a school teacher — they looked for a home with acreage that had all flat, usable land because it’s much easier to care for and house animals on flat land.
“We’ve got a really good setup here,” Pavlich-Boaz said.
She used to ride horses — even winning a silver belt buckle once — until a car accident that ended her riding days. Now, they have rescued animals, either from folks whose situations changed or adopted from rescue organizations who took in starving, neglected and abused animals confiscated by the county animal control officer.
“A good friend of mine volunteers at Center Valley,” Pavlich-Boaz said. “She asked if she could recommended us to Sarah [Penhallegon] to take in some birds because she knew we were already set up with large bird enclosures, and they had an urgent need to find homes for 45 birds.”
Penhallegon is the founder of Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene.
As soon as Sarah gave the green light, they drove over to Center Valley to pick the birds up, which included a flock of guineafowl. Taking the birds home — all of whom had been through health evaluations, given their shots and gone through quarantine — opened up space at the center for more birds needing rescue from the same home.
“Tony and Deb are really good people,” said Diane Royall, co-founder of the horse rescue operation OPEN. “And they are privately caring for the animals all on their own.”
She well knows the time and expense it takes to care for just one animal, let alone up to the nearly 100 the Pavlich-Boaz family has, the majority of which are birds or fowls. And that’s why the couple need to be careful when agreeing to take in an animal, lest caring for many animals becomes too overwhelming.
They moved to their home off Old Olympic Highway about five years ago, when the McDonald Creek bridge was closed and there was very little traffic on the road.
“We thought it was always going to be nice and quiet here,” she lamented.
Ever since the new bridge was completed in May 2018, traffic has been constantly zooming past their home at 50-plus mph. Worse are the frequent — and unwanted — strangers who stop by.
“People will pull in front of our gate in their cars and just push their horn, ‘honk-honk,’ for us to stop what we’re doing to come talk to them,” Pavlich-Boaz said.
The intrusions irritate her. In addition, the strangers who stop to pet or feed their animals anger her.
“Where I’m from, we’d never try to pet or feed other people’s animals! Then we get people stopping by all the time to ask if we want to take their old horses. I say, ‘No! Take care of your own animals in their old age!’”
Bottom line: They give their hearts and souls to animals in need but not intrusive strangers who do not respect their privacy.
On Saturday, April 23, is OPEN’s (Olympic Peninsula Equine Network & Horse Rescue) Spring Tack Sale and fundraiser. It runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A percentage of the day’s sales will go to help local high school equestrians traveling to compete at the WAHSET competitions, including the state finals in May at Moses Lake.
The tack sale includes saddles, bridles, halters, blankets, brushes, tank heaters and many other horse-related items.
Royall and OPEN co-founder Valerie Jackson’s interest in supporting WAHSET grew when they found out Sydney Hutton had already qualified for state finals after just two meets. They met Sydney in 2015 after her mother Jeana Hutton invited them to Sydney’s birthday party, informing them that, in lieu of presents, her daughter asked for donations to OPEN instead. It seemed the horse-loving gal had learned all about the work the organization does in rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming neglected and abused horses.
Fast forward to 2022, and Jackson spied an Olympic Peninsula Riders post from Jeana Hutton discussing how her daughter Sydney is the sole WAHSET team member in Port Angeles and is looking for sponsors to help cover traveling expenses. There are only three riders on the team this year, and the other two live in Chimacum.
Sydney qualified for state finals in jumping and, after the competition next week, she will learn if she’s qualified for more. In past years, the team’s been larger and teammates shared the traveling expenses in addition to working together on various fundraising projects.
Hutton said they are looking for sponsors and/or her daughter is willing to do barn work, exercise horses and house or barn sit to help earn the funds needed to attend the finals and then, hopefully, the regional.
You can meet Sydney and her mother April 23, when they’ll be helping out with the tack sale at OPEN’s barn at 251 Roupe Road, off Hooker Road, in Sequim.
For more information, visit OPEN’s Facebook page, go to www.olypen equinenet.org. To contact them, email the organization at adoptions@ olypenequinenet.org or call 360-207-1688.
Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Saturday of each month.
If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.