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A few weeks ago I was under a horse (which by the way is when I do my best thinking) and was reflecting on my experience at the International Hoof Care Summit. A flurry of thoughts went through my mind as I scanned many of the great things that took place at the Summit. Before long my thoughts drifted to one particular facet of my experience there which leaves an impression on me each year; an aspect of the Summit which I feel compelled to pass along to others.
I have been a farrier for 30+ years and have been an active member of one or more farrier association for 27 years. Throughout these years I have seen many changes in this industry and have heard many stories of the birth of groups and associations prior to my entry in this great trade.
In the beginning, a few of our farrier forefathers worked extremely hard to start trade organizations for many reasons. Farriers have always been somewhat unique in a sense; independent, passionate, hardworking, creative, and self- motivated amongst other great traits. One purpose of organizing this group was to bring farriers together and to exchange ideas. Such organizations began to grow and knowledge was commonly shared of each individual’s thoughts, ideas, and experiences. Another reason for these early organizations was to periodically gather people with a common interest.
Since then there have been many changes and with change, as always, there are pains amongst many of the constituents involved…