As we noted here, long-time AFJ Managing Editor Pat Tearney retired at the end of 2013. While cleaning out his office, I came across dozens of bins and folders of farrier images, all of them predating the very comfortable and convenient age of digital images.
These images cover everything in hoof care: case studies, forging exercises, American Farrier’s Association Convention, personalities, shoe application exercises and so on.
I posted one of these treasured photographs to our Facebook page. Seen below on the right-hand side of this page, it features Hall Of Fame farriers Jack Miller, left, and Bob Peacock. See if you can remember or guess the location and year this photograph was captured, and next week, I’ll post the answer in the comments below.
Jack Miller passed away a few years ago, leaving behind a legacy of shoeing top sport horses and being able to keep anything on four feet going. He is terribly missed by many, many farriers, clients, trainers and other equestrian folks.
As a coincidence, I also spoke with Dave Farley, the Hall Of Fame farrier, FPD clinician and AAPF president, around the same time. We discussed the need to preserve the knowledge that is lost whenever a seasoned farrier passes away. Certainly that knowledge survives in the minds sand abilities of the remaining farriers mentored by that master. But Farley added (quoting on of his mentors) that whenever a learned farrier passes away, it is like destroying seven textbooks.
This trip down memory lane and conversation with Farley remind us that it is important to act like a sponge whenever you spend time with good, quality farriers. Value the time you spend with others and learn as much as you can.
It also reminds us at AFJ that we need to do our part to collect as much of that knowledge as possible. You’ll see an increased effort by us in 2014 to record more video with farriers sharing their valuable knowledge. And while these will survey farriers of all levels of experience, we’ll make sure to capture as many conversations with the old masters as possible.
In the mean time, let’s go back a few years and watch these videos of Jack Miller and fellow Hall Of Fame farriers David Birdsall and Mike Wildenstein.