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

It’s funny how people’s perception of time can vary so much. This week one of Kris’ (my training farrier) customers suggested I’d been apprenticed to Kris for two years. “Nope, it will be a year this January,” I corrected them.

Others have been way off the mark when they have asked if I’m now doing the whole job — trimming, fitting and shoeing. “No, just trimming. I only started nine months ago,” I reply.

The apprenticeship is four years long and, while it is up to each training farrier to decide how quickly they bring us apprentices on, the general rule of thumb is that we should be able to shoe a horse from start to finish by the end of the second year.

My own perception of time is that it is flying by — I cannot believe that I’ve nearly completed a whole year. When January comes round, I’ll feel that I’ve made real progress towards completing the 4 year stretch — after all, that’ll be 25% done and dusted.

It seems like yesterday that I was basking in my own accomplishment for completing just a week in the job. I’m not sure how one can measure fitness, but I do know that last January I suffered from trembling “disco” legs, sore strained muscles and I hardly had the energy to drive home at the end of the day.

Almost a year on none of my trousers fit and I’ve got enough energy at the end of the day to spend an hour or two in the forge practicing making shoes.

Certainly, I’m still thoroughly enjoying the job and wonder how I will feel when I shoe my first horse from start to finish. One thing is for sure, I cannot wait for that day, but I do know that I’ve got a long way to go before that can happen — I expect at least two or three more trouser sizes!

Until next week

Roland

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