In 1975, Henry Heymering recognized a lack of interaction among farriers on a local level. Without communication and trust, many shoers guarded their information, fearful of giving someone else a competitive edge. Frustrated by this state, he decided to create a forum that would allow farriers to communicate on a national level. This ambition resulted in American Farriers Journal.
Much has changed since Heymering sent the original 800 copies of AFJ to graduates of the Oklahoma Farrier’s College. For one, the mistrust among farriers on the local level has mostly disappeared. Today, shoers freely communicate on local, national and international levels to help grow the industry and keep horses sound.
Local clinics are venues for camaraderie and sharing tips and ideas. Professional ethics and mutual respect are the norm. The days of a shoer stopping work when another arrives at a barn are distant memories.
Together, we’ve seen fads come and go, with some new ideas holding on as practical tools and techniques. And while new mousetraps may disappear, time-tested principles and theories of shoeing have never lost their value.
To celebrate our anniversary and the industry’s growth over the past 35 years, we’ve created a special section in this issue to help document the changing times. To help develop this, we asked our readers for their input. We received so many insightful comments that we couldn’t include them all in this issue.
In the coming section, you’ll find a timeline that marks several of the important…