You can’t cut corners on self-improvement, says Marengo, Ill., shoer Vern Powell. He finds some farriers are unwilling to commit the time to education and forge work.

“Learning the farrier craft takes time and diligence. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.”

“The availability of ready-made shoes is such that the basic skills of forging shoes are being ignored,” says Powell. “This has a direct impact on your fitting and shaping.”

You have to be willing to push yourself and maintain a commitment to excellence if you want to advance your practice.

“It is too easy to grab a shoe out of a box, trim around it and say it fits,” says Powell. “I think everyone is guilty of that now and then because maybe the horse was fighting you, it’s the last horse of a long, hot day or the feet were in such bad shape the first time that you’re hoping for improvement in the next shoeing. It becomes a problem when it becomes the rule, rather than the exception.”

You can read more about improving a farrier practice in the November 2009 issue of American Farrier Journal.

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