10 Years of Change for a 35-Year Veteran

This Michigan farrier has made important changes in the way he handles both his life and footcare work over the past decade.

When American Farriers Journal celebrated its 25th year anniversary, Michigan farrier Paul Melcher was featured in the “Shoeing For A Living” article shown at right. What made this fitting was that Melcher had started his farrier career in 1975, the same year this magazine got its start.

For this 35th year anniversary issue, we revisited Melcher to see what changes he’s made in his life over the past decade. Not willing to simply stand still with his footcare business, he’s made several significant changes. These include where he lives, the type of horses he handles, accepting credit cards for payments, adjusting to the downturn in the Michigan economy and changing the mix of time devoted to shoeing work and church work.

Moved 85 Miles North

A decade ago, Melcher and his wife, Lynn, lived in Livonia, a suburb of 102,000 residents on the northwest side of Detroit. However, the couple was spending most weekends 85 miles northeast in the Deckerville area, where Lynn’s parents were living. Besides his work in the Detroit area, Melcher was shoeing a few horses on weekends in this area of Michigan’s thumb.

A few months after our visit, the Melchers moved to Deckerville to be closer to Lynn’s elderly parents. Since that time, he’s developed more shoeing work in the area while continuing to work several days a week with Detroit area clients.

“I drive down to the Livonia area to work on Monday and Tuesday of most weeks to handle some of the larger…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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