Improve Your Forge Work with the 4 Stages of Learning

Understanding the “Conscious Competence Ladder’ can help you navigate the highs and lows of learning a skill

Farrier Takeaways

  • Understanding the four stages of learning can help a person manage the emotional peaks and valleys of learning a new skill and provide a tangible way to evaluate how far they’ve come.
  • Practicing how to hold the stock with tongs and where the steel will be positioned on the anvil will help you improve your efficiency.
  • Hammer blows should be intentional, otherwise there is a risk of significant deviation from the original stock dimensions.

Every person who calls themselves a farrier has been a student of hoof care at some point in their life. There are many who still consider themselves a student, even though they have been an established farrier for many decades.

To be a student means to be a learner. All farriers should be or are students of our trade. Every horse and every shoe you forge or modify is a learning experience.  

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to use steel as the stock and extreme examples of a new student’s experience learning to forge. Steel is the most common form of metal still being used for horseshoes and the colors of steel when it is heated make it easy to discuss.

Some farrier school students come in with previous knowledge of forge work, but most do not. Perhaps some of the experiences the students have will relate to an issue or two that you are having with a particular forging skill. Or, maybe reading their experiences will remind you of your…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Tiffany gardner

Tiffany Gardner CJF, APF-I

Tiffany Gardner, CJF, APF operates Gardners Equine farrier service in Arlington, Texas. She’s a graduate of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings