Frankly Speaking: Make an Apprentice Your Legacy

What is your top career highlight? Maybe it is a particular case in which you helped the horse overcome a tough injury and return to work. Maybe it is a horse that won a significant race or show thanks to your footcare. Is it the first time you earned money shoeing a horse?

For Danny Anderson, his favorite shoeing highlight was when he didn’t get under a horse. The Whitesboro, Texas, shoer says his proudest moment came when a client preferred Pilot Point, Texas, farrier Chad Chance to shoe their horse. This was after Chance apprenticed under Anderson.

“I was asked, ‘Does it bother you?’” Anderson recalls. “No, that’s the greatest compliment that I could ever be paid.”

Anderson shared this memory during an online discussion as part of the International Hoof-Care Summit Virtual Clinic Series ( Although the session was specifically on shoeing in Western disciplines, Anderson and other panelists shared insight that would help any apprentice-mentor relationship succeed. Brock, Texas, farrier Lee Olsen moderated this hour-long discussion. A few of their observations follow.

Necessary Qualities for Success

What are the best traits for an apprentice? They vary among farriers. For Blane Chapman, one important quality for a prospective apprentice is drive. He doesn’t want someone unmotivated riding in his truck. You have to identify whether that apprentice is a hard worker, willing to bring value to you and earn your trust in them.

“I tell young people that I don’t want someone sitting on the anvil or…

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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern is the former Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is president of American Horse Publications.

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