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More About Farriers' Greeting Cards & HoofPrints
Serving the Farrier, Equine & Canine Community Since 1986
A short history by Gina Keesling

In case you're interested - a bit of background about us; we started Farriers' Greeting Cards in 1986 when I made the first Christmas Card for my husband (a farrier) to send to his clients thanking them for their business. We started with just the Holiday cards - soon our catalog included T-shirts, art prints, gifts and educational items. Hoofprints became our main supplier for farrier prints (which are rare & fairly hard to find).

Over the years we became friends with Judy Sprague, founder of Hoofprints Catalog. We shared experiences with mail order catalogs and our common dedication to customer service. Eventually we acquired the Hoofprints Catalog company due to the perfect blend of her products and services with our own; giving Judy the precious time to spend with her two little girls and of course, her horses.

So here we are! We will try our best to offer you the finest farrier, equine & canine art, along with unique products for the farrier and horse professional. This new catalog includes both the Farriers Greeting Cards and Hoofprints offerings.

Our Horseshoeing Background
When my husband and I got married, he had only been shoeing for a short time. Most farriers know how hard it is to establish a new business. The work is hard and the hours are long but he loved the work and wanted to do it.

I started this company to try to generate business for my husband during his slow times. I thought that if he would send his clients a Christmas card, they would be reminded that their horses needed hoof care year round (and he would get some work at a time when money was really tight.)

He hung in there and within a few years was considered to be one of the best farriers in the area for show horses. The lean times made him really appreciate these good accounts and the situation went from not enough work to more than could be done and remain healthy. His back injury kept getting worse and he finally had to quit in 1994.

Here are a few things that really helped him build his business:
  • Being on time for appointments, or calling ahead if he couldn't.

  • Not bad-mouthing any other shoer or vet. (Some other shoers who he didn't care for at first turned out later to be some of his best friends.)

  • Participate in local and national farrier organizations - continue your education. Let your clients know that you are doing this (without bragging.)

  • Give talks to 4-H clubs and other horse clubs. (The Freeze dried hinged hoof, horse and hoof charts, and My Horse coloring book make great visual aids.)

  • Be professional in your billing and business practices.

  • And of course, sending Christmas cards thanking customers for business.

  • Sorry to get on a soapbox! It was terrible to watch my husband have to give up the career that he worked so hard to build. I always hope that I can help others to avoid a similar situation by telling his story. The Wife's Point of View on my website was not written by me, but pretty much tells our story, too. I have posted several Articles that I have written for trade journals on the Farrier/Hoofprint website. I hope you find these of interest and help you make your business more successful.

    House Before

    We began as a home-based business. But first we had to fix the home! The photo above shows our house when we purchased it in 1989. We thought we could save money by doing the work ourselves; we had no idea what we were getting into. Fortunately, Rob is good at fixing and building. I cleaned up all the mess. The finished product is pictured below. We ended up with a livable house, and a lot of amazing pictures and stories.

    House After
    Keesling Animals
    Shoe Board Rob and I like to collect old things pertaining to horses and horseshoeing.

    This is a shoe board that I was able to purchase from an automobile museum in South Dakota. It was hanging outside and had some weather damage, but the shoes are all fine specimens.
    We know nothing about it's age, origin, or who made the shoes. They are all stamped "J. A. Mc" If anyone has any info on this I would love to hear from you.
    Macaroni - British Derby Winner 1863 and Bar Shoe
    Macaroni Hoof Macaroni Hoof Macaroni Hoof
    Bar Shoe We have a horse hoof ashtray that we found in a local antique store. The plate on the front reads: The hoof of Macaroni - Derby winner 1863. Upon further research we discovered that there was no derby in the US until later in the 1800's. A horse named Macaroni did indeed win the British Derby in 1863.

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    Farriers' Greeting Cards - Hoofprints * 13849 N 200 E * Alexandria, IN 46001
    Toll Free 800-741-5054 * Local 765-724-7004 * Toll Free Fax 888-724-4632

    Email gina@hoofprints.com * Request Free Catalog * Subscribe Free Email Newsletter