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Congratulations on taking the first step toward establishing your equine hoof-care business.
Farrier school is a great start, but your education doesn’t stop with your name on a diploma.
“I was taught everything that I needed to know to begin my career as a farrier,” says Mark Hickcox, a Red Lodge, Mont., farrier who graduated from the 24-week program at Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo. “This is the foundation, then it’s clinics, conferences, certifications, competitions and input from more seasoned farriers that are vital to continue improving.”
There’s so much more to learn, and it’s up to you to build on that foundation. Much of the continuing education that you’ll find focuses on the equine hoof capsule — as it should. After all, you didn’t choose this profession to balance budgets, track inventory and chase clients who haven’t paid their bills. Yet it’s important to avoid neglecting the business side of your practice.
In a recent survey, American Farriers Journal asked farriers to identify the one thing they wish they’d learned to help their careers. As you’ll read in "What I Wish They’d Taught In Farrier School", more than one-quarter of them wanted more instruction on the business side of operating a farrier business.
“I’m afraid too many shoers fail because they don’t know how to manage their business,” says John Russell, a Sonoita, Ariz., farrier. “Most small businesses fail — about 90% — due to mismanagement.”
The farrier industry is incredibly generous. Its members want you…