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Few farriers have had more success in both shoeing horses and in forging competitions than Jim Poor. Here are a few of the shoeing philosophies and tips that the American Farrier’s Association Certified Journeyman Farrier from Midland, Texas, shared last year during a clinic at Centaur Forge in Burlington, Wis.
1. Poor says skill is something that money can’t buy. Whether it’s horseshoeing, carpentry, gunsmithing or something else, he says that learning a new skill takes plenty of time and effort.
2. Continuing education is expensive and most farriers haven’t spent a great deal of money on it. But by going to clinics and conferences, you’ll set yourself apart from other shoers. Unfortunately, too many shoers think they can teach themselves new skills.
When starting out, Poor realized that learning to properly draw clips would put him ahead of other area shoers. So he drove 300 miles to have a farrier demonstrate a new way to pull a clip.
When he saw someone later demonstrate an easier way to make a bar shoe, Poor took the time to immediately learn that skill. Again, this informal education put him a step ahead of other shoers.
3. Many horseshoers are self-preservationists. They like to take care of themselves and work alone. Poor prefers to work with others and have somebody with him at all times for two important reasons.