Daryl Bean, a 31-year veteran shoer from Oviedo, Fla., works a couple of days a week with an apprentice. She knows from experience that there are ups and downs to that relationship - for both master and apprentice.

She enjoys serving as a mentor and sharing the workload, but she says there is a downside, even to that.

"When you're working with an apprentice, you tend to get locked into just one stance and one set of movements," she says. "I like having the full range of motions and actions to keep me loose."

Bean has a lot of sympathy for how tough apprentices have it.

"To get better, apprentices need good horses to work on, not bad ones," she says. "But the opposite is what happens. It's hard to find people who will let an inexperienced farrier work on a good horse, especially in a tough economy."

Bean also says that while she knows how expensive it is to get started in this business, she still recommends that apprentices not skimp on tools.

"Top of the line tools will really make a difference," she says. "And when you're starting out, you need all the help you can get."

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