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There are few occupations that I know of which give a practitioner the same feeling of accomplishment that teaching farriery does. Granted, the only things I have done since high school have been shoeing horses, some time in the Army and teaching farriery since 1992. So you have to understand that I have a somewhat biased view on this subject.
As an educator in this industry, a person has to be able to deal with a lot of different situations; some dangerous, some funny, some serious — but all are important. It is one thing to teach a trade in a controlled environment with inanimate objects as is done in woodworking shop or auto-mechanics school. With farrier science, you have to add not only some interesting characters in the form of customers and students, but also a large number of horses that the general practitioner does not want to shoe.
One of the things about this trade that I think is unique is the fact that the top practitioners are so willing to share their knowledge with others in the field. In a lot of professions, people keep what they know to themselves so that they can have a perceived edge over the competition. Perhaps the fact that most of us are interested in helping as many horses as possible keeps the sharing of information flowing. It does not hurt that there is so much work out there for those…