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Nearly 120 attendees gathered May 31 in Bromont, Quebec, for the American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF)/Canadian Association of Professional Farriers (CAPF) biannual Hoofcare Essentials Clinic. Held at the Maréchalerie Bromont supply shop, the day featured footcare lectures, presented in English and translated into French.
Farriers primarily came from Quebec, Ontario and the Northeast United States. Eleven members of the AAPF/CAPF board of directors as well as Executive Director Bryan Quinsey also attended.
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., shoer Jennifer Horn delivered the first presentation on what judges look for from forging contest competitors. Contests are insightful learning experiences for farriers. Horn says when you partake in competitions, you can dramatically accelerate your learning, even if you aren’t actually doing the forge work.
“The more receptors you engage, the more information you retain,” she says. “Even if you are only observing the event, watching how competitors build their shoes, prepare their tools or what they do to prepare for each class, you can benefit through your observations.
“I would build shoes at home, draw pictures of shoes I watched others build, and touch the shoes to see what they feel like. Engage your senses to understand what is happening.”
After giving the finer points that judges look for in competitors’ work, Horn provided advice she received from Niwot, Colo., shoer Jim Quick about evaluating work during competition.
“He said, ‘Pretend you are the judge, Jennifer,’” she recalls. “When I go to work every day, I use that score…