For 51 weeks out of the year, you do your part to promote the profession of farriery. You attend clinics, read professional publications such as American Farriers Journal and work with equine vets—all in an effort to be the best possible steward of the horse. And much of this time is without recognition—and sometimes without appreciation.
But for the other week of the year, American Farriers Journal sponsors National Farriers Week, a week to honor horseshoers who:
- Go above and beyond the call of duty.
- Look at the big picture as well as the smallest details.
- Are thoughtful toward clients.
- Take great pride in their work.
- Do what’s in the best interest of the horse.
Horseshoers like you.
American Farriers Journal Editor/Publisher Frank Lessiter says your special week is meant to recognize the critical role farriers play in keeping horses’ feet healthy.
During the week, our American Farriers Journal staff is encouraging farriers to re-examine the purpose and goals of their profession. We’re also recommending that farriers become involved in clinics and competitions, taking advantage of the many educational opportunities available today.
“When farriers improve their skills, it only means good things for the horse and a good reputation for the shoeing industry,” Lessiter says. “Farriers should continue to make every effort to educate themselves by tapping into resources like shoeing schools and attending clinics and conventions organized by local and national farrier associations.
“Farriers certainly have a lot to be proud of. They are working closely with equine veterinarians to define each other’s roles to provide the best care of horses and are active participants in trying to find cures and treatments for diseases like white line disease and preventing problems like founder and laminitis.
“During this week, farriers should give themselves a pat on the back for what they do and at the same time evaluate their efforts to make sure they are true to their profession’s aims.”
Learning Never Stops
Any veteran farrier will tell you no farrier will ever know all there is to know. However, how close they get to this goal is completely up to the individual. Those individuals who take the initiative to constantly improve themselves lead the profession. National Farriers Week is the perfect time to learn this valuable information from each other.
We’ve already mentioned clinics and competitions. But there are many other ways to gain more valuable shoeing knowledge. For some, it could mean going out for coffee with peers twice a week before the shoeing day begins to discuss new theories and methods. For others it could mean writing a personal shoeing mission statement. And for still others it could mean writing histories of different cases, surfing the Internet for ideas or calling up an International Horseshoeing Hall Of Famer to discuss different shoeing ideas.
No matter what your approach, the goal is the same. National Farriers Week isn’t only about saluting the honorable profession of farriery; it’s about acknowledging the importance of the continual education every farrier must have in order to achieve the goal of being the best steward of the horse.
The task of caring for horses’ feet is enormous. It requires perhaps more skill, knowledge, horsemanship and communication skills than any other profession.
“When horse owners and trainers consider how much truth there is to the saying, ‘No foot, no horse,’ they really begin to appreciate the value of a knowledgeable, professional farrier,” Lessiter says. “Farriers are critical to the horse’s well-being.”
And to salute your determination, encourage future educational opportunities and applaud your valiant efforts in the art of farriery, we thank you.
This week is for you.