Profile America — Saturday, July 7th. This is National Farriers Week — and you may be asking, "What is a farrier?" The origin of the term is lost, but now refers to the men and women who keep good-fitting shoes on America's horses. Up until 100 years ago, a farrier was also a horse doctor. But as motorized farm equipment dramatically reduced the number of horses in the U.S., veterinarians took over that job. Most farriers went into automobile repair, and the art of properly shoeing a horse was almost lost. Now, with the increased interest in horseback riding and other forms of horse competition, the profession has rebounded. Today, about 2 percent of U.S. households own horses, and raising horses and mules is an $861 million a year industry, led by Kentucky. Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 352 Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 1241, 843, 845
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