Shop Talk: September/October 2023

Bluegrass Horseshoeing School to Open in 2024


More than 30 years ago, farrier Dan Helton, CJF, attended Jim Keith’s horseshoeing program at Tucumcari Vocational School in New Mexico. The lessons learned from the Hall of Fame farrier and blacksmith decades ago remained with Helton throughout his career. Today, Keith influences Helton, who will leave his farrier practice and operate a horseshoeing school like his mentor.

In early spring 2024, Helton will open the Bluegrass Horseshoeing School in Williamsburg, Ky., in the south-central part of the state.

Helton plans to offer classes at 12-, 16- and 24-week blocks. He believes that shorter 8-week courses end just as students begin to understand key concepts of farriery. The longer duration classes will add a deeper understanding for his graduates to prepare them for the workforce.

He plans to maintain a five-to-one student-to-teacher ratio. Helton is working on the curriculum, but says he will feature key building blocks, such as anatomy and forging. One portion of the curriculum he highlights is business. Helton believes this is an area that he can really aid students by sharing problems he encountered and mistakes he made through his 32-year career.

“I can offer different scenarios throughout my career,” he says, “whether it is how to deal with difficult clients or problematic horses.”

For more information on the Bluegrass Horseshoeing School, email or call (765) 227-7923.

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