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Michigan Farrier Shares His Tips for a Successful 45-Year Career

Reliance on the basics of farriery and sound business practices promotes favorable outcomes

Farrier Takeaways

  • When transferring your hoof-care practice to a new farrier, it’s important to communicate with your clients and work with your successor to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Farriers learn hoof care by gaining an education at a school and through mentors. Yet, it’s a business and it should be operated as such. Take business classes to improve your chances of success.
  • Reliance on the basics of farriery — balancing the foot to get it under the horse so it can move properly and tacking on a regular shoe — will benefit the horse and keep it sound far more than gimmicks.

Forty-five years is an extensive period to invest one’s time in anything, whether it’s publishing a hoof-care magazine or shoeing horses. For the latter, it’s a nice long career. And for one farrier, the time has come to wind it down.

Brown City, Mich., farrier Paul Melcher started his shoeing practice the same year that Hall of Fame shoer Henry Heymering published the very first 8-page issue of American Farriers Journal — 1975. Over the course of 45 years, an individual amasses a great deal of knowledge and experience that is particularly valuable to those who follow. Jonathan Monroe has been benefitting from Melcher’s expertise for the past 2 years. Now, Melcher’s farriery practice is being transitioned to Monroe’s care.

American Farriers Journal caught up with Melcher to discuss the transition toward retirement, his greatest lessons and how the industry has changed after nearly a half-century.

AFJ: Let’s

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