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In this issue, we celebrate the legacy of Hall of Fame farrier John Marino, who passed away in March 2019. As you can see in the article in this issue, he had a tremendous impact on the farriers who knew him. He had a lengthy horseshoeing career that took him from the East Coast to the Lone Star State.
There are many noteworthy things about Marino’s contributions to horseshoeing. He was an innovator of anvils, having launched the JHM line of anvils. However, it may be his legacy of building the farrier community that is most significant. Marino was part of the influential generation of farriers who helped change the mindset of the industry from viewing each other as adversaries to those who will help each other.
Don Gustafson of Palo Alto, Calif., was one of hundreds of farriers influenced by Marino and his philosophy of collaboration. Formerly of Texas, Gustafson had learned from Marino and was keenly aware of why Marino sought change. As Gustafson describes, farriery became a much more competitive field following the introduction of the automobile. And while the United States saw a gradual decline of the horse population starting in 1920, the decline accelerated from 1950 to 1960. In 1920, it is estimated that there were more than 25 million horses in the U.S. By 1960, that number plummeted to just above 3 million — which had been 7.6 million just 10 years prior.
The decimation of the horse population…