Forging Tips From The Heartland

Gregory family celebrates the 20th anniversary of the school’s opening

In the spring of 1995, Chris and Kelly Gregory took a chance.

Leaning on Chris’ talent as a farrier and in the fire, and Kelly’s business acumen, the couple started Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo.

“I had five students who lived in the upstairs bunkhouse, which was just barely that,” recalls the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Famer. “Below them was a dirt floor dairy barn.”

Twenty years later, that bunkhouse has been transformed into a 2-story dormitory with all the necessary amenities to house students from around the world as they earn their farriery education from one of the most respected schools in the country.

The Gregorys — along with their son Cody — celebrated the 20th anniversary of the opening of the school in late May with a clinic and contest, featuring Cody, Chris and Oklahoma farrier Dusty Franklin as clinicians. The trio drew upon their collective experiences to pass along forging tips to attendees during their demonstrations. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Out Of The Fire


Have a game plan for when you come out of the fire with your steel. Know where your tools are located and that they are ready to use.

You can limit distortion in your stock by holding it off the anvil while bumping.

Striking the shoe with straight blows improves your accuracy and helps you pull better clips.

Rasping at the vise will help you to learn how to control the tool better and improve your…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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