Roland’s nags and nails: back to work after exams galore

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I’m back to work this week after a three week stint at college. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of new knowledge, as well as adding additional scars and burns to my arms and hands.

This block gave us apprentices more opportunity to fit shoes and “shoeing plans” were introduced. Basically, that involved doing an assessment on the horse to be shod, its conformation, shoe wear and manor of movement, putting a plan together for the way we think the horse should be shod and then executing that plan.

To be quite honest the plan didn’t always get implemented in the way we intended as there is still a lot to learn. The section in the shoeing plan on “what would you do differently” was quite full to say the least , allowing us students to assess our work and then say how we would improve on it. More length, or width, greater heel support, etc, etc.

I have a few personal notes to myself too — don’t burn yourself, hammer a nail into your finger and, most importantly, don’t shoe an arthritic horse on the morning of your exams.

I was absolutely knackered having made one pair of shoes for this horse that were too big, then having to make a second pair and then go into a two-and-half-hour shoe making exam. The injuries sustained during that shoeing session meant I could hardly hold my tools in the shoemaking exam for the blood dripping from my nail wound in my finger! Not ideal I have to say.

Anyway, I await those exam results as well as the results from the 2 hour theory exam.

Until next week,

Roland

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