Taking A Traditional Approach

The styles might change through the years, but the basics remain

When Grant Moon began shoeing horses in the late 1970s, farriery was a lot like the various dialects that dot the globe.

“When I first started, I did see very regional styles of shoeing,” the Welsh farrier recalled while speaking to attendees at the 2014 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio. “If I went to Holland, Germany, the States, even England, there were very regional styles.”

Things started to change, though. The world of farriery was opening up and information followed.

“Competitions and seminars were starting,” Moon says. “I met the American Farriers Team for the first time in about 1979 or 1980. I was inspired by some of the stuff I saw. There was something a little different happening in America.”

As information flowed, poor habits crept into farriery.

“We’ve all seen fashions come and go in the last 25 years,” says the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member. “I went through that stage of over using the hoof knife. Man, I would cut everything until it was sculpted, it was pretty and it was shiny. But, it wasn’t practical for the horse. So, I learned from my mistakes and I learned from other people.”

Respecting The Past

Through it all, the skill of transferring knowledge to the horse’s foot is rooted in the tradition of farriery.

“We hear the word innovation often today in science,” Moon says. “Is innovation something new? I don’t think so. You look back through the books and you can see styles of shoeing…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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