This week marks the first major milestone in my farriery apprenticeship. I have completed my two month trial and now my journey to become a farrier can start in ernest.

The trial period is really important as it allows my employer, Kris Parsons, to evaluate my work ethic and capabilities, as well as allowing me the opportunity to get under a horse and make sure I really do want to become a farrier.

The past two months have been full of ups with only a few downs. It’s been a huge change, a complete eye-opener and something I know that I will love doing. Farriery is a very traditional craft with a huge amount of skill required and I hope that I can develop into one of the very best.

Certainly, working for Kris will give me a tremendous education as he is extremely critical of himself as well as expecting 100% effort and dedication from me. Kris is very keen on professional development and often goes to clinics and seminars to keep abreast of new ideas and techniques.

This week we went to one such clinic run by Jim Blurton, one of the most highly regarded farriers in the UK. There were 45 other farriers at the clinic and the picture is of Jim in the final stages of corrective farriery on a sports horse.

Even though the majority of the discussions were lost on me, Kris was able to get a lot from it and I was among a group of dedicated professionals who continue to strive for excellence in their work. How enlightening and extremely comforting that there is a flourishing professional development structure that exists throughout your career in farriery.

Finally, next week I’m starting my first block at college. This is the first of eight blocks which will be spread throughout my apprenticeship. I have no idea what to expect, except that it will feel very strange being back in a classroom! It will also give my muscles a chance to recover and hopefully no more cuts and grazes for a month either.

Until next week

Roland

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