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Get A Good Start With A Mentor


Pictured Above: Vern Powell encourages his apprentices to participate in competitions such as the World Championship Blacksmiths (WCB). Powell (right) competes at a WCB event with Heather Beauchemin (left).

Even if you have graduated from shoeing school, this is just a start, in terms of practical knowledge. Learning from someone who has been shoeing horses for many years is invaluable.

Fortunately, there are many opportunities today to further your farrier career and take advantage of learning opportunities.

The Value Of Apprenticeships

Marengo, Ill., farrier Vern Powell enjoys helping young farriers get started by teaching them as apprentices.

“I’ve done this two different ways,” he says. “If they come to me at the beginning having never shod a horse, I have them ride along with me and the other two farriers in my area. They spend time in the forge, much like the English system. They learn to handle the material, make sections and become comfortable with tools in their hands and the forge and comfortable under the horse.”

Powell has them expend the time and energy before going to farrier school.

“They make sure this is what they want to do,” he says. “This also gets them in shape. Most beginning farriers tell me they spend the first several months getting in shape, in shoeing school. It’s hard to learn when your knees are wobbly.”

Learning from a mentor before attending school can help you get in shape, become familiar with the tools and get comfortable under a horse.

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Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

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