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Seasoned shoers who have been in the industry for more than 30 years notice how communication among farriers has changed since they entered the profession. Decades ago, farriers wouldn’t readily share information with one another. During those times, a shoer would likely quit working if another shoer showed up at the barn, rather than give away any beneficial insight to observers.
Today, this reluctance has largely disappeared. Through clinics, local associations, general camaraderie and other venues, shoers are more likely to share knowledge for the good of the industry and the horses.
Jason Maki of Bryan, Texas, and farrier for Texas A&M University’s veterinary school says you need to always treat other farriers as if they have something to teach you. He advises you to surround yourself with farriers who know more than you about shoeing and the conduct of a professional. If you focus on self-improvement and acknowledge how much you have yet to learn, then your relationship with other shoers will grow.
“If you treat yourself and your career with respect, then it is second nature that you will treat other shoers with respect,” says Maki.
He finds the biggest mistake young shoeing school grads make is skipping an apprenticeship. By working with top farriers, you get to know clients and build a network of mentors. If you establish professional and personal relationships with other shoers, then you will be less likely to downplay someone. “In the long run, you will develop…