farriers Dave Werkiser (left) and Jason Hillman (right) work together to shoe a horse.

West Chester, Pa., farriers Dave Werkiser (left) and Jason Hillman (right) say you may impress a potential employer by not focusing on the promise of payment until you demonstrate reliability and helpfulness.

4 Traits Needed to Succeed as a Farrier Apprentice

Pictured Above: West Chester, Pa., farriers Dave Werkiser (left) and Jason Hillman (right) say it may be beneficial to have a prospective helper ride with you without promise of payment until you can gauge their reliability and helpfulness.

Farrier Takeaways

  • As an apprentice, demonstrate how you can lend value to the farrier’s practice.
  • A successful farrier needs people skills, particularly with client communication.
  • Success as a farrier comes quicker through investing time learning the trade outside of the work day.

About 20 years ago, Jessica McGrane wanted to begin a career as a farrier. She asked West Chester, Pa., farrier Dave Werkiser if she could learn the trade from him. Werkiser admits that he was at first hesitant, having had some previous helpers join his practice, but leave just when they became useful.

Eventually he agreed and McGrane joined his practice. Over time, she proved Werkiser made the right decision, and McGrane has established a solid practice in Chester County, Pa. Over the years, the two have shared helpers who have gone on to also build practices or are still working with them.

Werkiser and McGrane shared their thoughts on the most important traits to uncover before taking on help. Along with fellow West Chester farriers Jason Hillman and Tanner Ernst, they identified four traits that junior farriers should bring before joining a practice.

1 You Must Have Horsemanship

McGrane says an apprentice should be someone who is comfortable around the horse. The group felt that because it is largely…

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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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