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Mark Aikens of Norwich, England, recently earned his foundation degree (equivalent to an associate’s degree in the United States) in farrier science from Myerscough College in Preston, England. The intensive, 3-year program is offered only to qualified, working farriers as a way for them to further their education.
British farrier and educator Mark Caldwell, a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (FWCF), leads the program.
Aikens describes the coursework as very challenging, providing structured, personal development and continuing professional development to its participants. In addition to a considerable online workload, students are expected to be at the college 2 days per month. As part of the course, farriers must complete both practical and theoretical exams and submit a 10,000-word thesis.
Aikens has been a farrier for more than 20 years, finishing an apprenticeship with Monmouthshire, Wales, farrier Haydn Price in 1993 and starting his own farrier business in England.
Mark Aikens completed the 3-year farrier science program and earned his foundation degree from Myerscough College. Diplomas were awarded in July.
“I’ve always been motivated to develop my business and my own personal education,” Aikens says. “I was fortunate to travel to the U.S. on three occasions during my apprenticeship to work with farrier Steve Teichman. I have collaborated with Steve ever since his work as farrier to the United States Equestrian Federation brought him to the United Kingdom.”
As Aikens’ business evolved and his reputation grew, he started shoeing for clients…