Hoof Work for maximum soundness.

Continuing Education, since we don’t actually know it all.

 I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run into farriers and during conversation asked them if they were planning to attend one of the upcoming clinics, lectures, or contests in our area, only to hear them tell me they haven’t any interest in attending. Some say they don’t have time because they have [insert excuse here] or they see little if any value in continuing education. Why should they? After all they seem to be making a perfectly good living, right? Feeling comfortable with your skill level is one thing; thinking there is no point to putting effort into improving your skill-set is another. The latter can lead you to believe that you know it all. After all, if you’re not learning anything new, then you must know it all!

(right: Chris Gregory teaching a clinic @ Vermont Farriers Assocation)

The fact is we don’t know it all, and that is why there is so much value in continuing education. Efforts such as keeping up on anatomy, biology, and current research, getting familiar with other points of view, new products, and techniques or learning old ones you haven’t been exposed to before can prove invaluable to you as a farrier and ultimately to the horses you care for. Not to mention the networking aspect. When I was growing up, some of the rougher farriers I knew were very unfriendly to their competition and would hardly talk to other farriers in their area. Looking back, they were also the ones who put the least time into advancing their skills. In my experience farriers are generally a social bunch and contrary to popular belief most farriers today love to talk shop and share their knowledge, even with the competition.

Types of Continuing Education

Whether it’s going to clinics, lectures, or competitions or just riding around with another farrier, getting out there is the first step to learning something new or reinforcing old knowledge.

Lectures: When you are interested in a subject, a lecture can be a great and eye-opening experience. While I really enjoy hands-on learning, attending lectures has exposed me to some fantastic things going on in the farrier and veterinary world. New treatments for common problems are discussed, as well as detailed explanations such as the origin of problems on a molecular level. It’s fascinating to learn cause and effect. (below: Doug Butler giving a lecture at Tuffs University)Clinics: These are great workshops where you often get the opportunity to hone your skills with someone who is experienced in their craft and respected in the industry. Often a combination of lecture, practical demonstration, and hands-on education, I find these events most beneficial to improving my skill-set as a farrier.

Competitions: Some farriers will argue about the value of competition and its relevance to education in the hoofcare industry. I for one firmly believe that invaluable practical knowledge can be obtained at competitions. In a lot of ways it’s like a hands-on clinic. The flaws in one’s technique are identified and judged. Competitors work under pressure and learn the most efficient ways to handle it and complete their task well. Competitions are an opportunity to work and network with others and trade ideas. If you can handle criticism or invite it, you will do well. During practice it is not uncommon for another competitor to watch you work and notice something you never realized. For example, during practice time at a recent competition a group of other farriers were watching me work when one pointed out that I was holding one of my punches at a impractical angle which was negatively effecting my work. It was very insightful to have that extra set of eyes since I had not previously noticed this error.

Ride-Alongs: Riding along with another farrier is an awesome way to pick up new skills, learn new tricks or get exposed to new ideas. When I go on trips away from home I like to try to contact farriers in the areas I am visiting to see if I can spend a morning, afternoon or day with them (providing I have time). The exchange of ideas and techniques can be mutual and you stand a good chance of walking away with a new outlook, new ideas, and even a friendship.

There are plenty of other ways to educate yourself. There are some great books out there like Chris Gregory’s new book, Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery, and Christopher Pollitt’s elusive Color Atlas of the Horse’s Foot.  In addition there is much content on the internet. Forums like those at Horseshoes.com, the Word Championship Blacksmiths site, and social networks like Facebook are great ways to disseminate information, have fascinating discussions and get help with cases you are working on from a host of international farriers.  In fact there is even an online hoof conference that attracts quite a few attendees.

It’s important to remember that continuing education is a big part of the job of a farrier. While CE credits may not be a requirement to maintain certification status, it is a very real asset to your career and the horses you care for.  So take some time and put some money aside to further your skills. You don’t always have to agree with the speaker or clinician, but you can always take away something from the experience.

Take care and do good work!

19 Responses to “Continuing Education, since we don’t actually know it all.”

  • I think this is among the most vital information for
    me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The web site
    style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  • It will also increase the ranking of your website on search engines and
    will drive more traffic to your website. 20 percent of customers have the potential
    to spend five times as much as they do currently A relatively
    small amount of marketing effort creates the majority of output.
    Besides placing advertisers ads on your Blog,
    you can also make money Blogging by placing
    Google Adsense into your Blog.

  • Thus, making the websites of the seo payment to social
    networking internet site and why not go for the web site for browser window any way.

    Evolution seo of new web site will be viewing the website owners.
    This is useless without search engine marketing arena.

    5 because it’s new, it is hard for many years. Here are a lot to design amazing animated
    effects and other people’s work to make the targeted traffic to your competitors’ site.

  • How can our current economic system has an effect on the manner debt-collection agencies perform?
    As people’ debt grows in a tough market, US debt-collection agencies are experiencing a greater volume of assigned balances.
    Does this mean there’s a higher-rate of return to their customers?

    No, not necessarily. To some, it may seem like the sector is flourishing because of the steep increase in bad debt.
    But…this form of market additionally creates a tougher environment
    for bad-debt recovery.

  • It is going to still hold many surprises for you,
    although there are lots of things you may do to plan Schools
    in Dubai! This post will provide you with some sensible
    guidance on how to cope with university life classes and the
    rest of the challenges you will run into in your efforts to achieve graduation.

  • You need signs to steer you with all your
    tasks when you are operating at a place that is prone to
    injuries. You still need the health and signs auckland or boards although most businesses would offer great instruction in the different processes and endeavors.

    Signs and the safety symbols might be demanding to remember,
    especially in case there are numerous indicators to be recalled.
    In a typical manufacturing situation, the employee class must be advised concerning the safety precautions as well as the safety gear which
    they should take while they are in work.

  • In the event that you wish to make use of the internet to effectively market your business, you need to reap the benefits of news releases.

    Press retailers thrive on these media releases and also they
    can provide great amounts of promotional material. With increasingly more media outlets popping right up
    in the internet-age, you might have even more chances for good press.

  • An area florist can help you discover the correct fresh flowers for any event.
    You may visit the store yourself as well as choose your blooms to make an agreement much more private, by using a local florist.
    Operating using a neighborhood florist is going develop a personal relationship
    with your florist. This connection can create a big distinction whenever you have
    a demand for a flower shop who’ll determine in what you’re trying to find and make good recommendations for
    family events including weddings funerals, or other occasions which happen in the
    future. An additional benefit of working using a neighborhood florist is
    you are able to observe for yourself how things will soon be done.
    If you’re looking for the best florist for your subsequent floral shipping,
    the Society of flowers auckland indicate the following tips for you:

  • Lots of people are engaged in discovering simply what a lit LED stage dance floor really is.

    But really, the expression alone informs you all you have to know – at least officially speaking.
    In brief, a lit dance floor hire is a miscellaneous dance floor and stage – which is, it
    may function as either, or both; regardless of
    what the requirements are – which lit, or is powered, by LED lamps.

    In the event you’ve ever before seen colored LED lights
    then it is not difficult to just imagine just what there is this a dramatic radical product,
    correct? It’s really like nothing you have ever
    seen before – except in the event that you have danced
    on a lit LED stage dance-floor. If this is true no question you’d benefit from yet again and the encounter
    once more. Dance floors like these take visiting the
    nightclub to a totally new degree. Dance floors like can, in fact,
    work the dancers and club goers up into a frenzy, whether they’ve been dancing on the
    flooring themselves or watching an act execute
    on the LED illuminated stage.

  • In the past few years, a shift is when arranging a wedding towards consulting a lighting professional.
    Rather than taking their venues the way they’re, brides are investigating creative options
    for personalizing their wedding, establishing a disposition, hiding attributes that are unattractive, and highlighting
    ones that are lovely. It is an outline of the ways in which specialty
    wedding lighting hire may be used to enhance a wedding.

  • For many people, a computer that is pre constructed is
    not the answer to what they need or want. A visual developer
    will necessitate a thing that takes into account computers which are
    heavily targeted toward graphic-design, such as a vast quantity of Memory plus
    a more full-featured graphics card, while the tester may
    need something that offer a much better sound setup as well as a powerful 3 dimensional card.

  • For those who have not used mobile marketing to
    market, you should take into account this promotion method
    that is latest. Read this short article for some excellent
    advice about it and observe if it is a great fit-for you personally.

    Maybe it’s the best form of advertising which you’ve hit on yet.

  • Transfer Money Internationally are getting to be more widespread in the United Kingdom.
    There are far more reasons than ever to send cash abroad,
    and many Britons working offshore desire money to be brought by cash transactions that are regular home.
    High Street banks that are conventional don’t consistently do
    a job that is great with money exchanges, and frequently treat ever as
    hassle trades. The good news is there are more companies than ever that focus in international money transactions, and you’re certain to be able to find the one that suits your requirements.

  • State-law for all drivers requires vehicle insurance to have.
    This really is lucky for motorists, as auto insurance provides protection for any costs which could
    result from auto accidents. There are numerous suppliers for evermoney and in case you’d like guidance which will help you decide on the one that is proper, then continue reading this informative article.

  • As small fleet owner or an owner-operator,
    having a truck that is semi wont make you any money without having a lot to carry.
    What this means is you’ve got to additionally consider buying or leasing a tractor nz trailers.
    You’ll also need to consider the kind of weight you will end up carrying before we go into our tips about what to
    search for before making such a buy!

  • Non profit businesses frequently have trouble advertising since they’ve
    restricted finances, and sometimes they don’t actually have a shopfront.

    Many nonprofits have some sort of company automobile (even supposing
    it’s only a member of staff individual vehicle), plus and it is
    pretty-cost-effective to promote on such a vehicle. This form of
    advertisement not only develops awareness
    and interest in the cause the supports that are
    non profit, but it’s also a fantastic solution to
    seek out possible subscribers, sponsors.

  • A lot of money can be saved by you in the event you get a 0 % introductory APR credit
    card offer that allows balance transfers. Moving a balance from a credit card with a high interest rate
    enables you the opportunity to pay that balance off substantially simpler while
    you must be self-disciplined and persistent. Nevertheless, you need to not be unable to manage
    this form of bill consolidation, or it will not allow you to at all.

  • Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness
    and visual appeal. I must say that you’ve done a great job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads very fast for me on Internet explorer.
    Superb Blog!

  • How many of us could say that our performance appraisal systems, which were
    designed to help improve the performance of the organization, are non-judgmental, non-threatening
    and done in a truly unbiased fashion. The role of
    the manager in performance management is to clearly communicate the company’s goals, align their
    individual employees’ behavior with them and monitor performance.
    If you have a business then it’s crucial to apply new methods and approaches
    in order to improve your business.