Meet Abigail!

Abigail has recently started apprenticing for Cody a couple days of the week until she goes to farrier school. You can read some more about her below and what she’s learning right now.

“Working with horses has always been a dream for me. As long as I can remember, spending time around horses has been one of the things I enjoy most. It never occurred to me that I could realize this dream by being a farrier until less than a year ago, but now that I have gotten into it a little bit it seems like a perfect fit. I love that there is so much to learn and think about, while at the same time it is physical work. Being outside all day and working with horses just makes it even better! I have been apprenticing two days a week for two months. In those sixteen days, I have learned so much- and yet, I still know so little! Part of the appeal of this job is that there is always more to learn.

It seems as if there are two main branches of learning to work on. There is the factual, brain work side of things, where I need to study, listen, watch, and absorb all I can; and there is the physical coordination to learn, where I need to get my hands, feet, and everything else trained to do the work efficiently and safely. These two branches need to combine to do good work, but that is how I think about it.

At the present, I am just beginning to grasp a little in each area. There are so many small things to learn, that when known and done correctly will make the job easier. I could just say that I am learning to pull shoes and finish feet. Even those two things involve a lot of small things that seasoned farriers do automatically, but had to learn at some point. How to safely handle horses’ feet; how best to support a foot; how to keep the horse comfortable; and how to use nail pullers, pulloffs, gouge, clinch, and rasp are just a few parts to doing such simple things as clinching nails to secure a shoe and removing shoes. Forge work is the same. Learning to make a shoe sounds simple when you say it, but there are many small parts to making a basic shoe. I have been working on making basic toe bends, heels, and shaping shoes to a specific shape. Even those simple beginning steps are taking work to learn! It all takes being able to see what needs to happen, and then being able to make it happen. I have been studying leg and foot anatomy, and recently have begun learning to see more detail in the different conformation of the horses we work on. I am excited to learn more hose the horse’s build affects its shoeing needs. Next year, I will go to horseshoeing school for six months. In the meantime, I am thankful to have this opportunity to make a good start on my education. This is a starting point for what I hope will be a lifelong career working with horses.”