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TOPIC: how did you learn to be a farrier?

how did you learn to be a farrier? 09 Apr 2006 17:33 #1

Hey ya'll. I'm going to be attending The Kentucky Horseshoeing School which is run by Mitch Taylor in early 2007. Which, from what i'm understanding to be one of the best farrier schools there is. I'm taking the new 22 week program, and those who do well get a minimum 6 month internship (most paid) with a master farrier or a journeyman farrier.

My question, did you go to a school like i will be, or did you learn by apprenticeship/internship with a skilled farrier? Any advice you can offer beforehand? I'm trying to learn as much as I possibly can before it starts next year.
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RE:how did you learn to be a farrier? 09 Apr 2006 18:13 #2

School followed by apprenticing. Followed by continuing education at clinics.

I also find if I know a fellow farrier is well versed in something that I would like to know more about if I call em there is usually an offer of "hey come along on such and such a day I am doing a bunch of (fill in the blank) shoeing that day"

I have spent time with folks you can meet on this board. Bruce Matthews to get better at drafts. With Patty to get better at NB. With Pat Reilly to get better at Sigifoos glue ons. And so on.....

For now you might want to see if you can informally ride along with a local farrier and help set up stuff, hold horses and contribute in some way. Or if you can't do that at least do the "working student" thing at a local barn and spend as much time with horses as you can arrange. IMO The ability to get along with horses is as important as the standard shoeing skills (forgework, nailing, trimming, using pads etc. etc.) If you are not well versed in horsemanship skills would not hurt at all to go to a clinic or two on that subject.
George Spear

".....and I said to the horse: Trust no man in whose eyes you do not see yourself reflected as an equal."
Don Vincenzo Giobbe
CA. 1700

"What people do not appreciate is that every time a horse submits to...
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RE:how did you learn to be a farrier? 10 Apr 2006 06:41 #3

  • Bill Adams
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You don't want to learn like I did. If I had the oppertunity you have I would read all you can, ride with anyone you can, ride more with the good ones, go to clinics, sit in front, take notes, ask ****** questions, all before you get to school. Then study harder than you planed and do extra everything.
Easy for me to say, but you'll do better in the real world faster.

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:how did you learn to be a farrier? 11 Apr 2006 02:38 #4


Technically, I consider that I am still learning to be an excellent farrier. But I was introduced to the farrier trade and learned the basic skills by serving an apprenticeship. Attendance at every clinic and seminar I can wrangle into my schedule helps teach me new things, as does communicating with other farriers!

There is something new to be learned every day in this trade! Whether you learn about something you want to do - or something you don't want to do!

Being as my mentor was retired from teaching at the KY Horseshoeing school - I am kind of partial to their program when someone asks which school I'd recommend.

I've attended a couple presentations by Mitch Taylor and think he has a great way to get folks to think and understand!

Am glad to see you so psyched about learning!


Those who only consider cost, do NOT consider the cost to the horse!

The more we know, the more we know we need to know more! Ya know?
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RE:how did you learn to be a farrier? 11 Apr 2006 03:31 #5

Work hard! Don't be a slacker, especially if Mitch Taylor is your teacher. Be patiant, it takes a long time to become a farrier. You can put all the big names you want on your resume, it won't mean anything if you can't get under a horse. It is a dangerous and hard job not to be taken lightly. Learn all you can about horses first.

Good luck.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:how did you learn to be a farrier? 12 Apr 2006 03:10 #6

I was a horse owner/breeder/trainer with about 20 horses. (I'd trimmed my own cranky pony since I was 11 or so because no farrier wanted to deal with him). My farrier got hurt and quit the farrier trade. He would come and sit on his tailgate and have a beer and tell me what to do.

Later he critiqued my work. I paid him what I would have paid to have him do the work.This went on for about a year. It was a cheap one on one education, but we both enjoyed ourselves. I'm sure he laughed a lot inside. I remember especially how challenged I was to get the shoe flat again after I shaped it. LOL.

By the time my herd grew to 35 horses, I'd had lots of practice. Jim passed away a few years later. Way too young and a lot of talent wasted. He could shoe, sing, play a fiddle, build a saddle and was a good teacher. I've learned a lot since then with clinics and such, but he sure did give me a foundation. Bless him. Carol
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RE:how did you learn to be a farrier? 12 Apr 2006 14:58 #7

  • Noreaster
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Scool??? Apprenticeship??? Naaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!

-But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :D
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RE:how did you learn to be a farrier? 13 Apr 2006 11:39 #8

How I learned to be a good farrier, (Like Kim, I am still working learning to be a "Great" farrier):

1. The GIFT of an an apprenticeship with a talented teacher and Farrier. No school, he took me on cold, when women didn't have the apprenticeship opportunities we have now. I am grateful every day for this gift.

2. AFA cultural exchange. I still use what I learned from some of the greatest Masters of this trade almost 20 years later.

3. Lots of continuing education. I try to schedule anywhere from 2-3 weeks of continuing Ed every year. It is factored into my cost of doing business.

4. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Learn from your mistakes. Keep an open mind. You never know where your next lesson will come from.

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RE:how did you learn to be a farrier? 13 Apr 2006 11:51 #9

  • Rick Burten
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I started by approaching a master, Ahm Qwik Ta'Lrn. The sensei gave me a bag of marbles and instructed me to put the entire contents in my mouth. He told me that each and every time I was kicked,stomped, bitten, slammed into a wall, had my tool box broken, burned by slag, cut/pierced by a nail, whatever, I was to spit out one marble. Only when I had lost all my marbles, would I be considered a farrier. :eek: :D

As for becoming a great farrier, that I suppose is in the eye of the observer(s) and the respect of others who in their own right are acknowledged as 'great'
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."

Je pense donc je suis
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