An Ever Evolving Industry

The past 40 years of farriery have witnessed important changes in the business practices of the trade

By American Farriers Journal Staff

Hoof care has undergone a multitude of changes ever since the ancients domesticated the horse and assumed its responsibility. However, the last 40 years are arguably one of the most significant periods in its growth than any other 4-decade span. This time witnessed dramatic changes in how farriers work with one another, and saw unrivaled technological advancements.

We asked several industry leaders and seasoned veterans about what they view as the most significant ways in which farriery is a different trade than it was in 1974.

Communication And Education: The Time Was Right

As an elementary student, Henry Heymering was bested in a game of tic-tac-toe. After school, he went home and played countless games against himself, figuring out every possible move. He never lost another game. That drive is similar to how he pursued farriery and understanding the equine foot.

“And that’s how I viewed the Journal,” he says. “I wanted it to be a resource of information that we can build on.”

Heymering says farriery was in the dark ages during the ’60s, with no interaction among shoers. He recalls a story in which two farriers set up in the opposite ends of a barn, never speaking to one another while working. When one collapsed, the other did not assist him, but instead informed the barn owner. The farriers of that area said enough was enough and the incident gave birth to one of the early state associations. A few years later, the…

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