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There will be readers who agree and disagree with the page 57 to 63 article that analyzes why participants in the World Blacksmiths’ Championship at Calgary are convinced that competing has made them much better shoers.
While competing at any level can help you learn new skills, it’s definitely not for everyone. Some of you will argue that competing isn’t what horseshoeing is all about, as the time and effort that’s needed can’t be turned into more income.
Ray McCall of Clifton, Colo., is a Certified Journeyman Farrier with 28 years of experience who feels most of the commentary comes from competitors
“In my opinion, this is a topic that has gotten out of hand,” he says. “I have friends and colleagues that compete, including some on the American Farrier’s Team, and I believe in and support this system of higher learning.
“The competitors at the higher levels are very talented individuals. They somehow find the time and are close to talented people that help them refine the finer points of their forging skills to become the best of the best in this area.”
Part of the concern is that the average farrier has other priorities. “He or she is raising a family and has bills to pay,” says McCall. “They don’t have time to practice making shoes because there are kids to take to school, children’s ball games to watch and dinner to cook.
“While competing at higher levels is a goal admired by many, because…