Friday, May 03, 2013

Meader Supply's New Hampshire Farrier Appreciation Day with FPD's Michael Wildenstein

Shoes, shoes, shoes! One of North America's largest horseshoeing supply stores opened its doors last weekend to welcome farriers from far and wide to the annual "Farrier Appreciation Day". Meader Supply soon found out that the appreciation was mutual; the flavor of the day was more akin to a high school reunion than a business event.

Farriers and hoof trimmers from all corners of New England made the trip to the beautiful farm in New Hampshire. They filled their cars and trucks with supplies purchased at the retail store.

The special guest was well-known clinician and educator Michael Wildenstein, who proved why his reputation precedes him wherever he goes. Slowly and deliberately at times, Michael approached the art and science of hoofcare from different angles, with emphasis on understanding conformation and hoof form as the primary tools needed for successful shoeing. If the farriers didn't have an appreciation for "valgus" and "varus" deviations when they sat down, they did when they left to go home.

Clinician Michael Wildenstein at Meader Supply in New Hampshire (Fran Jurga photo)
In the afternoon, Mike shod a gray horse in front and explained how and why he was considering the horse's limb conformation even as he worked on the bottom of the foot.

A bustling trade show of companies whose products and services are offered by Meader Supply filled in the gaps while Mike caught his breathe and had some lunch.

A visit to Meader Supply is a must to anyone touring New England this fall. The beautiful old farm has been in the family for centuries. Besides selling farrier products, they have an extensive harness and draft horse supply business and raise American Belgians. They use the horses to gather sap in late winter and make their own maple syrup in an authentic sugar shack.

The Meaders are as authentic as New England itself and their hospitality is generous. Thanks to FPD, who sponsored Michael Wildenstein, and the entire Meader family for a great day.

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