Guest blog by Allen Horton, FPD
Recently, I attended the annual winter clinic hosted by Anvil Brand in Lexington, Illinois. This year’s clinicians were Terry Stever and Tom Willoughby. Both of these men have extraordinary talent gained through years of experience – and knowledge they’ve learned through observation and careful selection of mentors.
Friday’s clinic featured Terry Stever from Sulphur, Oklahoma. Terry has shod horses for many years and is known in the Quarter Horse show world as a true professional. He puts his heart into everything he does and did an excellent job of explaining what he looks for and what he plans to achieve when shoeing horses. Going into detail about his methods for shoeing, he explained every step of his routine and gave explanations for why he does things in the manner he does. He shod a horse with Kerckhaert Triumph aluminum front shoes and applied a leather rim pad to the shoes. Terry cuts his pads on a band saw and is able to “nest” the shoes on the pad in a manner which allows him to cut two rim pads out of one leather pad. He was generous in sharing the tricks of the trade he has learned over the years with the farriers in attendance. The crowd payed close attention to Terry’s presentation and many of them stayed around during breaks to ask questions. Friday night Steve and Stuart Hoselton of Anvil Brand treated everyone who wanted to go to an all you can eat Walleye dinner at a local restaurant. Thanks guys, the food and drink were great and the company of farriers was wonderful!
Saturday’s clinic featured Farrier and blacksmith Tom Willoughby of Crowne Point, Indiana. Tom kept the crowd entertained while demonstrating his process for braiding stainless wire to make a piece which can be turned into a bracelet, belt buckle, or other item one may choose. He also made a rare “shop rattler” with some striking help from Matt Lybeck and Josh Ramsey. Tom has been very busy with his blacksmithing lately and has gained international attention for his creations. While he is a very talented blacksmith, he may have missed his calling as a stand-up comic. His stories kept everyone entertained and we all learned something from his demonstration.
I always find so much educational value in clinics and I’m sure the farriers do, as well. We all appreciate the work and effort that goes into hosting these events and I want to thank Anvil Brand again for a great clinic.