This blog is sponsored by the PRO FEET range of hoof care products from NAF

With the second of three weeks of college under my belt, my head is starting to feel rather full! More learnings about tendons and ligaments, blood circulation (see right) and limb structures, conformation and shoe-making have all been pumped into my tiny brain and we’re still only scratching the surface.

At the end of this college block, we will have had a brief introduction to most areas of the farriery course. Then we will drill down into the detail in all future blocks. Incidentally, I achieved my highest mark so far this block with an A grade for making a shoe to fit a wooden template of a horse’s hind foot — even though I set fire to it!

I’ve also handed in a considerable amount of assignments and still have plenty more to complete before the end of the coming week. Somehow, I’ve managed to complete all of my welding projects, including a lateral extension and bar shoe. There really is no let up. The pace of the course and, for that matter the whole apprenticeship, is intense.

The picture is of a silicone cast of the blood vessels (veins arteries, capillaries etc) of a real equine hoof. These aids (and there are many such objects) really help our understanding of the subject areas. In fact the quality of the lectures and tuition is really very impressive indeed and there’s no wonder that the UK has the best farriers in the world.

Finally, I’ve been reflecting on my college timetable and whether it’s a doss compared to when at work with Kris Parsons (my training farrier). On the surface of it, college life wins hands down — I have a 45 minute lie-in and I finish a good hour and half earlier.

The reality, though, is I’m completely exhausted at the end of a college day and still have homework to do when I get home. In conclusion, I’ve decided there’s really not much in it. Either way I’m knackered, but perhaps not quite as muddy. Maybe therefore, just based on the fact that it tales less time to shower, college life just edges it!

Until next week

Roland

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