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The art and craft of horseshoeing used to be passed on from master to apprentice, but today there are schools, books, DVDs and other opportunities and tools available for learning. However, apprenticeships still provide the best way to learn the trade.
George Walker, the owner of Walker Farms in Beldenville, Wis., says his entire career has been based on a series of apprenticeships, which has allowed him to hone his craft and continue his education.
“Even if you go to a school, I believe it’s very beneficial to do at least a short apprenticeship afterward to not only experience shoeing, but to also learn more about the business and people skills,” he says. “I still struggle with some of the business parts of my practice such as pricing, billing, advertising, taxes and inventory.”
There are also aspiring farriers who aren’t able to get to a school, so an apprentice situation suits them just fine.
“I worked full time and was unable to go away to a school for an extended period of time,” says Derek Grimwood of Grimwood’s Farrier Service in Chapel Hill, Tenn. “I knew I needed help and couldn’t get started on my own. Because of the willingness of farriers to share their knowledge and answer my questions, I felt very encouraged as I began my own learning process.”
The benefits of training with an established farrier include: