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TOPIC: looking for additional perspective

looking for additional perspective 17 May 2011 17:11 #1

Hey guys, I want to start out by saying I'm new on here, I have been trolling thru older posts, but I haven't read all them so if others have already asked, my appologies.

So, I am a machinist right now (actually, I'm in Afghanistan at this very moment, but thats short term) and I have a good job, pays pretty well, and I enjoy it pretty much. I have shoed my own horses and friends horses for several years now, but I've never charged for it, and don't feel confortable trying to, because of a lack of experience and education. I have often wanted to start a farrier business, but I want to know what I'm doing and how to handle different problems that come up, so I figure I need a little bit of formal education, just to know the science and anatomy part of fariery. So... now I have been deployed, gives me a chance to save some money up, plus have a couple of months excused absence from work when I get back home, so I'm gonna go for it. The first question I have is if anyone has any experience with 5 Star Horseshoeing School or Heartland Horseshoeing School? I've pretty much narrowed it down to those two, trolling thru the older post I have found both positive and negative things said of both, just thought I'd see if anyone has attended either of them, and if so, What did you think?

I mention that I have shoed some horses before. The way I learned is by asking and watching my farriers do it. The funny thing is, alot of the time they had different ways of doing it, so I'm not sure which one is right and I mostly just went with what seemed to work the best. Is that a bad thing? I mean, if I have bad habits, or wrong techniques, how hard will it be to learn the right way? Or will some experience be better than none? Along those same lines, should I get a forge and anvil and start practicing with them, or would it be better to wait till I go to school and learn the right way?

So, let me lay out my plan and you guys that have time can critique it and see if I'm in fantasy land or if it sounds like a reasonable game plan. So, for starts, I've been studying the anatomy part of farriery while I'm over here (it's the part that I really worry about). I have read Hickmans Farriery cover to cover and just got Gregory's Farriery, been reading it and trying to study as I go, not even halfway thru it yet tho, but hopefully by the time my tour is over I will have a pretty good grasp of mechanics, anatomy and the anatomical terms. So, when I get back home from my tour, I will have about 40 days of leave and 90 days after that till I have to go back to work, and my timing will put me back so I can go to the Heartland or 5 Star 12 week courses and still have my job protected. When I get thru with school I can go back to my machinist job and shoe part time till I get enough horses to survive on. I have one 20 horse barn that said they'd love for me to shoe for them, a good personal relationship with the owner, plus I have several friends with horses, that have their horses at public stables that I can shoe for. I don't want to undercut the experienced farriers in the area, so I figure shoeing for my friends in public barns for free or cheap will get my work out there, if I do good work, that should be enough to get more business from those barns, about 8 altogether (I know from the owner side, Every horseshoer or farrier I've ever used came from word of mouth from a friend of mine). My plan is to clip and hot fit all my friends horses, something pretty well unheard of around here, and I figure just having the forge set up will draw attention to me, I could be wrong, but that's my thought proccess anyway. I have also had one farrier and two horseshoers offer to let me ride along with them, I want to do that, but working full time might make it difficult, these guys have been shoeing a while, so I'm not sure how often they work on evenings and weekends.

I know that was long winded, my appologies for that, but I figured it was better to get it all out in one post than tie up several threads, I hope I'm in the right place as well. Thank you guys in advance for any replies, they are much appreciated, and hopefully ya'll will be seeing alot more of me for a long time to come, thanks again. :)
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
-H. L. Mencken
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RE:looking for additional perspective 18 May 2011 05:57 #2

  • Bill Adams
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Welcome Chris,
Thank you for your service. It means a lot.
You're on the right track.
I know Chris Gregory and can say nothing but good about him and his school.
I don't know Dusty Franklin but have heard nothing but good about his school.
Your plans could work out better than you think they will or they could fall apart into a mess. You must know that this is what you want to do. Then just do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.
I tell people that I made it in this because I'm somewhere between the type who will see this through, no matter what, or the type who is to stu pid to quit.
I've heard our craft described as a lifestyle, not a carrier.

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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RE:looking for additional perspective 13 Jun 2011 19:37 #3

Hi Chris,
I'm also in Afghanistan right now (less than a month left on this deployment :)). My situation is a bit different than yours as I'm retiring from active duty the end of this year. I knew that I wanted to have my own business and that I wanted to do something with horses. Choosing to be a farrier seemed a natural fit :)

I did a lot of research and ended up choosing Heartland Horseshoeing School. I'll be attending the Journeyman course next year. I read through this forum extensively, exchanged emails with one of Chris's former students, and emails with Chris himself in making my decision. His credentials I think speak for themselves :)

You don't mention when your deployment is over, but that could affect what school you choose as I know that Chris does not teach year round. I don't think you'll go wrong with either school you choose though as they both have excellent reputations.

I don't know how much active duty you have now, but if you qualify for the 9/11 GI Bill they are paying for vocational training starting this year. It's something that bears looking into.

Good luck and stay safe!
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RE:looking for additional perspective 13 Jun 2011 22:09 #4

  • Rachael Kane
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Hi Chris, welcome!
You sound like you've got a good plan and both schools would work well. I went to heartland recently and it was great. Chris is ex-military and you should feel right at home with his bootcamp setup. :D.

Study your anatomy as much as you can, he caters to the top of the class and there is little time to catch up. I think practicing in the forge is helpful too, if only to get over the blister stage as he throws you in the deep end with welding exercises first up too. Everyone starts off with bad technique, it's just the number of hammer blows you have put in that will change it so don't be too precious, just do it.

Good luck, and enjoy the journey, you sound like you'll do well.
Rachael :)
CF

'Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you going.' (Jim Ryan).
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RE:looking for additional perspective 14 Jun 2011 02:04 #5

  • Travis Reed
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All good info they gave...just saying thank you for ur service and allowing me to do what I love and hope you guys get to do the same....
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:looking for additional perspective 14 Jun 2011 02:22 #6

  • Red Amor
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Good on you blokes for your national service
Far as Im concerned you ve earnt the right to have a go and get one in just about any field you choose
Id love to be able to attend Chris Gregory's school and while over there visit with some of the Great personallities Ive leand to call friends on here
Im sure ' at least as far as Im concerned we all be mates
there a good n kind compasionate lot here n you'll look long n hard to never find better

Good Luck n good O to you both
for now n time being
Mind how ya go yeah ;)
Mark Anthony Amor
If we want anymore excrement like that outta you we'll squeese ya head :eek:
Mind how ya go now ;)
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RE:looking for additional perspective 14 Jun 2011 03:22 #7

@ Red and Travis- Thanks! :)

@ Rachael-Yes I read somewhere that Chris had been an officer in the Army Reserve. I've watched all his youtube videos. "Boot camp" may be a good comparison... the bunkhouse sounds basically like a barracks and then of course pushups as a "motivational" method ;) I'm sure I'll feel right at home! Fortunately I'm in pretty good shape (I think I'm going to need to be), although I think I will try not to do more pushups than I have to :D

This forum by the way has been an incredible resource! I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to share their experiences here :)
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RE:looking for additional perspective 14 Jun 2011 23:31 #8

  • Jay Mickle
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Chris and Bill, Good luck to both of you. Realize that a good school is but the first step in a 4-5 year period of working with others to obtain the skills and experience necessary to become a competent farrier. Stay safe!
Jay Mickle
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RE:looking for additional perspective 15 Jun 2011 00:46 #9

  • chad rice
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Travis Reed wrote:
All good info they gave...just saying thank you for ur service and allowing me to do what I love and hope you guys get to do the same....


I'll second that, thanks fellers!!
Chad Rice, CF
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RE:looking for additional perspective 18 Jun 2011 02:25 #10

  • George Geist
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Chris Daniel wrote:
When I get thru with school I can go back to my machinist job and shoe part time till I get enough horses to survive on. I have one 20 horse barn that said they'd love for me to shoe for them, a good personal relationship with the owner, plus I have several friends with horses, that have their horses at public stables that I can shoe for I don't want to undercut the experienced farriers in the area, so I figure shoeing for my friends in public barns for free or cheap will get my work out there, if I do good work, that should be enough to get more business from those barns, about 8 altogether (I know from the owner side, Every horseshoer or farrier I've ever used came from word of mouth from a friend of mine). My plan is to clip and hot fit all my friends horses, something pretty well unheard of around here, and I figure just having the forge set up will draw attention to me, I could be wrong, but that's my thought proccess anyway. I have also had one farrier and two horseshoers offer to let me ride along with them, I want to do that, but working full time might make it difficult, these guys have been shoeing a while, so I'm not sure how often they work on evenings and weekends.
Chris,
Sounds like a good plan. I especially think your odds are much better than others by your having contacts in the industry already. That will give you a big advantage over those who don't in this or any other business.

I've been sometimes a little outspoken about the changing demographics of people entering this trade in the last 20 years or so. You sir are certainly a welcome change and the kind of guy the trade needs more of. I welcome you and wish you all the best for success.
George
For another fun place to play........
www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
Come over and say hello.
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RE:looking for additional perspective 18 Jun 2011 03:50 #11

  • Anthony_Lawrence
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I have also had one farrier and two horseshoers offer to let me ride along with them

:confused::confused:

Slightly OT - what is the difference between a farrier and a horseshoer in the US?
Ant.
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RE:looking for additional perspective 18 Jun 2011 04:15 #12

Thank you for your service!!! Both schools would be a great place to start. I think it would just come down to which one has a class that starts when you can.

Like others said, its a several year journey to do this job. The good thing is that you have a steady job that you can go to while getting started. Makes a world of difference.

Your already ahead if you have been shoeing some and you have the time to get your anatomy down before school.

I know it might sound crazy but if you get a chance to get a dead leg or two tear into them and start dissecting now. It will help you in the anatomy and give your mind a big head start on what the tendons and ligaments do
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RE:looking for additional perspective 18 Jun 2011 22:16 #13

  • George Geist
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Anthony_Lawrence wrote:
:confused::confused:

Slightly OT - what is the difference between a farrier and a horseshoer in the US?
Is a matter of semantics but for purposes of things discussed here the terms are interchangeable.

For a more detailed explanation you have a PM;)
George
For another fun place to play........
www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
Come over and say hello.
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RE:looking for additional perspective 30 Nov 2011 20:12 #14

Thanks much to everyone on here, I have kinda been away from the forum for a while due to limited Internet time, but I thank you all for the kind remarks and input. If your wondering, I decided to enroll at Heartland Horseshoeing School, I talked to Chris Gregory through emails, and watched his classes that he posts on YouTube, looks like it will be a good time.

To Rachel, I ordered Gregory's textbook of Farriery, and have been studying it for a couple of months, so as to hopefully be ahead of the curve on the anatomy and terminology, and I'll be home for a couple months before classes start, I have intentions of using that time to get in some forge practice, so hopefully I'll at least be able to swing a hammer all day without getting wore out and blistered.

I worked at a large animal vet clinic when I was in High School. The vet told me this, a farrier is someone I work with to maintain a horses hoof health, and correct problems with an unhealthy foot, a horseshoer just nails shoes to the hoof. That's why I described them the way I did.
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
-H. L. Mencken
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RE:looking for additional perspective 30 Nov 2011 20:17 #15

also @ Micheal Allen, Where would a fellow get a dead leg or two to dissect?
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
-H. L. Mencken
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