Another week has whistled by. To be quite honest, I’m not paying too much attention to what day it is. I’m just concentrating on my work and absorbing as much information as possible, as well as keeping an eye out for any wayward hind feet!

I’m apprenticed to Kris Parsons, a general and remedial farrier who is based on the borders of Dorset, Devon and Somerset. His customers include Flat racing and bloodstock studs, showjumpers, eventers, hunters, polo ponies, point-to-pointers, happy hackers and donkeys. The full spectrum. I am very lucky to be apprenticed to someone who has such a wide variety of horses, all needing different approaches and shoeing styles.

The picture is of me practicing the art of shoemaking. I’ve been set the task of producing a decent toe bend — the first stage in the shoemaking process. I cannot progress to the next stage until I can get the first bend right. It sounds simple, but I promise you it’s not. However, I am hopeful that by next week I will be able to report on progressing to the next stage, turning the branches.

Finally, I now know the meaning of the term “disco legs” and I often hear Kris and Alex (the senior apprentice) singing a few bars of “Night fever, night fever…” as they watch me struggle to maintain the farrier “squat” position. It’s a real leg trembler.

If you’re thinking of going skiing, then use your horse’s hind leg as a weight, squat as low as you can and wait for your legs to start shaking. Hold for two versus of Night Fever! Repeat 20 times a day and you’ll be fit for the slopes in no time!

Until next week…

Roland

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