Roland’s nags and nails: three down, five to go

  • Another college block has now been completed. That’s three down, five to go before completing my farriery apprenticeship. I have, as usual, enjoyed my time at college and it’s worth mentioning again just how dedicated the farriery staff are and how thorough and professional the course is.

    The lectures are getting tough now and I think all of the students (apprentices) have had a quite a shock at just how much we need to know at this stage of our training. It’s perhaps less hard for me because I’m not quite so easily distracted by all the lovely female equine students (my wife would kill me!).

    So, now college is over, it’s back to Kris Parsons, my training farrier, for the next three and half months and he will continue my training. He wants to start the “hot fitting” training and I’m quite apprehensive about this. He makes it look so easy, and my limited experience at college (I have now shod 5 feet) tells me that hot fitting is not at all straight forward. It also means that I’ll be injuring myself regularly, which is annoying and painful — and these will be additional injuries to the ones I already collect every day.

    Kris and I will now work to get me ready for the next college block where I will have the next round of assessments and exams. There’s a lot of work to do and I will be spending a huge amount of my own time (outside of work) doing coursework, revising and practicing shoemaking.

    Kris will also have to set aside his own time to get me to the required standard and so between us, we will juggle our lives and workloads, business commitments and family pressures to keep the show on the road whilst teaching an old dog new tricks!

    Quite seriously though, training an apprentice is a big responsibility and takes a huge amount of effort. I am not sure I would ever want to do it. However, I trust Kris with my career and training and know that I’m in good hands. This is very much a partnership. On that note, it is frightening to think that we spend more time with each other than we do with our own wives!

    Until next week,



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