Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why an Encyclopedia of Farriery?

   Sometimes it's funny to watch farriers get defensive when anyone criticizes the American farrier education system...

   Because there is no American farrier education system.

   And this is not a bad thing!

   As determined as some people are to standardize it into some sort of assembly-line process, human learning is a fundamentally individual thing.  The catch-as-catch-can nature of American farrier education creates an environment that fosters remarkable invention and innovation.  It also provides the horse world with horseshoeing services on a broad spectrum from bargain basement hobby shoers through some of the world's most knowledgeable and skilled farriers.  It's supposed to be a free country, after all.  The horseowners decide what level of farriery they'll support.

   An encyclopedia is a resource well-tailored to free-form learning.  You open it to look something up, and the article draws your interest to related subjects.  Instead of having to root through other books or magazines for more information on those subjects, you can look them up in the same encyclopedia.  And those subjects lead you to still others, and the others lead you to still more.  Ultimately, you wind up learning things you didn't even realize you were interested in knowing at the start.
   That's why the Millwater Encyclopedia is designed with cross-referencing in-mind.  We're all trying to fill the gaps in our knowledge.  If you're reading an entry and you already know what the words in italic boldface are all about, you just keep going...  If not, you know there's an entry to fill you in on each term just a few page-flips away.

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