Roland’s nags and nails: the fear factor of nailing on a shoe

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

    Happy New Year!

    It’s been one hell of a first week back as we try to catch up with the work after such a long break over Christmas. My legs are shot to bits and my back has been grumbling. What a start to the second year of my farrier apprenticeship!

    Basically, it feels like my first week as an unconditioned office worker all over again. My legs would tremble as they ran out of steam and it took a couple of minutes to stand up straight after removing a shoe.

    In those days it would take me 20min to get all the shoes off. Now the shoes come off quickly and my trimming is speeding up too. Having said that, in the time it takes me to remove the shoes, plus trim the sole, frogs and hooves, Kris (my training farrier) can shoe another horse from start to finish.

    In my defence though, trimming is the hardest part of shoeing and it’s so important to get the feet balanced correctly. Kris would rather I did a good job slowly, than a bad job fast. Speed, hopefully, will come. First master the skill.

    On that note, I nailed on my first shoe this week. Kris planned for me to nail a pair of front shoes on, but we ran out of time! Not that he was timing me particularly, but we worked out that it took 2min 30sec per nail.

    I’ve been watching Kris nail shoes on for a year now and of course he makes it look easy. I thought that all that watching would have rubbed off on me, but not a bit of it. It felt completely alien to me and was actually quite scary driving those nails in. It didn’t help that the old disco legs were going like the clappers. Thankfully, the legs have strengthened up now and I’ve got them back under control.

    Until next week



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