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Most farriers will agree that newbies can improve their abilities and knowledge right after hoof-care school by riding with a mentor. Although needs like having to support your family or a late start in the career can force you to go it alone, serving as an apprentice can develop your ability and give you invaluable connections in the equine community.
Perhaps you have the time to commit to an apprenticeship. If so, here’s some advice from established horseshoers about the subject.
When searching for an apprenticeship, Grand Valley, Ontario, farrier Brian Hull says to look for someone who has a good reputation in areas like patience and understanding how to properly shoe horses — the qualities you will want associated with you.
“Does he or she sweep the barn floor after finishing shoeing, is polite to the customers and stable workers or on time for the appointments?” asks Hull.
If you are interested in talking with a farrier, he says to ask the horse owner when the next appointment is and if you can come and meet the shoer.
Locate farriers by looking in the local newspapers or horse publications, finding business cards in feed or tack stores and attending horse shows. “Talk to the farrier working at the show — maybe he or she knows a farrier looking for an apprentice,” he says
Apprenticing offers benefits beyond learning trimming and shoeing techniques. “You can learn the best way to get paid, how to deal with different…