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LEARNING EXPERIENCE. Jeff Ridley, right, a farrier from Leighton, Iowa, had a great experience conducting a 3-day clinic in Brazil recently. Ridley is shown with Brazilian farrier Jose Eduardo who had just forged and applied a hear bar shoe.
Recently I had the opportunity to make a trip to the Southern Hemisphere and do a clinic for a group of farriers from Brazil. What an experience that clinic turned out to be.
I’d gotten a call from Dick Becker, the certified journeyman farrier from Lapeer, Mich., who asked me if I would be willing to make the trip. Dick had made the trip a year earlier. Being game for new challenges and always looking for an adventure I jumped at the chance.
That got the ball rolling — and the red tape started.
The invitation was extended not only to me, but also to my family. Although we already had passports, there was quite a process of getting applications and medical records in order, particularly for my daughter, Josey. We finally got all the paperwork, red tape and plane tickets confirmed and headed south on a 12-hour flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
We booked an overnight flight thinking that we would miss the entire flight by sleeping — waking up in a new country on a new day. Anybody that has flown overnight probably knows how that worked out; we didn’t sleep much.
We did arrive in a different country on a different day, as well as a…