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TOPIC: Hungry

Hungry 30 Aug 2006 09:53 #1

  • Jaye Perry
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Being in the business for enumerated years there have been many who have wanted to learn the trade. They have called, e-mailed and shown up at the house to ride. Recently there have been a few inquiries in which ,during the interview, the people wanting to learn bring up the issue of pay.
We all know that money makes the world go 'round but the potential apprentices have only one thing in mind; wages. Interviewing and discussion of learning the trade and one's career ,most of the time the second thing out of their mouths is "How much are you willing to pay". I don't mind paying people for their commensurate skill level but things sure have changed since I asked to ride with a mentor.
i thought i could shoe a horse when i met one of many mentors, but my world and mentality of farriery changed with each apprenticeship. The first, real ride along, was extremely enlightening and frustrating. The idea of riding with "one of the leaders in the industry" scared the h ell out of me. I had asked to ride and was told to meet at a place on a Monday; i was so scared I didn't call to confirm until the next Wednesday. Thought i had lost my opportunity.
We started working together and for the first 2 years I didn't ask for a dime. With a few hack line horses and a second job working nights, the bills were met. One day my mentor, at that time, tells me that he has to pay me some type of wage because he was making to much money. I very reluctantly accepted because he had passed on multiple horses to me that, at that time, he thought i could handle. I was making money off his referrals and other retained customers. I felt somewhat guilty, but it was a business decision on his part. It was either pay me or pay it in taxes.

Years later my mentor decided that I needed to move up into a different level of farriery; he got me an appointment for an interview. I drove 14 hours to take that interview and was told that I was not going to be paid. Being an 'Ole School" graduate, I responded with " I am not here to be paid, I'm here to learn". With that conversation another relationship was started. The level of learning and farriery changed; details, details, details.
within those years of driving up and down the East coast to learn from one of the best, it cost me money, customers and almost a divorce. It was an opportunity to work on some of the best horses in the world and learn the details, little tricks of the trade and formulate a style which I have retained until this day.
That style of farriery and ethics , which I have obtained over the years, has now afforded me to pass on some of the things I learned years ago to others. The people who have visited and worked, from this forum, have the passion. Most have been lost in their visions of farriery, in others words, they have plateaued and are searching for something different. Others outside this forum, per say, have only searched for a pay check.
So to end this diatribe, where has the "Hunger" gone? "Hungry" for knowledge, hungry for self reliance, hungry for accomplishment?

Guess I am just too "Ole School":confused:
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RE:Hungry 30 Aug 2006 10:57 #2

Jaye,

Very, very, well said.

Ive been there myself and was starting to think I was the only one!
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RE:Hungry 31 Aug 2006 01:16 #3

  • Bill Adams
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Jaye,
It seems you are not concerned about the self esteem of others. As long as one is trying they should be accepted for who they are not expected to conform to others expatations.
Maybe you could let them share enough of your excess income to make a living wage. You shouldn't require more than they may be willing or able to do and to require someone to strive to your standards may not encourage a leval playing feild enviorment.
Please try to be more thoughtfull. Remember you were just lucky to get where you are.
Bill

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:Hungry 31 Aug 2006 01:26 #4

  • Jaye Perry
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Bill Adams wrote:
Jaye,
It seems you are not concerned about the self esteem of others. As long as one is trying they should be accepted for who they are not expected to conform to others expatations.
Maybe you could let them share enough of your excess income to make a living wage. You shouldn't require more than they may be willing or able to do and to require someone to strive to your standards may not encourage a leval playing feild enviorment.
Please try to be more thoughtfull. Remember you were just lucky to get where you are.
Bill
Thanks, ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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RE:Hungry 31 Aug 2006 01:44 #5

  • NHFarrier
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When I decided I wanted to be a farrier, I put everything aside. I left college and saved all my money towards tools and schooling. I worked on a farm riding and selling horses when I wasn't working with a local farrier, and worked the graveyard shift at night to make my truck payments. Eventually I had enough saved up to go to farrier school. I still like to ride with someone when I get the chance; I know only a small fraction of what I want to know. In this business that you can ever stop learning, and if you reach a point where you don't feel you can learn anything else, there is a problem! I would never (even now) ask for pay if someone is taking the time to teach me! Being an apprentice isn't a job, it's a valuable resource. Most of the information I learned while helping and watching, was as good or better than that learned at school. Experience can't be beat!

Amy

Oh, and Bill, you had me going there for a minute! LOL
Unless you're the lead dog, the view never changes.
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RE:Hungry 31 Aug 2006 02:25 #6

  • Gary_Miller
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If you remember a year ago I was posting that I thought apprentices should be paid enough so they could atlest afford to make a small living while learning like they are in other trades.

However, I have since changed my thinking after riding with my mentor, a CJF, two days a week for a year.

I now think that you appreciate the learning more when you sacrifice a little for the chance to pick the brain of the more experianced farrier. In the the farrier trade you are really learning while working. Which is totally diffrent than other fields. In other fields the apprentice is mostly use as grunt labor and your expected to be on the job daily. Its not like that in farrier. Farrier is more like if you want to learn come along and I will teach you.

I feel privleged to be surrounded by several knowledgable and experianced farriers whom I can contact and discuss any problems I may have at any time.

I still ride two days a week with my mentor and the only pay I get besides an education is lunch. However, he takes the time to discuss/show me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong. As well as sending me any overflow he may have that he feel I could handle. I think all this is better than giving me a pay check, and I would not change anything at all.

If you want to learn this field of work you have to be willing to put in the time and the sacrifice to learn it right. That can't be done right in school.


Gary
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RE:Hungry 31 Aug 2006 07:41 #7

  • Rancho JD
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hunger is a sure powerfull motivator in seeking knowledge but i dont believe the desire for learning has ever been so common as to take precedence over the direct need to fill an empty pantry or gas tank. the security of a good job and gated community is often an illusion yet most of us want it some way or another if nothing more than to put a little distance between the wolf.

the scholar and the hobo feed at the same mission. perhaps they are one in the same.

not many children entertain the idea of being horseshoers, TV says he's that fat dishevelled old guy with tobacco spit dripping from his mossy jaw, he wears an apron. cowboy rides past him on his way to the saloon.

children worldwide want to be cowboys, thats a fact. some actually find an opportunity to have at it, though very few pan out. daydreams turn to sober reality.

giving up on the cowboy gig a kid discovers that the farrier can make much more money than the taco bell hand but its hard and its one horse at a time. tony robbins can spur him on but he cant coach hunger.
Hit on 16 stand on 17 and split those aces, merry christmas!
'panhandler' Reno, Nevada.
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RE:Hungry 31 Aug 2006 16:11 #8

  • BS-Horseshoeing
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What Jaye describes is exactly the way I was always told that it was to be if you wanted to be a farrier. I had never heard to much about schools, there were a few when I was a kid, but nothing really exceptional that I had heard of. This was partly why I waited so long to break in to this trade. I had wanted to start back in my early twenties but could not find any one to ride with at the time. I didn't have much money and what I had went to rodeo and beer. So instead, I worked on a brood mare ranch, worked with horse and mule trainers, began working on our own rope horses, and made some good contacts. Then, BAM, along comes this woman and all things get upset. I move from MT to AZ and have to start all over. The biggest kicker is it turns out my wife is the best thing to happen to me, she tells me to find what I want to do and go do it as long as I can make money. So here I am seven years later doing exactly that. Problem is I've gone about it the wrong way. I 've made every mistake that hs ever been discussed on these boards as far as business, pricing, learning, apprenticing, and runnig sadi business. I've corrected most of those, but it put's you behind a little when you start that way.

Now here's where the hunger part comes in that Jaye was talking about. I want to learn everything I can. I have always been willing to help any one in any way with or without pay. I don't ask for money, but if they offer I will make a comprimise as to what we both feel I'm worth at the time. Problem is, that I have not been able to find that many farriers that are willing to work in this type of situation. I know there are some very good farriers in the area and would love to work with them, but they have there own little groups and I'm not part of that so I'm left out. I think I've let every farrier around know I would like to learn more and work with some of them, but nary an offer has been made back. So it's very frustrating when you have the hunger, but there's no way to feed it. At least not that I have found here, yet. I have learned more from this site and you people involved here than any other source in my short career. Whether it be direct information or where to find that information, this site has probably been one of the biggest reasons I'm still in business. THANKS BARON!

I know some will say you have to be willing to sacrifice, maybe travel, but I don't have that option with the price of diesel and a wife, two teenage daughters (one in college), and a three year old son. Life is expensive and hectic, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've tried to find some AFA CF'S or CJF's, but we have very few close by. In Tucson I think there is one CF and one CJF, with a couple of other's in the surrounding areas, maybe three or four. Not really within working distance though. Other parts of AZ such as Phoenix and Flagstaff have quite a few more certified and AFA involved farriers. I can probably name 35 to 40, maybe more, guys who shoe in the Tucson area, and I think there are six or seven AFA members and a couple of BWFA members. None really active in either organization. Here, it's still kind of cliquish and hush hush, don't let any one steal your secrets, you might lose business. This could be in part that we have a school here and we have alot of people who try to break in to this trade and don't make it, so there is never a shortage of startup farriers who work on bad horses and do so cheaply. So that doesn't help.

Back to the hunger. I would love to have had and have now a mentor like most of you metion. I did get to work with the owner/teacher of the school here after I finished for about a year one day a week and that was nice, but I could still use more. I spend so much time on this website, my wife calls it the horseshoers soap opera, and say's I'm addicted. But this is where I learn. I sure could use more hands on learning under some one's watchful eye's though. Some time doing things for the first time and not having that support system is really scary and can cause a guy to get ulcers. Such as the sinker thread under Laminitis I started. Never touched one before, but the owners felt confident in me so I got some help from the vet and Mr. Ronald Alders, thank you very much sir, and went ahead and did the job. All seems to have gone well, the horse walked off better than he walked up, and I haven't gotten a call yet saying he was worse. Again, this is where the stress and worry come in that drives me crazy, and my wife. Too of had that mentor, someone to refer to, to call, to still get to go along and talk and learn from would be great. But I will probably still be swimming in the deep end alone for a while hoping nothing ever pulls me under.

Hunger? Yea, it's still there, if you saw me you wouldn't think so, haven't missed to many meals, but I sure want to keep learning and get better. I don't want to look back seven years from now and have to think I need to appologize to the horses I worked on at this point like I do sometimes about the horses I worked on in the beggining. I want to feel like I have helped every horse I work on and not have that stressful ache wondering if things are ok, if the horse is dead or alive, is it my fault, etc.

I want to learn and I want to work. I love this job. So as long as there is the hunger I will continue, and say thanks to all who take the time to help and feed that hunger for all of us less experienced. All I can say is pass it on, pay it forward, and make it work so this trade stays alive and well.

OK, time to eat breakfast,the other hunger is kicking in.
Ben Sturman
AFA CF #7558

Tough times never last, but tough people do!

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, one lick and you will suck for ever!

Folks who think traditional farriery means perimeter fit don't know a heluva lot about shoeing. Tom Stovall,...
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RE:Hungry 31 Aug 2006 19:47 #9

  • Gary Hill
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Ben, what you have described is what I have seen in this business over the past 28 yrs. The older farriers were always keen on keeping things from you. Sure they stood over you when you pulled a shoe-so you didn't take half the wall with it and then when you clinched because they didn't want to have to make a trip back to reset a loose or thrown shoe! Being close to a so called school is painful also because everyone can sign up for the two week version and go out and undercut your rates! One advantage to that is that they will cripple enought to make you look like a Hero when they finally decide ole cheapie shoer don't know squat! Best thing you can do is built your Book and take good care of your people and then word of mouth will bring you plenty of new horses! Most horse owners really don't know a good job from a bad job, and alot of so called trainers don't either. As long as the shoes stay on until you come back and you haven't raised your rates folk pretty much stay happy. If they complain when you do need to raise rates then they are not worth keeping in my opinion. Work and set up at any and all close horseshows and if you just practice building shoes the whole time people will see you and word gets around. Those traveling trainers are always having loose shoes and the such and when they walk up to you they will tell you not to take anything off but just nail the shoe back on. Thats when you really sell yourself to them after you tell them there is no way the shoe will stay on unless you trim and reset the pairs at least. Funny how if it is a two day show the next day they bring the horse back so you can finish them all around! Good Luck! Gary
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Hungry 01 Sep 2006 00:33 #10

Jay
When I had the privilege of being able to apprentice (some 30 years ago)under some of the most respected gated horse farriers I had to pay them to ride with them. There reasoning for it was that I slowed them down with my slow work and profusion of questions. As mentioned back in other posts you had to ask why something was done or the mentor thought you already new why. I don’t think that information or knowledge was ever with held consciously. I paid for a month at a time went home for a month came back and found out how bad I had messed up the horses I had shod on my own. But eventually I started to adsorb the vast knowledge that was at my finger tips. When I interview new apprentices I try and find out if they really want to become a farrier a lot of young people coming into this business see established farriers and how well they are doing and they think that they can have there success right off the bat. I start out telling them that if they are looking for wages they need to go to work at wal-mart they (this will get George started) will make a lot more, what I hope to offer them is a solid foundation in which to build a successful business with. I am unable to teach them everything because I by no means Know Everything. With today’s Farriers the willingness to share knowledge is there for the taking and a lot of young people are trying to take advantage of it. Attitude starts with us spreads too many and eventually affects all.
In life your work is your signature, try to sign with elegance and grace.
You do not have to be the best just care the most.
John Muldoon
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RE:Hungry 01 Sep 2006 04:27 #11

  • BS-Horseshoeing
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Gary, that's what I see still today unfortunately. But it seems to be different in other places. When I went on vacation in early July to MT, I called a CJF that I knew lived there and he was more than happy to let me ride along and talk and teach as much as he could. But here in good old Tucson it just doesn't work like that.

I have been very lucky. Can't think of any horse that I have crippled or caused to be worse than before I started. That may have happened but I haven't heard of it. I caught a couple of breaks helping some other shoers in need, one girl who was pregnant, and got tons of business from referals and got my business set and going in bout 2 to 2 1/2 years. After that point I no longer had to advertise, all my business comes from word of mouth referals. I try to make sure that every horse is better when I leave than when I got there. I show up on time, call if I can't be there right on schedule, schedule ahead all accounts possible and stay in contact as much as possible with all my customers. All things that keep me covered up year around six days a week, which I like, and yet gives me time to spend with my three year old son.

But, it's not to say that I wouldn't love to have some one to work with that knows more and could make me even better. Some one to learn better forging with, and maybe a little more theraputic work so I was more comfortable after working on some bad cases.

To tell you the truth, it really su cks working alone all the time. To have others to work with and learn from would be great, but until then, I will hang out here and learn all I can and work very hard not to cripple anything in the process. I do have plenty to fix from the two week wonders screwing them up anyway like you said.

A true apprenticship may be a dead and gone idea, but the passage of knowledge needs to stay alive and well somehow, so this trade can stay alive.
Ben Sturman
AFA CF #7558

Tough times never last, but tough people do!

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, one lick and you will suck for ever!

Folks who think traditional farriery means perimeter fit don't know a heluva lot about shoeing. Tom Stovall,...
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RE:Hungry 02 Sep 2006 13:48 #12

I'm am currently apprenticing under someone and I couldn't even imagine asking him for a dime. He often buys my lunch and that makes me feel strange. We often just take turns buying lunch. Why would I even expect something like getting paid and/or lunch from someone who is filling my head with knowledge? This guy is giving me something that is more valuable than money, he is teaching me something I can make money with. Kinda goes back to the ol adage "give the man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach the man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime"....

I feel like I'm putting him out. The more I learn, the more (faster) I work. I AM helping him a lot, but I know it must be a pain in the ass for him. I pull shoes, clean them up, pritchel the nail holes, he trims and nails the shoes on, I clinch and finish. We work pretty fast but anytime I mess up I feel like ****.

I try to put myself in his shoes. Do I want some "****** ass" (like me) riding along everyday wanting to learn from me? Asking ****** questions? Doing ****** stuff? Uh, the answer is no.

I almost feel like I should be paying him to let me learn from him (but I do work my ass off for him and we finish up about 2:00 everyday)....

An apprentice asking to be paid? I don't think so.....

Troy
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RE:Hungry 02 Sep 2006 14:43 #13

  • ray steele
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while I have never had an "official " apprentice, i have often wondered how some folks could ask to be paid to learn this or any other trade/profession but others willingly pay to go to school to learn the same trade/profession.

Somehow I think the value of the education is skewed, not sure why. The advice given to me by an old blacksmith years ago comes to mind, " always charge at least a dollar,cause if you give something away and don't charge for it , you just said what it is worth",or words to that effect.

Regards

Ray Steele
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RE:Hungry 02 Sep 2006 15:08 #14

  • George Geist
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Ray,
Is good to see gratitute from people learning. I think another thing to keep in mind is that you can take anything from a man. His money, property, his woman, even his very life.

The one thing you can never take from a man is his knowledge. That is the one thing in this world he has to give freely.

Gratitute is good, but masters must also have a conscience. Apprentices ought not be used as slave labor. When a horseshoer makes more money with someones help than he or she does without it, that apprentice is owed something.

Remember guys thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treads out the corn.
George
For another fun place to play........
www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
Come over and say hello.
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RE:Hungry 02 Sep 2006 16:14 #15

George Geist wrote:

Gratitute is good, but masters must also have a conscience. Apprentices ought not be used as slave labor. When a horseshoer makes more money with someones help than he or she does without it, that apprentice is owed something.

George


Is the knowledge that apprentice is gaining not payment enough? Should the apprentice then pay in the begining of his or her apprenticeship for slowing down the mentor while the learning curve is low? I'm guessing that the average time it takes an apprentice to start "making" the mentor money is around a year. So the first year, it actually costs the mentor money, and time to have this apprentice along for the ride, so maybe the apprentice owe's the mentor a solid year of making money before any money between the two should change hands. That would mean you work for free for two years, the first year learning, and the second year paying the "loan" for your education. :rolleyes:

Dave
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBimQu6Pxxs
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