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Last year, American Farriers Journal celebrated its 35th anniversary. Over the years, we’ve seen impacts that have hurt those trying to enter the industry.
Most obvious among these has been the national economy of the last few years. The tough times of today have affected every industry, making it more difficult to launch and sustain a small business. Maybe this has made clients more difficult to come by or keep. Certainly, filling up your gas tank is not a rewarding financial moment.
But not every change we’ve witnessed is a negative. Today’s farrier is more concerned about being part of a community, rather than a solitary figure. A generation ago, it was unlikely for a farrier to eagerly help another. A new horseshoer was seen as competition, and information as guarded trade secrets.
Today, farriery is drastically different. Through clinics, local associations and networking, most farriers are willing to help their contemporaries. If you have a question, it isn’t hard to find another farrier who is willing to help you with an answer. And you have farriers willing to contribute to a publication like this annual guide.
As you leave school or enter into an apprenticeship, you are now part of this industry. With this comes that shared sense of community of today, rather than the isolation of yesterday. You must be as willing to help a fellow farrier who has a question you can answer, as you are to seek help.
And in this spirit…