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TOPIC: For people who didn't go to school...

For people who didn't go to school... 06 Nov 2006 04:40 #1

what did you do?

I've hashed and rehashed a budget for myself, but I just can't swing it, no matter what I do. Too many bills, I have to have a full time job. With current work schedule, I don't fit in with any of the farriers around here. I used to, when I had a different job, but ****** me took this "better paying" job (more pay = more B.S.) :rolleyes:

Anyhow, I guess I just need encouragement or thoughts from people who didn't get the chance to go to school. A little frustrated I guess... :o

Much appreciated.
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 06 Nov 2006 05:01 #2

  • George Geist
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Pony,
You didnt say what type of work your into now. If you have an ability to use tools and so forth you might be able to get by without school, in fact a lot of them you'd be better off keeping away from.

Buy yourself all needed equipment little at a time if necessary. Read everything you can get your hands on especially the Doug Butler books as this is what a school would have you reading anyway.

If you are self motivated you can do it without school, try to find a horseshoer that will let you ride along and help. This is what you would be doing if you went to school anyway.

They teach nothing in there that you cant learn on your own if youre motivated enough.

Good luck to you
George
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 06 Nov 2006 05:24 #3

Thanks George, What I do now...oh god. I make snowmobile tracks. Don't laugh!! :p I'm fine with tools, hand tools, power tools, whatever. I worked at an aftermarket automotive parts store before, and my father's a mechanic and welder so I can recognize most tools and even use some of them.

I've been trying to find a new job that I can take that will free up my schedule a little bit, but it's hard to do without taking a huge pay cut (well, I'm too afraid to take a pay cut).

I rode with a farrier for a couple days a week for a summer and then some, but couldn't keep a schedule going, and just got "stuck" in the work groove. It was a great learning experience, but I can't find time that will fit into his schedule. He has more confidence in me than I have in myself though, he thinks I will be fine trimming my own and a couple horses a friend owns. (he said the more I get under horses, the better)

I admit, I'm nervous. I'm afraid of messing up terribly, and there are so many things to consider and know. I just feel I need more knowledge to do a good job. :o

I thank you for your reply. Perhaps there is another farrier close by though, I will keep looking. Or hopefully, I will find a job that will give me a more flexible work week!

Doug Butler books seem pricey new, I'm going to try and find used. Thank you for the suggestions. ;)
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 06 Nov 2006 13:07 #4

  • Mike Ferrara
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I lucked out and fell into the whole thing by accident. I was young and mostly out of work. A guy who owned a stable with 40 borders and 20 livery horses offered me a part time job. The part time job turned into a full time job and he offered to teach me to shoe horses. Not having anything more worthwhile to do at the time I took him up on it.

I had a well equiped shop at my disposal and 20 head of livery horses that I could go to town on. I worked with him on border horses and eventually started shoeing border horses on my own. I moved from that to taking clients outside of his barn and eventually went full time.

I didn't make much money working there and sometimes I had to do my shoeing at crazy times because there was plenty of other things to do. But...for learning to shoe without having to find the time and money to go to school, buy my equipment all at once or work an unpaid apprenticeship, it was an arrangement made in heaven.

That probably doesn't help you much and I sure wouldn't know how to tell you to go about finding such a deal but that's how I did it.
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 08 Nov 2006 03:35 #5

Here is my story I will try to be brief…. I found a “school” that had an owner trim course. It went for a week in Austin, TX. So, I used some vacation and Plastic and went to Austin. It was cool; I have never traveled far from WI. I also thought it would be a good test. Can I handle even training to be a farrier?? Before I went, I studied for about a year and started doing mine, and my friends horses (about 8 horses). I can share with you later what I used for study materials. However, Doug Butler’s book is a wonderful start to your collection. And as mentioned before it is a required reading for most schools. According to the owner of the school in TX I did very well and shouldn’t hesitate to continue in the path as a farrier. I know I may get ridiculed for this but after I got back I started a trimming business. I worked under the AWARENESS of my equine vet and other farriers in the area. Everyone (clients for sure) was aware of my abilities (that I was a “sound horse”, “pasture horse” “Trimmer”) and I was continuing my education.
I live near our University where we have one of the most insightful, and educated farriers I have met. He gives everyone the opportunity to learn form his experience. So, I try to work it out with my current job that I work a few odd hours so I am able to spend time at the U. observing. Which has been wonderful!! I get to see so many different cases, X-rays etc.
So, the next year I used up my entire 2 weeks vac. And went to different school. (last Feb.) It was drivable distance from home and the school provided very cheep housing. I was accepted in the class that had been going for 5 weeks prior. I had a wonderful time and would never give it back. However, it was not what I expected and was hoping to get out of it. Please don’t misunderstand me I don’t feel horseshoeing can be taught in a short time! I feel you can only learn from others and experience. And never close your mind to one person’s ideas. Make your own judgments.
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 08 Nov 2006 04:11 #6

EEHorseshoeing wrote:
I live near our University where we have one of the most insightful, and educated farriers I have met. He gives everyone the opportunity to learn form his experience. So, I try to work it out with my current job that I work a few odd hours so I am able to spend time at the U. observing. Which has been wonderful!! I get to see so many different cases, X-rays etc.

From your profile, I'm guessing that you're referring to Dean. He's helped a lot of folks up there! Please tell him I said "hi."
~~Danvers

Danvers Child, CJF

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“Watch what people are cynical about, and you will often discover what they lack." General George S. Patton Jr.

"Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than...
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 08 Nov 2006 11:22 #7

  • tbloomer
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Silly Pony wrote:
what did you do?

I've hashed and rehashed a budget for myself, but I just can't swing it, no matter what I do. Too many bills, I have to have a full time job. With current work schedule, I don't fit in with any of the farriers around here. I used to, when I had a different job, but ****** me took this "better paying" job (more pay = more B.S.) :rolleyes:

Anyhow, I guess I just need encouragement or thoughts from people who didn't get the chance to go to school. A little frustrated I guess... :o

Much appreciated.
If you know enough farriers, eventually you will find somebody who is shoeing on the days that you are off work. The best way to meet a bunch of farriers is to join your local or state association.

Empire State Farrier's Association, Inc.
Tom DuBois, CJF, President
109 Rutsonville Road
Wallkill, NY 12589
Phone: 845-744-5808
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 08 Nov 2006 11:40 #8

  • jvzieger
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Apparently you can run for Vice President of the AFA even without having gone to farrier school, so don't be intimidated. :rolleyes:

But seriously, I didn't see where you are from, but I'm sure there are some good farriers in your area. Yes, joining your regional association or AFA chapter is a great way to start the learning. There you will meet people that will tell you when and where clinics will be held, and will teach you a lot.

I'm not sure where you are, but if you're anywhere nearby, you can ride with me anytime.

Oh, about quiting the job, or taking a pay cut...

I personally left a GREAT paying corporate job and spent all my retirement money on tools and school (and then some on my credit cards). It's definetly been a struggle starting. I haven't been this poor in years, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

If you're dedicated to your own success in this profession, you WILL succeed. From my own history, I say, take the leap, you won't regret it. :D
Jim Zieger Farrier
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 08 Nov 2006 13:29 #9

  • Rick Burten
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jvzieger wrote:
Apparently you can run for Vice President of the AFA even without having gone to farrier school, so don't be intimidated. :rolleyes:
Demonstrably you can run for any/every AFA office without having gone to farrier school. :)
I personally left a GREAT paying corporate job and spent all my retirement money on tools and school (and then some on my credit cards).
:eek: :eek:

Geeze Jim, how long were you with the company?


Seriously, SP you should begin to set aside money so that when you make the career change, you have enough salted away to sustain you for a minimum of six months and a year would be better. You need to figure out how much it would take to maintain a lyfe style for a year, go to school purchase tools, equipment and supplies, and begin to get established. You'll find that some days you eat chicken and some days you eat feathers. If you make it to the five year point , you'll probably continue to be successful.

Depending on your personal needs, you can get started with a relatively minimum set of tools and equipment and a very simplified inventory. Your work vehicle can be pretty 'modest' so you don't have to spend tons of money when you first start in the profession. Join your state association, go to meetings and network.

Rick
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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."
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 08 Nov 2006 16:36 #10

  • jvzieger
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Rick Burten wrote:
:eek: :eek:

Geeze Jim, how long were you with the company?

That company, only 4 years. Long enough to build up some 401K money, but not long enough for my pension to vest. But there was more to it than that (divorce and such). I needed a life change, and so I walked away from about $50K when I left, in an unvested pension plan, but it was worth it. I've never looked back! :)

Rick's vocabulary word of the day: Demonstrably :p
Jim Zieger Farrier
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 09 Nov 2006 00:47 #11

Pony,

I'm in the middle of doing it right now. I run a fairly successful business but I'm sick of the headache.

I'm good friends with my vet and the farrier that works for him started doing my horses about a year and a half ago. I really wanted to start learning so I could do my horses myself so he started teaching me stuff when he would come. I finally grew some ***** and asked him if I could start riding with him some. He said sure! At that point I was just wanting to learn enough to do my own but I loved it so much I'm now riding with him 3-4 days a week and I've definitely hooked. We work our butts off but its the best thing that has happened to me.

I sold off some of my business's stuff that wasn't in use anymore and bought a full set of tools. I spent about $4500 on everything (it was painful, but its done now (probably the best money I've ever spent)).

Right when I started riding with him, I broke my leg when I fell off one of my horses. I was off my feet for about 8 months but I read Doug Butler's books over and over and over. I read everything I could get my hands on. When I finally got going again, all that reading came in REAL handy. Now my brain knows what to do but its the training the hands to do it and that's the difficult part for me.

I was really lucky to find a experienced farrier to ride with. Its hard to find em, but keep trying. Its got to kinda suck to have somebody that doesn't know anything looking over your shoulder constantly and asking "******" questions, so keep that in mind.... I try to be as efficient and useful as possible. I stay out of the way and I treat my mentor like gold. Cleaning the truck, organizing the shoes, cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning when we are not busy. Now that I've been riding with him for as long as I have, I can almost shoe some of the garden variety horses on my own. I do all the ****py trims and other **** jobs alone so we finish early everyday.

Just jump in and make it happen. If you want it, you can do it.

Troy
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RE:For people who didn't go to school... 09 Nov 2006 02:15 #12

hey Pony ,
I feel your pain!!! I work my full time job 60 hrs a week, i ride with my mentor every wed ...one of my two days off... buy a tool at least every month. It has taken me a year and a half but my truck if ready and equipped , my shoeing/trimming box has good tools (buy what ya need) fancy/pricey tools can come later. Get the basics and the main thing find a good farrier to ride with and committ to him/her that you will be there for them on a certain day weekly and watch ,listen , and learn. My other day off I work for my self. After my second year my mentor has let me do some of his overflow trims this summer and now it has grown to/with new clients of my own to where i do two /three a day and 6-10 on my days off.
It can happen for you to... make a plan work the plan
Now I want my experience and knowledge to catch up with my equipment
best of luck,
Redd
Redd McIntyre
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