Spotlight On Hoof Care: Clinic Stresses Forging And Modifying Shoes For Efficiency

English farrier Jon Atkinson walked attendees at the Well-Shod clinic in Amarillo, Texas, through his process for forging and modifying shoes


Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s the good farriers who learn from their mistakes ...


Sometimes, the key to learning to make a new kind of shoe is as simple as understanding the measurements.

Farrier and toolmaker Jon Atkinson of Ripon, England, stressed the basics at a 2-day clinic in Amarillo, Texas, hosted by Well-Shod in early January and emphasized to attendees not to over complicate their forging and shoeing work. He did a forging demonstration, discussed shoeing modifications and ended the clinic with a live shoeing demonstration.

“The most important part of learning to make a new shoe is practice,” he says. “When you’re practicing making shoes at the forge and you make a mistake, a lot of farriers tend to throw the piece of steel away and start all over. Even if you know that the shoe isn’t going to be useable or practical, it’s important to finish making each shoe. Work out your mistakes and learn from it, then throw it away when you’re finished. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s the good farriers who learn from their mistakes.”

Well-Shod owner John Harshbarger says the more than 50 farriers in attendance came from around the country to participate in Atkinson’s first clinic held in the United States.

“We like to hold clinics at Well-Shod to give back to our customers and build the education in our area,” Harshbarger says. “We sell a lot of Jon’s tools and they’ve become very popular, so it was exciting to have him come…

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Jaime Elftman

Jaime Elftman is an Assistant Editor for American Farriers Journal. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, she joined the Lessiter Media staff as an editorial intern in 2014 before joining the staff full-time later that same summer.

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