Roland’s nags and nails: it shouldn’t happen to a farrier

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The life of a farrier’s apprentice is one huge learning curve. I find that things need to happen two or three times before they start to sink in as there’s just so much to take on board.

For example, you need to have been poo’d on a few times (usually landing on your boot, but sometimes not!) before you recognise the difference between a bit of wind or the real thing. If the leg twists a bit when you’re holding it, then it’s the real deal. It takes a few occasions of being dumped on before the leg twisting sign registers and you have the presence of mind to move away.

Another example of what to watch out for is the yard dog. Watch him like a hawk, because if he pees on your tool box, then every dog in every yard will cock its leg! Again, I’ve had to learn the hard way.

None of this really matters at the moment as I’m at college, undertaking the theory and practical milestone exams. The thumb screws are being turned now. This is the college halfway point and there’s more pressure than ever before for us to perform.

It’s good though to see the rest of my fellow students, all of whom have similar stories of yard dogs and wayward droppings. I’m sure that between us we could compile a really good attempt of a James Herriot-style book, probably called “it shouldn’t happen to a farrier”. Hmmmm, perhaps that’s not such a bad idea. . .

Until next week

Roland

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