Farriers today are much more willing to share information. Decades ago, shoeing was a tight-lipped industry. Veteran farriers were the only means of communication for a new shoer and they weren’t often willing to talk. Now, farriers are sharing knowledge through local associations, general camaraderie and other venues, like clinics and conferences. Shoers today recognize the importance of sharing knowledge for the good of the industry and the horses.
Steve Sermersheim (CJF, AWCF) of Collison, Ill., a 24-year farrier, says the best way to develop a professional relationship with veteran shoers is to learn from them. Offer to ride with a local farrier a day or two a week and help out. That way you get to demonstrate your work. You’ll also have an expert on hand for critiques and improvements.
“That will build your business faster than trying to advertise,” says Sermersheim. “Go ride with established farriers and show them your skills. Pick up the phone and call them. Introduce yourself and say you’re willing to learn. Let them know you’re available for extra horses.”
He finds the biggest mistake new farriers can make is isolating themselves from the farrier community. By working with others, a farrier gets to know clients and builds a network of mentors who will be available if issues arise. “If you run into any problems, there will be people to ask,” he says.
Doug Anderson (CF, APF), a farrier with 14 years of experience, believes that riding with veteran farriers is what…