Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s farrier program has been a boon for Aaron Maida.

A program assistant for KPU’s 9-month program, Maida joined the program in 2014 after growing up around horses. 

Many people do not understand what he does as a farrier, the 26-year-old explained to the Surrey-Now Leader.

“Few people realize that horses still need shoes that have to be made by hand,” says Maida. “It still requires human touch and effort.”

Still, Maida thinks the work of a farrier is becoming more visible. He told the paper that people frequently ask him about Forged in Fire, the popular History Channel series.

Regardless of mainstream understanding, he finds the work rewarding. Maida described his first time forging a shoe as “the greatest feeling, to see all of my hard work and long hours spent practicing come together and watch that horse trot off happily.” 

Students in the program stay busy. According to Maida, the school sees approximately 40 to 50 clients on a 6-week rotation. On top of that, Maida has his own clients to service.

“It’s been pretty hectic in the last month or so — I haven’t really had a day off,” Maida told the paper. “It’s been just one thing after another, you know.”

Students in the program have their own forges and work on horses with supervision and guidance from Maida and the program’s lead instructor, Gerard Laverty.