This blog is sponsored by the PRO FEET range of hoof care products from NAF

Just when I thought I’d made it through injury free to the start of the new college block (end of year farrier exams etc) I pulled a muscle in my shoulder.

It wasn’t horse-related — it happened in the pub. Nothing raucous, I would like to point out; I was just having a meal with the family and ping, something went in my neck and shoulder.

Anyway, it’s the worst injury I’ve had in the 10 months of being an apprentice farrier and I’ll find out shortly whether it will affect my shoe-making as I’m just about to undertake the end of year shoe-making exam.

Being an “old” new apprentice, I’m always asked how my back is coping. So far, I’ve not had one single problem. There are other niggles though, like an occasional sore wrist or clicky knee or scraped knuckles. There’s nothing that lasts long, but it’s no wonder that there is always something that hurts.

Being a farrier is hugely physical, but I definitely believe that being an apprentice farrier is more physical. Granted, Kris, my training farrier, spends more of the day under a horse than I do, but watching him work is like watching a well oiled machine effortlessly running, never missing a beat. Watching me work is more like watching a salmon swim upstream — loads of effort and not much progress. For example, in the time it takes Kris to trim a horse, fit the shoes and nail them on, I can trim two feet.

I am improving though. When I first started out it took me that long just to get the shoes off a horse. Certain aspects, therefore, are becoming more effortless, but until I can do all of the job well, I’ll continue to expend loads of unnecessary energy.

Consequently, I’m likely to continue to carry the odd injury but maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll be completely pain free! One thing is for sure though, it won’t be for some time, except the following three weeks at college will be good recuperation time… especially for my pub injury!

Until next week

Roland

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