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If you are reading this magazine, there’s a good chance you are interested in improving your skills as a farrier. This article is designed to help you do just that.
Most of the articles in this “Back To Basics” series teach you about an individual project. But this one is different. This one is about the learning process and improving what you already know how to do.
That means this article’s point is not how I am doing what is shown, but why. The why is to improve my skill level and make each task easier. Hopefully you can take some of the principles and tasks outlined in this article and apply those that fit your stage of skill development.
During a recent clinic in Iowa I was telling those in attendance some of the things I’ve tried in my efforts to improve. Rich Evans, a farrier and statistician at Iowa State University, suggested that I put together a training schedule — much like a body builder would use — but aimed at building forging skills instead of muscles. I thought it was a great idea.
People learn in different ways, but there are some constants. We all have neural pathways in the brain — the chemicals and wiring that let the brain control the body. Repeated use of these pathways can increase the skill with which we do a task.
With this in mind (pardon the pun), most of what I suggest involves repetition. I…