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After reading Mike Brookfield’s essay, “He Was My Best Teacher,” I’ve been thinking about the subject of confidence. For Brookfield, a lameness case with a Quarter Horse tested his confidence. He writes about how this particular case made him question a lot of what he thought he knew about hoof care. Every farrier throughout a career will have challenging horses. Sometimes these cases can be tough enough to lead to questioning one’s ability to do the job.
Fortunately for Brookfield, this case proved to be more educational than one that shook his confidence. He benefited largely from an owner that stuck with him over the 6 months until Brookfield found the solution that best suited the horse. As he points out in the essay, sometimes the patience of the client exhausts before the horse is sound. For farriers, that loss of client support is what does the most to damage confidence. In a 2017 American Farriers Journal online poll, the leading cause of loss of confidence was being fired by a client, more so than any problem directly related to the horse.
But regardless of the cause, what do you do when you reach the point of questioning your approach to work and lose confidence?
The loss of confidence isn’t only something farriers face. This is a problem that other professions face when the person is invested into their work. And there is no shortage of advice on how to overcome those lulls in confidence. I…