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I am always amazed by this great trade of ours. No matter how long you apply yourself to the art of farriery or how much you study the science and theory behind equine footcare, there will always be something to learn. There are so many skill sets that have to be mastered to just become adequate that it can seem a daunting task for the beginner. For the experienced farrier, every time you learn or master something new, this maxim keeps the job fresh and fun.
Take hoof knives, for example. I have never been good at putting an edge on a knife. My hoof knives have only been sharp because my son Cody had a natural ability to sharpen them. When he was 8, he enjoyed helping me and always was available when I needed my knife sharpened. As he aged, the fun kind of wore off, and his traveling meant he was not always around.
My wife Kelly and I managed the best that we could with our dull blades. We would cut through a lot of feet with technique and strength rather than more efficiently with a sharp knife. We also used the top brand knives that cost around $100, since a cheaper knife was unable to be used for as long without sharpening. To top it off, I was in constant search of a new knife, and I have spent a lot of money on knives that didn’t get very much work. Had I known how…