14th Annual AFJ International Hoof Care Summit
When I got back from Lee’s it was time to wash clothes and repack them for the trip to Cincinnati. I have been to the Summit every year, and was lucky enough to be a speaker again this year.
The trip to Cincinnati is always a highlight of our winter. We get to see so many old friends, meet a bunch of new ones, and in this world of social media, get to meet a lot of people that we already seem to know from Facebook. It is a great time, but it seems to wear me out more than actually shoeing horses all day.
This year, Cody was able to bring out his new creasers to present at our booth. The creation of Cody Gregory Tools has been quite a process, and it was wonderful to watch the first run come to be. These creasers are amazing and penetrate unlike any other creaser I have ever used. More on that in another blog.
One of Heartland Horseshoeing School’s graduates, Ellie Pugh, CJF, DipWCF, was a Rising Shoeing Star. That has been a great thing for HHS grads. I think we have been in the winning bracket every year but one since they started giving that out. That year, unfortunately, was completely my fault for not getting my submission in. One of the secrets is that we attract some of the very best people in the world that are going into the farrier industry. Because they are such a quality person to start with, we just teach them to shoe horses at a high level and then you have a quality person that is now a great farrier. Ellie proves the point, again.
The trade show was off the charts. We got to talk to so many great folks from around the world. It was a lot of fun and the time went by so fast. I generally like to make a trip around the trade show early on, but there was none of that this year. HHS graduate Shearer Wludyka, CJF, helped us work the booth as did Cody’s wife Kirsty Gregory, CF, and our beautiful grandbaby Marcy. In fact, Marcy turned 1 year old in Cincinnati.
I also got to sit down with the soldiers from Fort Carson that are part of the Mounted Color Guard. If you have ever been a soldier, you know there is something about being with just soldiers. It did me a lot of good to spend an hour like that, and I appreciated them letting me rub elbows with them.
My lecture was about mules, shoeing and temperament. I like mules a lot, and preparing this lecture gave me the opportunity to learn about their place in history. Very interesting stuff. Our last night was the Hall Of Fame dinner. It is always a humbling experience to eat supper with some of the greats in our industry. Kelly and I took Shearer as a guest and sat with Grant Moon, Steve Krause, Dan Bradley, and newly inducted farrier Gunner Gatski and his daughter. It was a lot of fun, full of stories, jokes and memories. Hard to believe I get to be a part of that.
We made it home and I had a full week in Missouri to cut wood, shoe horses, make sharpening kits, and get ready for the next trip when Cody and I are headed to Five Star Horseshoeing School for a whole horse dissection. Stay tuned.