Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Millwater's Farriery: Preface...

   Farriery is one of America's last free professions. As such, there are many avenues to learning the trade. A multitude of schools with different course lengths and curricula. Apprenticeships formal and casual. Clinics, workshops, and symposiums. And individual study. Lots of it. All in all, education in the art and science is a unique experience for each farrier.

   So there are always gaps in our knowledge to be filled, whether we're rookies or grizzled veterans. Always something new to learn.

   Millwater Publishing's lexicon project started with The Pocket Dictionary of Farrier Terms and Technical Language in 1994. A humble little glossary to help farriers, horseowners, and researchers understand one-another better. Over the many print and virtual editions which followed, it evolved to include more extensive definitions and illustrations. With this, its 10th print incarnation, the lexicon makes the jump to being an encyclopedic dictionary.

   The encyclopedic format is particularly suited to the free-form learning of farriery. Each article is designed to cross-reference with others, so that readers can easily fill in the basics required to comprehend a given topic, or follow on to more advanced information as needed.

   This book is a collection and distillation of the ideas and observations of many farriers I've learned from over the years. Some I've had the privilege of knowing personally. Others, only through their work. The names of several appear within the entries. Many more have made contributions to the sum of hoofcare knowledge which have come down to me without attribution. Famous, anonymous, or somewhere in-between, these pathfinders are recognized and appreciated.

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