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I know I keep saying this, but I feel my apprenticeship can now really start. The farriery apprenticeship is broken down into mini stages. The trial period is the first mini stage followed by the first college block. Now they are both completed I can return to my training farrier, Kris Parsons, with a little knowledge and some experience.

I started with Kris three months ago, with no knowledge or experience. It’s been a steep learning curve and I have a feeling that this curve will only get steeper, particularly as I’ll soon start trimming.

Anyway, a little knowledge is very dangerous, so they say, so I mustn’t get ahead of myself. Instead, I will place myself in the very capable care of Kris, who will take my training on from here and then return me to college in six months time for the second block and subsequent exams.

This last week at college has been full of exams — an anatomy test and shoe-making test as well as being graded for my tool making. I passed all elements and even came top of the class in anatomy with an A grade distinction.

The picture on the right is of the tools I’ve made, which will hopefully serve me well during my farriery career, as well as the shoes I made for the exam. You will notice that they are not clipped, as we are not expected to have that ability yet. You could still use them, although I wouldn’t recommend it! By the next college block, in six months time, I should be producing high-quality shoes, so the challenge for me is to practice, practice, practice, and make sure that any shoes I produce could be fitted to a horse. Of course, those shoes will need toe clips and quarter clips.

Finally, I’ve been set a massive amount of homework which I will need to present at the beginning of the next college block. Much of it is evidence gathering, proving that I have undertaken various tasks. A small heads up, therefore, to customers whose horses we shoe: please don’t be afraid if I ask you to sign something, it’s just part of my homework and evidence gathering. And a few nice words would be good, too!

Until next week,

Roland

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