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Competing Boosts Shoeing Skills

Farriers at the World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition had solid ideas on why competing can make you a better shoer

Competitors in the World Cham­pionship Blacksmiths’ Competition were convinced that participating in forging and shoeing contests can make you a better horseshoer. But they weren’t necessarily in agreement as to when young shoers should start competing.

Competing in contests over the years has made daily shoeing much easier, more efficient and less stressful for Dick Becker. The Lapeer, Mich., farrier says constantly improving your shoeing skills is critical and that’s what results from competing in these highly educational events.

“By competing, you learn how to effectively match your shoeing and forging skills with the horses you work with,” he says. “You learn plenty of dos and don’ts from competing. There’s no such thing as the perfect shoeing job or the perfect horse, there’s always room for improvement and new ways to improve your shoeing efficiency.

“You learn plenty from competing and talking with fellow competitors who have a very open mind and are always willing to share their best ideas.”

Becker believes new shoers should start competing as soon as possible. He’s convinced there’s no better way to expand your forging skills and improve your daily shoeing work.

“Competing lets you develop more confidence in your shoeing work and makes it easier on yourself when shoeing,” he says. “When you get home at night, you won’t be so stressed out if you put some of the valuable tips you’ve learned in competing to work in your business.”

Becker says competing helps farriers develop discipline, an essential part of running a…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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