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About half of 1%. According to the Department of Defense, that’s approximately the number of Americans who served in the military over the previous decade. However, anecdotally, it appears to me that the percentage is much higher among farriers.
I think this has much to do with parallels between the two careers. Many of the traits learned in the military give veterans valuable skills that bleed into their work as farriers. This doesn’t make veterans better than those who have never served. However, as someone who served and is a practicing farrier, the traits are abundantly clear.
Military service is a unique way of life. From basic training to deployments, service members learn a variety of skill sets that provide a strong foundation for success. Here are five of the best qualities that I have learned from my time in the service. I think any farrier who recognizes these traits and works on enhancing these will be successful in our trade.
In the military, rarely is success accomplished individually, and veterans know the importance of working together to solve complex problems. Teamwork provides you with the ability to learn from others and can allow you to help other people as well.
In your business, you can learn to do this through continuing education opportunities like team forging competitions or mandatory relationships like working with veterinarians, owners and other farriers on problem horses. Having a team approach to your farrier work can provide help in otherwise difficult situations.