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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…