This is the last week before I return to college. I have completed all of my homework, which includes making fullered shoes, plain shoes, riding style shoes and hunter fit shoes, roll toed shoes and set toed shoes.

I have written up my experiences with supporting photos of puncture wounds (see picture opposite), seedy toe and corns, and completed my assignment on the farriery registration act and the implications for not abiding by it.

I’m sure most people don’t appreciate the intensity of the farriery apprenticeship — it is four years long and packed with coursework and exams throughout. With the day job to fit in too, it’s quite an undertaking.

This college block marks the end of my second year, although strictly speaking, chronologically my third year won’t start until January. Still, I can’t believe how time has flown.

I’ve also written a few blogs in that time, pretty much one every week of my entire apprenticeship to date. I admit to really enjoying writing the blog. It’s meant to be a bit of a diary and is therefore a personal record of how I have progressed week by week. It also serves to (hopefully) give a little insight into the level of training that farriers have to go through to get their qualification.

The farriery registration council and its training agency produce excellent and highly qualified farriers who, along with the law governing farriery, serve to ensure that the welfare of the horse is uppermost in all work undertaken by UK trained farriers.

Incidentally, UK trained farriers are the best farriers in the world, for no other country has such strict and lengthy training. There are, of course, some farriers that are better than others but, on the day of qualification, there is no better trained and skilled person. It is up to the individuals then to keep their standards up and continue in the vain that they were trained.

There is, for example, a continual professional development (CPD) system through which farriers are encouraged to accumulate a certain number of points a year.

Whilst it is optional to partake in the many seminars and clinics, a huge number of farriers do attend, even though they are held at weekends or in the evenings. This is why Kris Parsons, my training farrier, and I got home at midnight on Thursday night (!) following a very interesting seminar on new approaches to treating and managing laminitis.

Until next week