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Don’t Stop Developing Your Skill Set

Reaching your goals for improvement requires commitment to practice and recognizing where your greatest needs rest


Pictured Above: Experiment with the various steps and points in the heat during your practice.

In the previous article in this series, I referred to the science of studying anatomy. In this article, I focus on the practical side of improving one’s skill level. Horsemanship, trimming, shoeing and forging are all practical skills of shoeing horses.

The practical skills to shoe a horse appeal to new farriers. An experienced farrier makes the task look easy. However, farrier students quickly realize that it is not as easy as it looks. A structured system helps to organize one’s efforts to improve and develop skill. Desire inspires individuals to work at improving their skill and becoming better. More than 100 years ago, William Russell emphasized the combination of science and practical aspects of horseshoeing.

In the first article of this series, I mentioned the value of goals to prompt improvement. Often, the amount of time required to achieve one’s goal is not fully realized until practice is undertaken. There may be areas or skills necessary to achieve a goal that requires more attention than others. Farriers become comfortable as they acquire paying customers. It is a mistake when some farriers think that because they are getting paid there is no need to improve.

One can quickly become busy with a daily routine and feel little motivation to challenge and improve. Certification and competition can provide goals to those looking for motivation. It is rewarding to see the improvement that comes from preparation. The…

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Jacob Butler CJF, AWCF

Jacob Butler is a certified journeyman farrier and an associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. He is the Director and an instructor at Butler Professional Farrier School LLC, located near Chadron, Neb. For more information, visit his website www.butlerprofessionalfarrierschool.com, call (308) 665-1510 or email at jacob@dougbutler.com.

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