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.
The December 1990 American Farriers Journal featured an article by Martin Kenny showing how he made his 1987 Ford F-350 custom walk-in rig — a rarity at the time. Over the years, other rigs came and went, including a stripped-down minimalist approach.
At 74, Dick Becker isn’t talking retirement. While contemporaries might look to call it a day, Becker dismisses retirement for now, saying he isn’t interested in playing golf. Instead, he still finds motivation working with horses and clients. Especially at his age, there is a difference between shoeing because you want to and shoeing because you have to.
Have you ever had something like this happen to your practice? A farrier tells a prospective client who already has a farrier that they can do it cheaper. The marketing plan is based on pricing that undercuts the rates of you or another farrier to persuade that client to switch to their practice.
Anyone who’s tried to slide a snug rubber grip onto a tool handle knows it can be frustrating. Justin Fry has a tip to ease this task that he learned from working in a bicycle shop as a teenager. The Crosslakes, Minn., farrier and tool manufacturer says this will help get the grip on — and keep it there.
Craig Trnka is one of the most sought after clinicians for farrier education. Through his experiences of traveling around the globe to educate farriers, he says the clinician should focus on helping the audience keep the horse their No. 1 priority.
There are differences in how every farrier approaches his or her business. Still, the most common and effective way to manage the finances of a farrier business remains knowing what it costs to shoe a horse.
About 20 years ago, Jessica McGrane wanted to begin a career as a farrier. She asked West Chester, Pa., farrier Dave Werkiser if she could learn the trade from him. Werkiser admits that he was at first hesitant, having had some previous helpers join his practice, but leave just when they became useful.
A couple of years ago as he entered his 30th year of shoeing horses, Billy Romjue began looking for ideas to downsize his shoeing trailer. His service area was limited from southern Pennsylvania to northern Maryland, and hauling his 10-foot gooseneck shoeing trailer wasn’t practical for servicing most of his clients.
Earlier in his career, Steve Sermersheim says that he was headstrong in thinking his approach to horseshoeing was the only correct way. Over the years, he became open-minded, realizing what works for him may not work for others. Although fads come and go, he finds adapting to solid shoeing basics is what helped him keep horses sound or improve.
Campbell, Texas, farrier and American Farriers Team member Sawyer Spradling demonstrates his approach to tuning a distorted pritchel to a punch, a skill that has served him well when he travels to clinics and competitions.
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