Turning an old art into a new opportunity

     It isn't a career option that you're likely to find at a 'Job Fair'.
     But, for Chance Heaton, an old occupation has all the potential to become an exciting 'sideline'.
     Chance works on the family farm with his father Warren and grandfather Ken. The family has approximately 300 head of cattle and Chance says that they use horses when working with the cattle. Although he is happy to continue making the farm his primary occupation Chance is not one to pass up a good opportunity when he sees one.
     Opportunity appeared when Chance was looking for someone to shoe his horses.
     "I couldn't find a farrier to do the work on my horses that I needed done. I checked into it, and found out that there really wasn't a farrier in this area. So...I decided to train and become one."
     Training meant a 12 week stay in the United States. 
     "There are schools in Canada that offer a course similar to the one I took but I chose to attend the Oklahoma Horse-Shoeing School in Purcell, Oklahoma because it offered blacksmithing. My course began on December 4th and just ended on March 4th. It was a very intense course with schooling 6 days a week including Christmas Eve!" states Chance.
     There were a lot of people from all across the globe taking this course in Oklahoma including some from Alberta, Italy, Belgium and every state in the U.S.
     Chance points out that there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into account in order to shoe a horse properly.
     "During the course, we spent two hours every day in the classroom. We learned about various diseases and what things to watch out for. There might be problems that you will see when you go to shoe the horse that the owner wasn't aware of.  Then, we would spend the rest of the day working with horses. That was when we learned the practical things like how to judge the amount that you're going to trim off."
     Although Chance sees his work as a farrier to be a 'side-line', he notes that there are indications that he might find himself in demand.
     "People looking for a farrier have had to go as far as Yorkton or Regina. There wasn't really anybody doing this in our area. I'm just trying to get going with it and I've had a few calls already. A couple were actually too far away for me to travel to because we're busy with calving right now too! But, that tells me that there are quite a few people out there looking for someone to do this work."  
      You might consider Chance the Farrier your local ìtravelling shoe salesmanî for horses.
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