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When I was getting started in the farrier business as a teenager, I struggled with efficiency while shoeing horses, along with the myriad of other issues that plague a young, green farrier. I remember asking my Dad, whom I grew up working with, “How can I get faster?” I still remember his reply clear as can be like it was yesterday, “Ask me that question again after 10 years.”
While his answer didn’t help directly, the wisdom behind it did. I’m not young anymore, and while I’m not old, I can get around a horse more quickly now than I could 30 years ago.
There’s tough logic with improving efficiency. On one hand, I tell new farriers to slow down and focus on the job you need to do. But as skills improve, we need to find a way to maximize our time and there comes a time when we need to hustle and get through our workload. The old adage “time is money” comes into play, especially when a farrier starts to get overwhelmed with more than they can handle.