Education has been a common theme for me lately. This past week, we are coming off of the most attended International Hoof-Care Summit. More than 950 hoof-care professionals came to Cincinnati for the 10th annual event. The trade show had 104 companies exhibiting their products.

Education is reason for the Summit, from the general sessions, classrooms roundtable discussions and networking.

A couple of days before the Summit, I received a call from someone who is interested in approaching farrier education. Essentially the questions was, "To be a farriers, should I first go to horseshoeing school or apprentice?"

This topic has been on my mind lately. My recommendation: work in retail for a small business or in the service industry. This way, the person will learn firsthand an important key to running a business: customer service. He/she will see how successfully addressing a customer's needs impacts a business. Conversely, by ignoring that customer, a lesson in damage to that business is taught. The prospective farrier will get a daily lesson in how to interact with customers and earn their business, rather than taking it for granted and ignoring their needs.

You can have all of the knowledge and practical skill to deliver quality hoof care to horses, but if you don't have adequate customer service skills, you won't have a successful practice. And perhaps most importantly, that person will see if they are capable of learning or delivering customer service. If not, a lesson is learned and a different industry should be chosen as a careen path.