Things are starting to fall into place with my interest in becoming a farrier. I am ready to hit the road and learn how to trim and shoe horses for a living!
I have finally decided on the appropriate fit for a school and have come up with a budget. Now I need to get mentally prepared to leave home for two months to learn the tricks of the trade. The physical preparedness is in the works too. I’m already in a routine of running 4-5 miles five days per week (as I have done for years now); hooking up Abs of Steel with Tamilee Webb four days per week (starting doing Abs of Steel in high school as well); and doing push ups four days per week. But now I’ve added wall squats to the mix. Remember those squats you use to do in high school? Maybe you didn’t do them, but our basketball coach would make us line up against the gym wall and get down into a 90′ seated position, without the chair, and hold the position for 30 seconds. Well, to prepare my legs for the rigors of being bent over all day and holding a stable position with my legs, I’m doing wall squats. So far I’m up to 1 minute and 45 seconds per squat with three squats total. Next thing I need to figure out is how to strengthen my back!
I’ve decided to attend Mission Farrier School in Snohomish, Washington, owned and operated by Mark and Karen Plumee. The school incorporates natural balance techniques into horseshoeing and they also include natural horsemanship training. The school has a playground with fun obstacles like the car wash, teeter totter, squeeze obstacles, etc. The school also has an in depth informational “packet” (their website) that lists all of the reasons to choose Mission Farrier School and what I will get out of it. They are not vague about what and how they teach, which is very important to me. I want to know precisely what I am getting into before I decide where to go. Mark has also been very approachable and willing to talk with me a couple of times on the phone and via email.
The final steps in the journey are saving money for tuition, bills while I am away, and funds for when I return and start up my own business. While I’m saving and waiting to attend, I plan on spending a few days in the field with Jen Schwartz, the farrier who sparked the idea for this career (I had never met a woman farrier until I met her!) and who encouraged me to become a farrier. She also attended Mission Farrier School and has done quite well for herself since returning to Vermont and starting her business. I am also going to continue volunteering at The Center and building my natural horsemanship skills with Stephanie. In fact, next Saturday is the start of The Center’s Fall Natural Horsemanship classes. I will spend six Saturdays in November and December building my skills with 6 other attendees. Can’t wait to continue learning and growing in this exciting world of natural horsemanship and, now, natural hoof care.