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Traditionally, horseshoeing is thought of as a solitary calling. The stereotype of the crusty farrier who arrives in his truck, quickly and efficiently shoes the horse and leaves with little more than a muttered “Hello” and “Goodbye” — is one that persists in the minds of many people.
Farriers do tend to be an independent lot. They’re drawn to the trade, in part, by a desire to be their own boss and revel in mastering an art that seems equal parts of anachronism and alchemy.
But while that stereotype may still have some validity, there are more and more farriers who don’t fit into it. These farriers still enjoy their independence and take pride in their craftsmanship, but also see benefits in teamwork and working together — for themselves as well as horses.
We have some good examples in this issue. In “Shattered Dreams,” beginning on Page 13, Editor/Publisher Frank Lessiter looks at the efforts of the staff at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center to save the limb, life and bloodline of Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winning colt whose Triple Crown dreams ended when his leg shattered just seconds after the start of the Preakness.
It took a team of veterinarians, a hospital full of high-tech equipment, the latest therapeutic techniques, special shoeing from New Bolton Center farrier Rob Sigafoos and a huge commitment from owners Ray and Gretchen Jackson to salvage some hope for the injured colt. It’s an effort that, it is hoped, will…