The fifth part of the cowboy code is “Be Tough But Be Fair.” Being tough but fair means you uphold standards without bias. This encompasses how you interact with family, friends, strangers, and those who might be outright rude to you.

To successfully be tough but fair, you have to live by a defined and articulated set of standards. For me, it’s simple: don’t mess with my family, friends, kids, or older people.

Being tough but fair means, you always speak up when you need to. If you do nothing in the face of injustice, you have picked the side of the oppressor. That’s not being tough or fair. It’s being weak and showing a lack of character.

Unfortunately, most of today’s world doesn’t give a damn about anyone other than themselves and their needs. It saddens me, knowing that being tough but fair means that it’s my way or the highway for some.

Treat everyone you come across the same (unless they mistreat you and you need to politely but firmly let them know their behaviour is unacceptable). Never argue in public. Be calm and professional but remain tough when you need to.

When you get into a shouting match with someone, people walking by don’t know who’s who. You both look crazy, and you don’t want to develop the reputation as a crazy yelling farrier.

This is easier said than done but treat yourself with the same standards and respect that you treat others. Avoid procrastination, work hard to get better every day, and take a ton of pride in your business.

Set working hours for yourself and stick to them, so your family knows when you will be home. You have to be unwavering in establishing a boundary between your work and your family.

Never pick work over family. That’s the quickest way to wake up one morning without a family. There will be times when you have to step out for an emergency, but if you don’t set clear boundaries from the beginning, you’ll constantly get pulled away.

Just my two cents. You can take ’em or leave ’em.