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ONE-ON-ONE INSTRUCTION. Dick Becker (right} of Lapeer, Mich., discusses hammer technique with Dewey Brazelton of Show Low, Ariz.
A longtime favorite activity at the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) convention, the Hands-On Clinic is nearing its 10th anniversary.
In the beginning the whole idea was to have a function where AFA members could meet new friends— like at a mixer— and now the clinic has provided over 1,000 hours of one-on-one teaching and learning in its 10 years. We’ve come full circle as we now have instructors that originally participated in the clinic as students.
Usually held after the forging competition, the Hands-On Clinic gives every AFA member the opportunity to enjoy a private lesson at the anvil with another AFA member. Each member signs up and spends approximately 45 minutes with an experienced instructor.
To make it as worthwhile as possible, the student tells the instructor what they’d like to work on, draws the materials supplied by supportive suppliers and the two shoers get to work.
The clinic has been giving over 100 such lessons a year and the feedback from participants is always very positive. In the last 10 years, there have been over 950 lessons and the opportunity for shoers to work with over 200 volunteer instructors.
This activity could never occur without almost universal support from suppliers and instructors. Companies such as Thoro’Bred, St. Croix Forge, Delta, Capewell and Equine Forgings, Ltd. have always given us whatever we needed in the…