Jeremy McGovern

If Or When Will Technology Revolutionize Footcare?

When Gerard Laverty started his apprenticeship in the 1970s, a friend warned him about pursuing a career in hoof care because the industry would be taken over by computers, eliminating the need for farriers. The friend reasoned that farriery was essentially unchanged for nearly 100 years, so the industry was ripe for massive change.

Obviously, the computer takeover of hoof care hasn’t arrived. However, Laverty told attendees at the American Farrier’s Association Annual Convention in Mobile, Ala., that he isn’t completely dismissive of his friend’s prediction.

“This lack of change in our trade really worries me,” admits Laverty. “The potential for change keeps increasing each year that there is no change.”

His point: rather than having witnessed small incremental changes to the core of footcare, eventually an invention could come that will dramatically impact the trade. And perhaps this change will limit or eliminate the need for a person to perform the trimming and shoeing of a horse.

Warning Signs?

Laverty admits that farriers are currently protected from a potential change by the economics of research and development.

“We are so small — there is more money to be made in other things,” he says. “But when you stop and think about it, if there are remote-controlled drones that can fly around the world and bomb a town, surely someone can invent a machine to trim and shoe a horse. It’s just that no one has turned their attention to it as to why it hasn’t happened.”

Laverty sees 3D…

To view the full article, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital and Premium subscribers. Please purchase a subscription to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives.
Jeremy_mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

Top Articles

Current Issue

Cover-Gatefold_AFJ_0518_pub.jpg

American Farriers Journal

American Farriers Journal is the “hands-on” magazine for professional farriers, equine veterinarians and horse care product and service buyers.
View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings