Roland’s nags and nails: has spring come early?

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

    I hardly dare believe it, but has spring come early, or is there some more Siberian weather still to come? I’ve slightly let my guard down as I worked in a t-shirt this week. It will be one nasty, nasty shock if the old Siberian winds return. Pray not!

    I had a small glimpse into the future this week. My heart was pounding when Kris Parsons, my training farrier, asked me to prepare a hoof and then shape a shoe to fit it. I made a complete hash of it, then when Kris subsequently went through some basic elements of fitting a shoe, I could have kicked myself.

    Apart from dropping the shoe off the anvil a few times, forgetting to make the shoe balanced, level or wide enough, I also made it the wrong shape. Everything kind of went out of the window and I became a blithering, dithering mal-co-ordinated imbicile.

    One day I’ll be able to fit a shoe standing on my head. For my debut shoe fit though, I may as well have been standing on my head! Gosh it’s frustrating and I know that the learning journey is still in its infancy.

    Watching Kris, who makes it all look so easy, I wish I could just download a program and be able to do what he does. I know though that I have a long hard road to travel and there’s no easy short-cut.

    It’s sometimes quite disheartening thinking of the length of that road. There’s so much to learn and so much skill to master. However, when I think back to my first few weeks as an apprentice farrier, I realise just how far I have come already and how much knowledge and skill I have already gained. So, although I have been reminded this week just how much I don’t know and can’t do, I mustn’t forget that I’m progressing all of the time even though I’m unaware of it.

    Roll-on spring — don’t let me down and it won’t be long until the clocks go forward. Wow, now there’s a thought!

    Until next week,



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