Mikes Lantra Article

Mike Williams’ earliest memory is putting an anvil into his brother’s van. Today that same anvil has pride of place at The Farriery Practice where he trains apprentices himself. He also trains staff working in his business - Total Foot Protection Ltd - selling horse shoes and hoofcare products.

Mike says that without training the industry has no future. Highly skilled staff get more from the job and boost a company’s reputation.

In 1990 Mike joined two others to form The Farriery Practice, and then opened a farrier’s shop called Total Foot Protection which employs a manager and two warehousemen.

“Our office manager is very highly qualified and the others are warehouse positions but we have these guys doing NVQs in warehousing, distribution and customer service.”

The Farriery Practice has two apprentices getting vocational training while doing the job.

“Taking on apprentices is not particularly profitable but there are other benefits. When you’re training, you’re being scrutinised all the time, even when you’re tired or having a bad day, which keeps your own standards high.

“You have to give your farriery skills to the staff at the shop and in the warehouse so they know the selling points. Training and understanding like this means they derive more satisfaction as employees, testing their grey matter, and they stay with you.

Our warehouse head has been with us eight years, the manager nearly three years and the apprentice warehouseman, who’s doing his NVQ2 in warehousing and distribution, a year. Every time they have some training they come back with ideas and we reap the rewards of them thinking outside the box.

“Personally I have done a lot of training courses, too - the E11 teacher training, drawing, website design, marketing, ecommerce. And The Farriery Practice runs training courses and demonstrations for other farriers, not just in this country but around Europe.

“I have also been accepted as a CPD provider for professional development training for other farriers in the UK and done two events so far.

“Training is always worthwhile. If you’re doing something at 110% then success follows…"


The Farriery Practice would like to thank everyone who attended our clients evening held in March. The evening was based on lower limb anatomy of the horse. It was a great success, filling the forge at Bridge House Equestrian Centre.

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Founded in 1990 by Mark Spriggs, Dave Nicholls and Mike Williams The Farriery Practice has grown into a successful Partnership of six Farriers who all strive to provide the best in service and knowledge.

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