Ross Smith is from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada and has been a farrier for 40 years. In March of 1988 he graduated from the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School and has been making a living shoeing horses ever since, travelling the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada.
Ross was fortunate to work with Bruce Langevin from Minneapolis/St. Paul area many years ago. He taught Ross a great deal about horseshoeing and how horses move, but the most important thing was that he needed "to learn to listen to the horse". A horse will "tell you everything you need to know about how to shoe him". How it moves, how it carries itself, the way it stands, the look in its eye are all the ways a horse will tell you, "I like what you did!". Bruce also taught him that if you make the horse happy, the owner will be happy, the trainer will be happy, then everybody will be happy.
Ross has always been an active seeker of knowledge. Horses and horseshoeing are his passions in life. He has tried many of the different horseshoeing techniques from barefoot shoeing, handmade shoes to bar shoes but has always found the simpler he could make his shoeing the better. His reputation as one of the best horseshoers in the area did not stop him from constantly striving to better himself. Listening to the horse has led him to where he is today and how he shoes horses. The invention of the Center of Balance Indicating Tool or COBIT is an extension of his "simpler is better" and "listening to the horse" philosophy of horseshoeing.
He reflects back to March 1988 when flying home from horseshoeing school in Oklahoma,"I thought to myself (I should) set a goal to raise the level of horseshoeing in the area where I live. I believe I accomplished that goal quite a few years ago. My next goal was to shoe or trim as many horses as I could, and to learn better ways to help them. Now that I am getting older, I cannot trim as many as I once did. My customers and friends are telling me that by sharing my Center of Balance Horseshoeing philosophy and the Center of Balance Indicating Tool (COBIT) I can help more horses than I ever have."