Mike Gentile didn't set out to have a 40-year career with horses, but after a few random turn of events, it became his passion. Every day he drives around to the stables working with horses, all of which he knows by name and demeanor. It's a grind that's not easy, both physically and mentally, but if he has it his way, he'll be doing it for the rest of his life.
On what a day in his life is like:
"I feel every time I shoe a horse I have to prove myself because there's always either somebody's got a shoe off or a horse has a crack in the foot or this or that or oh geez, I forgot this horse is racing tonight. You know what I mean? They didn't know that the horse's shoes were worn out so there's no typical day.
The first thing I do is turn the coffee machine on. A typical day is just to work till you're done. To successfully fix a problem, that's pretty rewarding, but like I say, you can only be happy about that for a minute because the next day you go to work there's going to be another problem so you can't rest on your laurels. I've learned to accept that that's part of the business and embrace it. "
On why he works with horses:
"Yeah, well I was a city kid, but I always had a love for animals so I wanted to do something with maybe wildlife, pathologist or something like that. I went to college. I went to Niagara University for two years and I worked my way through, but when I got out there was a freeze on all the jobs. The economy was bad."
On the difficulties of his job:
"The most difficult part of my career, believe it or not, wasn't learning and doing the job right, it was trying to get the right amount of clientele because horses come and go. If you ever heard the saying "what difference a day makes," you could have 12 horses for a trainer and all of a sudden something goes wrong and the next day you have none. I lose all that business, so it's tough because physically you can only do so many, especially if you want to try and do it in the right way."