I didn't start with the top line of tools when I went out on my own. And through my career, I've met more than one farrier who could drive a nail with a rock. It isn't the tool - what's more important is whose hands the tools are in.
If you've just finished hoof-care school, no one needs to tell you about the financial commitment you've made to your education. You paid for your school, housing, food and more. Unless you have an apprenticeship lined-up or know several people who need farriers, it's going to take a while to develop a business and steady income.
Every tool we own is important and has a job to do. When shoeing, I think the most important one is the nailing or driving hammer. It gets the most use and should be as perfect as possible for each individual’s need.
Bar shoes are popular these days because they’ve helped so many horses suffering from so many problems. However, I like to modify a shoe into an open bar before committing to using a bar shoe on a full-time basis.
Hall of Fame farrier Billy Crothers demonstrates how to build a front pattern concave shoe at the Indiana Farriers Association Clinic that took place at Janssen Veterinary Clinic in Sheridan, Ind. The exercise is useful not only to create easy-to-alter shoes for inventory, but to practice and gain confidence with forging skills.
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