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

This week I have reached another milestone in my farrier journey.

The Farrier Training Agency, which monitors each apprentice’s progress by sending a field officer to their place of work every six months, came to see me this week. He had come to see how I was getting on, check I had done my homework and that I was on track generally.

His visit marks the halfway point between my last college block and the next one. Had I not done my homework, then I would get flagged to the training agency as someone to keep an eye on. Trust me, you don’t want to be flagged to the FTA!

My homework included making another pair of tongs (in my own time); an assignment profiling three horses that we shoe, including breed, type, use, conformation and distinguishing marks, with photographs; demonstration of significant progress in my shoemaking; and finally to have begun studying arthrology (that’s the study of joints in case you didn’t know).

The field officer had a chat with me and then a separate chat with my employer, Kris, ticked some boxes and left. I think it went well. Certainly, I had all of my homework completed. There is a lot of homework to do outside of the day job and being an apprentice farrier requires significant commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a tough four years (three and a half years remaining for me). We work long hours and it’s tough getting your head in the books at the end of a day’s shoeing.

Finally, Kris was asked to take a stand at the Axminster Craft show and demonstrate farriery. As you might imagine, our stand was a real crowd puller and you can see Kris in action in the picture (above). My job was to provide a running commentary and answer questions. All I can say is I did my best and imparted my limited understanding in as confident a manner as possible. Hopefully the audience believed me!

Until next week

Roland

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