The Daily Grind

Shaping things up a bit.

It’s Friday, and I get the next four days off.

This is unheard of this time of year. Most of my clients should be hot and heavy in training for the show season right now. Usually, during spring, I’m chasing busy chasing down lost shoes and lameness as the seasons change from cold and wet to hot and wet and riders and horses come out of their winter slumber.

Although I hate that we are dealing with this pandemic and that is terrible, I can’t say I’m missing the challenges that typically come with spring. Instead of treading water, I still get to “shoe the horse”. I’ve worked long and hard to design my business to allow me to be able to slow down enough to shoe the horse instead of always just striving to keep up, but this time of year is almost always fully- whelming.

No burnout!

Anyway, instead of struggling with burnout like I often do this time of year, I hope to reverse that problem and get a chance to pursue some really fun and advanced changes to my farrier game.

I have been spending some of my quarantined effort on the layout and plans for this site, my rig and content production ideas. Before the quarantine, I also had a bunch of clinics and contests planned, but obviously that won’t be happening this year.

The lesson I have learned in the last few years is that the cure to burnout is learning and – cool new tools. We all know how fun it is to get new stuff, and new farrier tools somehow has to be the coolest of all the things. As unfortunate as this quarantine situation is, I am afforded the opportunity to do some things I want while the weather is decent because of it.

The site.

As for the site, I have tons of ideas and I’m slowly putting in the “skeleton” or outline to start working on the content. It’s not so much that its difficult to work on the site, but more that I have grandiose plans and I want them all to make sense and I want them all to come together over time in a logical way.

I have to admit that I did have plenty of time to work on the site this winter, but winter pulled the ambition out of me and I just didn’t get out and create the content. I was thoroughly unmotivated. I don’t have a shop right now, and that needs to change.

Now that I can stick metal in the fire and do some things, I am rearing to get producing.

My first content project of the season is for a horse that I will be shoeing this coming Friday – so more on that coming up.

The rig.

I love my rig, but it may never be done… There is always a few more features or tweaks to be made. Currently, I’m looking to change up my game with a few more specific tools.

I need a new step vice and some additional grinders… probably a generator and potentially an inverter change, but that may wait for winter or something.

A step vice is a tool that farriers use to hold the shoe in to rasp it or other wise work on it (weld, tap, whatever). The special thing about a step vice is that it puts the work in a good working angle, height and it is portable, so it can be set up with space from other objects. A typical bench vice just doesn’t offer any of those things.

The grinder I have works great, but I need two more attachments so I can have all the options at my finger tips that I need. The way I do my grinding is somewhat unique, I think, and I am really anxious to add these features to my work flow.

I don’t mean to say that multiple grinders are unique in a modern farrier rig or that my way is special; just that it is unique to me and that an additional specially mounted grinder is what I need now. There is no good reason that this hasn’t been done already, but I want it done now.

Adding these couple of things will give me the ability to be faster and more flexible in creating things your horse needs. Plus, I’ll like using them.

Content production.

The Silver Bullet Project is something we can do. I can do all the forging and fabrication I want here at my farm. The progression can be laid out and shown as we wish. We have a plan and we have started creating again. No doubt, its a slow go to create the quality of material I envision, but the only problem I have is my own.

Success Through Soundness, on the other hand, is a real challenge. The challenge is in the form of privacy for my clients. Many, if not most of them do not want their horses problems aired for the world to see (or the two of you). This is something I have been struggling with for a long time and I only see one or two solutions.

The only solutions I can imagine is:

  • I have a local barn with a bunch of lesson horses I could have free reign on.
  • I have a haul-in shop where I offer service with an incentive to allow documentation.

I don’t know… I have had both of these options from time to time, but not here today. Its something I’ll keep scratching my head about. In the meantime, I can get some work done with my clients, but only a limited amount.

Anyway, that is just one little hurdle and I have a lot to do if I’m going to keep my word and ambition.

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