Have you ever placed an order for a few pairs of horseshoes and found the shipping cost takes more out of your pocket than the shoes do?

That can be frustrating, particularly when a little more attention to how and when you order supplies might have gotten you a discount on both the shoes and the shipping.

That's just one tip the 12 members of the American Farriers Journal staff picked up during an afternoon spent at Anvil Brand Shoe Co. in Lexington, Ill. This meeting took place when 12 members of the American Farriers Journal and the International Hoof-Care Summit team traveled 215 miles from southeastern Wisconsin to central Illinois to expand our knowledge of the equine footcare industry.

Many members of our staff regularly call on farriers, equine veterinarians, supply houses, manufacturers, hoof-care researchers and others in the footcare field. But this was the first time we've loaded up the entire AFJ staff for an in-depth and off-site fact-finding tour.

AFJ Staff
AFJ Staff

The AFJ team spent an entire afternoon discussing many aspects of the farrier industry with Steve Hoselton and Alan Horton at Anvil Brand Shoe Co. in Lexington, Ill. These discussions ranged from farrier trends, product margins, stocking concerns when dealing with hundreds of manufacturers, the value to farriers of on-time product delivery and how purchasing decisions can be effectively made with hundreds of farrier tool and horseshoe options.

Other topics that were discussed included a look at the lack of horsemanship skills among some of today's farriers, U.S. vs. foreign tool and shoe production, profitable equipment turnover ratios for shoers, the value of farrier/supplier loyalty, payment discount plans and some of the foolish purchasing habits of some farriers.

Inventory control on the part of farriers was another subject, as was the fact that horseshoeing school owners are seeing a growing popularity in the profession among females.

 At the end of the trip, our staff headed back to Wisconsin with plenty of fresh ideas you'll be learning about via future articles in American Farriers Journal, our videos and articles on the AFJ web site. Thanks to Steve and Alan for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with our 12-member team, it was a great afternoon of continuing education for the entire AFJ staff.