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When it comes to discussing change, Bill Miller calls on plenty of experience, having started shoeing as an apprentice in 1947. “In the past 63 years, I’ve seen many changes in our trade,” says the veteran shoer from Rochester, Wash.
“Back in the 1940s, the only trade publication was American Ironsmith and horseshoeing got very little ink in that magazine. Today, we have several magazines with tons of information that’s valuable in our everyday work.”
Miller says the same is true of the sharing of information that takes place in farrier certification, clinics, competitions and numerous other educational events. He no longer sees other the hoarding of “trade secrets” that was evident in the early years of his career.
Even so, Miller is convinced the most dramatic change he’s witnessed is the introduction of improved shoes and tools. He credits many of today’s great time-saving products with making horseshoeing much easier.
Pete Rosciglione of Defiance, Mo., sees the biggest positive change being on the technology side. “This includes all of the new hoof-care items, adhesives, shoes, power tools and so forth,” he says. “Years ago, people did not have all of these and it is to our advantage to use them.”
Abby Bloxsom of Waterbury, Conn., says innovation has been the key. “Clever ideas like new hoof infection treatments, hoof boots, hoof castings, pour-in pads and synthetic shoes all have their applications,” she says. “Few of these ideas work for every horse, but it’s great for the…