Happy New Year! The New Year brings with it a determination to better ourselves through goals and resolutions. Sometimes it is easy to get into a rut or do “just enough to get by.”One of the wonderful aspects of this craft is that there is always an opportunity to improve. No matter what skill level you are at, dedicated study and practice will help you move to a higher level. It is fun to watch someone who has paid the price work under a horse or at the anvil. They make it look so easy! But it was the same for them as it is for you. At one time, they struggled. Everyone must pay the same price. If you choose to commit yourself to the craft, you become more efficient which in turn makes you more money. Your business thrives because you are the business.
This is an excerpt from a Singer sewing manual published in 1949. It applies directly to our craft as well. It reads: “Prepare yourself mentally for [shoeing]. Think about what you are going to do. Never approach [your task] with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.” What a true sentiment! If you want to rise above your current skill level or increase your bottom line in your business, it all starts with a positive attitude.
Another critical component to reaching our resolutions is not giving up. Often we see students get discouraged because their first shoe does not look perfect. We remind them that our first shoes did not look perfect either. Had we stopped the moment that something went wrong, we would still be at that same skill level we were at when we first started. The amount of time and work necessary to get better is daunting at times but it is necessary.
A former student told about a radio interview he heard with Roseanne Cash. Roseanne Cash is the daughter of Johnny Cash. Her father was an incredible songwriter. She had an interest in songwriting but the talent and hard work that her dad had put into music didn’t just automatically seep into her DNA. She had to work at becoming a songwriter just as her dad did and she admitted that hasn’t been easy but she said you have to put in the time. She quoted the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield saying, “You have to show the muse you are serious. You can’t just expect to be hit by these beautiful bolts of lighting and inspiration. You have to keep showing up even if you don’t get hit for a year or two years.” Hearing this was a revelation to this student. He realized the same applied to him in making shoes and getting better at leveling feet.
The craft is difficult to master but it isn’t just going to strike you one day without some effort on your part. If you want to improve, you have to “show up” and convince “the muse you are serious.”
We wish you the best of luck this year as you recommit yourself to your goals and resolutions.
Butler Professional Horseshoeing School
495 Table Road
Crawford, NE 69339
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