I’m sorry you want me to learn to do WHAT online?!
I freely admit the following is a bit of a rant.
I also freely admit that it may be that I am being closed minded on the subject but goddammit learning a trade CANNOT BE DONE ONLINE!
I am a huge supporter of online and distance learning. I’ve taken many a marketing, accounting and business course through properly accredited universities online learning options. Some were better than others, and yes, I did cheat on every single exam. I’m not proud of it, but when you’re trying to get yourself a post secondary education and only have 2-3 hours per week to study… well you do the math. But my unscrupulous exam-taking practices are not the subject here!
How in the frakking hell can you teach someone to be a farrier, even a barefoot one that isn’t nailing steel onto a horse’s hoof, through online video and reading! Here’s where my closed mindedness may come in to play: I firmly believe that stuff like that needs to be learned hands on and under professional supervision. The way you trim a horse’s hoof directly affects the way it moves – regardless of barefoot vs. shod. Sure there may be less opportunity to hurt the horse through barefoot trimming (no hammers or nails are involved) but that doesn’t mean a bad trim can’t detrimentally affect a horse.
Wondering where this is coming from? I was looking at the links that were provided in the comments of Barefoot trimming and the evil shoe conspiracy (part 1) and found that Equine Soundness Inc. will generously train you to be a barefoot trimmer, online and at your leisure, for the bargain price of $4500. WOW! What a steal. For that price you will spend only (ONLY!) 10 months learning how to trim and then will be awarded a certificate. I honestly don’t know why more
schmucks people aren’t doing this.
This next website was recommended for the value of its articles. I’m sure they’re interesting and informative but I can’t get to them. Hoof Help Online, the home of James and Yvonne Welz, requires that you pay $20/month to be able to access their information. You can’t even go on to their forums and converse with people without paying the monthly fee. Apparently they didn’t take the same business classes (online) that I did because I was taught to provide some value up front. It establishes trust and starts to build a relationship with potential clients, encouraging them to buy from you. Without that value up front though, this potential client is taking her $20/month elsewhere!
Anyone else get the impression online farrier courses are created by people in the field who aren’t making enough money and decided to add teaching to their repertoire? But because they couldn’t make enough money just from teaching either, they still had to see clients and thus their aaaamazing online courses were born!
I would love to know what is going through people’s minds when sign up for these things. First of all – giving $4500 to people over the internet?! It’s like standing in a dark alley in New York (I just watched a bunch of episodes of Castle which told me that there are a lotta dead people in NY and if it’s on TV it’s true, right?) with a wallet full of crisp 100 dollar bills on a Friday night with bright, pulsating neon arrows pointing at you. Second of all – how much, and how well, do you really think these people will be able to teach you OVER THE INTERNET?!
That being said, if you’re ok with a person who “learned” to trim via teh interwebz (which basically means they read some stuff and then dove in with an “instructor” occasionally critiquing photos and/or videos of their “work”) working on your horse’s tender tootsies then by all means, use your internet accredited “farrier”. I, for one, will be sticking to my in-person, hands-on trained and then apprenticed, farrier.