Roland’s nags and nails: exam success

  • Well, it’s official. I have passed my exams. The piece of paper from the Farrier Training Agency says I can now proceed to the third year of my 4 year apprenticeship. Had the piece of paper said I had failed, I would have had one more chance to pass and then out…off the apprenticeship scheme for good. It is with huge relief that I do not have to go through the do or die exam scenario.

    BHEST (The British Horseracing Education Standards Trust) who set the theory paper and mark our exams, have a tendency to ask slightly cryptic questions such as “What is the shape and size of the Navicular bone?” The shape, of course, is the same in all ponies and horses, but the size would vary considerably depending on the size of the animal. That was one of a few questions that were a bit ambiguous, but otherwise the exam was quite straight forward.

    It’s quite daunting being back in the exam room again. There were only 22 of us taking the exam yet there were three invigilators pacing about checking that no one was cheating. BHEST must feel that we apprentice farriers need careful monitoring!

    We’ve been set an immense amount of homework to do which has upset me somewhat. Some of it is quite interesting though such as undertaking a project on a young horse to assess its limb conformation and movement. The apprenticeship is certainly thorough and demanding and there is no wonder that British trained farriers are renowned for the being the best in the world.

    Until next week,



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