Do you know the song “Don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology”? Well I’ve had my own unique version rattling around in my head all week: I don’t know much about osteology, I definitely don’t know much about arthrology and I know even less about metallurgy. What I do know is that I’ve got my end of college block test this week which each and every one of us has to pass.

We have been given some mock questions, here are a few for you to get your teeth into. If you know any of the answers, please let me know:

  1. Horn is a continuation of which layer of skin?
  2. From which structure is the horn of the wall secreted?
  3. Name four factors that influence the growth of the horny wall?
  4. From what minute structure does each horn tubule develop?
  5. Define the term keratanize.
  6. The hoof wall reduces in thickness towards the heel. Why?
  7. Name the structures contained within the coronary band.
  8. Name two factors that affect sole thickness.

The ebb and flow of college life has now become part of my routine; each morning is spent in the classroom and each afternoon in the forge (pictured above). My college folders are ow at bursting point from all the handouts and notes I’ve been given and I’ve got used to putting my hand up to ask a question and addressing the teachers as “Sir” or “Mr so and so”. I’ve handed in my metallurgy assignment (all 26 pages complete with hand drawings!) as well as the hoof capsule assignment — must get that book on how to draw!

This week is my last week at college for a while and, once I’ve got my results, I’ll be returning to my training farrier Kris Parsons. The next college block will be in six months time. This college block has been an excellent introduction to what’s coming down the track. We’ve touched on many subjects that we will need to have a full grasp of and I now know what I don’t know (which is an awful lot!). I think, though, I understand where my weak areas are and where I am strong.

Finally, we have all had to undertake a learning needs assessment to see if we need any extra help with our coursework and exams. We’re not actually given the results but, if you’re tapped on the shoulder discretely by a white haired gentlemen wearing a long robe and asked to follow him to the learning resource centre (library in old speak), then you must go quietly and without fuss, for “The Grim Teacher” has got some extra maths or English lessons for you. No wonder we’ve all been a bit twitchy this week! Thankfully, “The Grim Teacher” didn’t pay me a visit.

Until next week.

Roland

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