As many already celebrated, Saturday, June 18th was Father’s Day! We wanted to highlight a loving father-son duo—Rogelio Cano Hernandez and his son, Johnny Cano Alvarado.
In short, Rogelio owns his own farrier business, and his son, Johnny, is helping his dad out on summer break. Rogelio’s entire upbringing and life so far has been immersed in the horse industry.
“In my home country, I walked horses when I was kid,” Rogelio said. “Also, it’s what I’ve been doing since I lived in the US, working with horses. I don’t know how to do anything else!”
Rogelio has been in the US since 2000 working as a hot walker, a groom and much more at different tracks around the country. A little over three years ago, he was inspired to begin working as a farrier, shadowing and learning similar to to how his son is learning from him now.
He says it’s not easy work. He complained of a sore back. Also, the job requires quite a bit of networking.
“I have to find trainers that would trust me to work with their horses. They don’t let just anyone do this,” Rogelio said. “It’s a very difficult job, and anything could happen.”
Johnny just finished his freshman year at Lindsay Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky. However, Johnny has been working with horses since he was 16 years old. He grew up watching his mom work at Keeneland. In terms of helping his dad as a farrier he’s a newbie.
“The first thing is to learn how to change shoes, my dad is teaching me little by little,” Johnny said. “To learn well, that’s what they say. Slow and steady.”
Rogelio is thrilled that Johnny wanted to spend his summer vacation helping him out, and loves that Johnny enjoys working with horses.
“I’m very proud of him that I don’t have to force him to do it, it’s something he wants to do,” said Rogelio. “He’s a natural.”
As regards to the father-son relationship, Johnny admits that he never fights with his dad. “My dad’s helped me, guided me, supported me, taught me so much that a father teaches kids,” Johnny said. “He’s never scolded me in a bad way, always helping me understand what I need to do better.”
Johnny hopes to be an equine veterinarian once he finishes school, and is on the track to do so now. Rogelio is very proud.
“That would make me proud, because it’s something he wants to do,” Rogelio explained. “He’s really smart, and I know it’s something he can accomplish if he wants. He gets good grades in school.“
Johnny also mentioned how proud he is if his family and the sacrifices they’ve made.
“I’m also proud of my family,” Johnny said. “We’ve come from Guatemala, but we’ve all overcome that, they’ve done so much hard work to get us where we are now. That part makes me so happy to think about, that’s about it.”
Rogelio and Johnny are going to celebrate Father’s Day with family this weekend. We are so privileged to know Rogelio and Johnny at the Backside Learning Center!