For the 13th consecutive year, American Farriers Journal is proud to sponsor National Farriers Week, July 10-16, 2011.

We’ve encouraged horse owners and all other members of the equine community to recognize the dedication and hard work that farriers display 365 days a year. We’ve asked them to acknowledge the important role that hoof-care professionals play in the health of their horses.

A Week Of Gratitude

It’s no accident that National Farriers Week occurs during the second week of July each year. This is often the busiest season for many farriers. We know that’s when your dedication and professionalism are most evident, but figure that it’s also the time you could most use a little recognition and reinforcement from your clients.

“Being a farrier goes far beyond normal hoof care,” says Frank Lessiter, editor and publisher of American Farriers Journal. “Through National Farriers Week, we want to remind the equine community — especially horse owners — that horseshoers do so much more than normal trimmings and shoeing, all while sacrificing their bodies and often in less than ideal circumstances.”

In anticipation of National Farriers Week, the AFJ staff has issued press releases to dozens of general horse publications to help everyone understand the many hats worn by horseshoers. Through these alerts, we tried to bring the farrier to the forefront of horse owners’ minds. We’ve encouraged them to share stories with us that we can post on our website as part of the celebration. We’ve also posted a certificate for National Farriers Week that horse owners can download and personalize for their farriers.

A Farrier’s To-Do List

Every year, we remind you to take some time for yourself during this week (and yes, we know it’s easy for us to say). Still, we’d like to suggest a few things every year. Even if you can’t manage them during National Farriers Week, maybe there will be an idea below that you do when things aren’t so busy:

  • Look up the clinics, seminars and meetings over the coming year. Plan ahead to attend several for socialization and furthering your hoof-care education.

  • Share a funny shoeing story from your past with one of your clients or a new apprentice. Laughter is uplifting and revitalizing, and the ability to laugh at yourself actually helps improve your image in the eyes of many people.

  • At the same time, pass on some of the horse-handling wisdom you’ve learned to a less experienced hand or a new horse owner who may be struggling.

  • Take some time to thank your own mentors, the farrier you apprenticed with, your favorite instructor at horseshoeing school or the farrier or veterinarian who took the time to help you out when you were just getting started.

  • Visit your doctor for a complete physical to target any health issues you may suffer from or to enact some preventive maintenance.

  • Find some time for family and friends. Sure, you do what you do for the good of the horse, but spending quality time with family and friends is good for you.

And Thanks From AFJ

We at American Farriers Journal would also like to express our appreciation and gratitude for all of you. Our staff members return from any interaction with the hoof-care community amazed at the quality of work, the depth of thought and the genuineness of farriers. It’s a pleasure for us to work and spend time with you, and we’re honored to promote another National Farriers Week.