Yes, there are times when I've felt like, "Oh my god! I've got to go shoe horses again today!" When that starts to happen, I try to back off a little bit; take a couple of days of some R & R, not fill my book so full for a week or so and then try to get to a clinic or gathering of farriers somewhere to get revitalized by getting some new information, seeing what other farriers are working on and just in general, networking with some others in the profession. I find that really helpful to do.
I found the key was education, education, education. As long as you're learning something new that you can use in the daily grind, it keeps it interesting. Also being involved with associations keeps it fun because of the fellowship of farriers. I always have someone work with me. It's safer and you always have someone to talk about these things with. Certification and contests have really kept things interesting in my later part of this career.
I agree with the earlier comment on getting away once in awhile, a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work. I also find that whenever I go to a clinic it gets me thinking and excited about the work again. Recently, after dealing with the recent economy and other factors, I was really tired of the whole thing and after a clinic where there was some blacksmithing going on, I changed my entire way of doing business I switched to mostly hand made shoes and starting shooting for quality, not that I was doing crap work before, but I cranked it up a knotch. I have more pride in my work, and even if the client doesn't see it I know it, I feel more excited about my work as a result.
I am an ex farrier of 64yrs. All these writings or comments are excellent topics to be taught or read to young farriers because it is personal EXPERIENCE they are writing of, that will not be in the how to shoe horses book and well done to the person who thought of burnout because it extracted good comments from farriers.
Forty years of basic flat foot shoeing and I was burnout. I discovered shoeing tom the internal structures of the hoof with a better understanding of bio-mechanics and physiology. Everyday is a new experience with new challanges. Education is the key to moving on.
I take a two week vacation every year like every body else. HUNTING SEASON! My burn out therapy.
I agree with Alan. Each winter I attend the Hoof Care Summit, plus a few other clinics. By March I am ready to hit it hard again.
In any profession there is burnout. They key to overcoming burnout is to reflect on what you believe is causing it. In some cases it may be your overworking yourself, not enough time in a day, working 6+ days a week, not making enough money, feel like in a rut with horses, etc. All have simple solutions - take some time off, life and family balance, raise prices, attend clinics, etc. What makes burnout worse is many people do not know who to turn to to help through the crisis. Seek out others who have gone through this and develop a strong network of peers for help and feedback.
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