Students Learn the Art and Science of Horseshoeing
Many people from all over the country who aspire to shoe horses, come right here to Central Illinois to attend the Midwest Horseshoeing School.
ABC News Channel 20's Lindsey Hess takes us to the school to show us what students are learning.
"It's a little bit of blacksmithing. Horseshoeing is a science, but it's also an art," said Diego Almeida, an instructor at the Midwest Horseshoeing School.
And it's all taught at the Divernon school.
" We focus on teaching all we can in twenty weeks. We are very particular about what we do. We want our students to be successful. We study anatomy. It's a lot of hard work," Almeida said.
Much harder than most people realize.
"It is a lot of hard work. A lot more mental work than i thought it was going to be, which is a lot of fun. It's all day. There's not too much time where you're not working. Whether it's mental or physical work, you're always working," said horseshoeing student, Tory Olsen.
Between blacksmithing, hammering, and nailing...farriery encompasses much more than just shoeing a horse.
"You have all this science behind about it, because you have to know anatomy, you have to know bio-mechanics, you have to know the horse, you have to know horsemanship, which is something hard to teach. But you also have to have some kind of artistic side in you because you have to be able to see things and bring from your brain to your hands," Almeida said.
People from all over the country travel to the Midwest Horseshoeing School to learn how it's done, like Tory Olsen from Seattle, Washington.
"I've always been around horses. Love being around them. I just decided I don't know what I want to be if I ever grow up so why not try this. So far I love it," Almeida said.
Each student is given individual help by Almeida who moved to the United States from Brazil about eight years ago.
Almeida fell in love with shoeing horses and is now sharing his passion with his students.
"We think the more that we teach, the better results we're going to get, the better farriers we're going to produce," Almeida said.
The school offers horseshoeing programs that range from six to 20 weeks with 12 to 16 students in each session.
"Their steps become more efficient. So they understand what they're doing, and they're building muscle memory. So their eyes are already trained, so they can shape their shoes better, so they can follow the steps better. So we want to build them up to that level so they can go outside and they can have a successful career," Almeida said.
Students say they're loving every minute.
"I enjoy the heck out of it. My days fly by. I enjoy my instructors, i enjoy my classmates, and learning a lot, said student," Ty May.
"Every day I'm learning something new. I don't have a bad day where i'm regretting be here," Olsen said.
Monday, February 3 2014, 06:36 PM CST