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Over the years, I have advised everyone who has apprenticed or ridden along with me to be aware of and avoid what I call the “YTI” syndrome. “YTI” is the illusion many farriers entertain in the early stages of our work, where we think of ourselves as “Young, Tough and Immortal.” I tell those farriers “you may be young, but that is a temporary situation, you may think you are tough, but you just haven’t met the right horse, and you definitely are not immortal.”
I recommend approaching your daily work in such a way that you always have the next appointment in the back of your mind, and never ignore the little voice that tells you something isn’t quite right about the horse in front of you. I have many memories of when I should have followed my own advice.
I remember an occasion when a long-time client brought me a new horse and was eager to get a fresh set of shoes on her so she could check her out on some of the many trails in the area. We got through that client’s other two horses without incident. Then she brought Jet out from her stall.
The mare walked calmly up and down the barn aisle while I watched her gait. When I put her in the cross-ties, Jet seemed somewhat nervous, but I was sure I could work her out of that. The front end went smoothly. I then started on the hind.
I had the…