Roland’s nags and nails: back from paternity leave on limited sleep

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

    It feels like an age since I sat down to write my blog, but it’s only been two weeks. I’m back from paternity leave after the wonderful arrival of a son, who joins our 18 month old daughter, giving me and my wife a pigeon pair. How lucky to have one of each!

    Monday was my first day back and the week has shot by, even though I’m sleep deprived and can hear the echo of crying baby ringing in my head each morning when I arrive for work.

    Work has never been busier and Kris, my training farrier, has had the double whammy of both Alex, his 4th year apprentice, and me being off at the same time leaving him entirely on his own. It was sod’s law that that my wife had a baby at the same time as Alex was at college taking his farriery diploma exams. My wife has assured Kris that she won’t be having any more babies so hopefully we can balance the staffing levels in the firm a bit better in future. The unpleasantries of childbirth must still be fresh in her mind!

    Alex has now sat his theory exam and only has the practical exam to take (which he takes early this week) before he returns to Kris to await his results. If he passes, he will be a qualified farrier and will have completed the toughest apprenticeship available. We’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to get his results. Good luck Alex and don’t be put off by the fact that there are a few thousand H&H readers waiting to see how you get on!

    And finally, I have begun trimming the hoof this week, which is a major milestone for me. This is in addition to the sole and frog trimming I’ve already been doing and means I am now balancing the ground surface of the foot and shaping the foot to suit the conformation of the horse. This is the most difficult aspect of farriery to get right and I was really pleased that Kris has started me on this, even though I was a bit nervous and extremely aware of the importance of what I was doing.

    Until next week,



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