Roland’s nags and nails: mock exams and Baltic weather conditions

  • It’s British summer time — yay! Not that it affects us much. It just means we’ll be as cold as we were last week but in a bit more daylight. Baltic just about sums it up!

    I am slightly concerned that my new choice of profession is coinciding with reports of a mini ice age. Perhaps I should set up my farriery business in warmer climes.

    Speaking of which, the knotty subject of where to set up does need some thought. I am still two years away from qualifying, but I know how quickly that will come around. I ought to earmark my patch soon and start thinking about how to establish myself there.

    If anyone has any ideas of where might be a good place to locate myself and family, then please let me know!

    Anyway, my training is of most pressing importance for the time being. I have started to think about the final exam and prepare myself as much as possible.

    I took part in a “mock” final exam which mirrors the real one I will take in two years’ time. It involved a 2.5hr written exam, an oral exam with a vet and an oral exam with a farrier, followed by a practical exam in which we had to shoe a horse to the very, very high standard that is expected of us.

    At this stage in my apprenticeship, there is just no way that I’d pass the exam, so I wasn’t expecting to do very well in the mocks. However, I didn’t disgrace myself and even managed to pass the theory paper. The vet and farrier avoided asking me questions on the hock and knee to take into account the stage I am at. The examiners’ were also very lenient on my shoe making and shoe fit.

    It was great to take part in the exam and get a flavour of what the dreaded final exams will be like. It’s easy to see how nerves can get the better of you and that is probably what accounts for most failures. However, at this rate, I’ll probably be shaking as much from the cold as I will from nerves. Please, please warm up!

    Until next week,



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