b'NEWSQUICK FIREMark Watson FWCF trained as a farrier in the army and rose to the rank of Farrier Sergeant Major with the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery when it was based at St Johns Wood. He is now a full-time farrier near Grantham, Lincolnshire. He is also a farriery consultant, an examiner for the Worshipful Company of Farriers, a tutor and a judge. He developed the BFBAs AWCF course and is Chief Steward and organiser of the Associations annual International Team Horseshoeing Championship at Stoneleigh, as well as being a member of the BFBAs Craft Committee. He is trying to learn to say no!If you werent a farrier, youd be . . . a showjumper (well, if I was good enough). I loved showjumping as a kid and jumped to a good level on ponies. My dad married a horse dealer and I liked getting on any horses we had in at the time, schooling them and taking them to shows. Unfortunately, I got to the age of 16 and had to start earning money rather than spending it, and the serious jumping stopped. Ivon Bell would have to be the one person who inspired me the most. He was extremely well motivated, had a great mind and always strived for Most memorable appointment with a client . . . it must have been in theexcellence in everything he did. He was exactly 10 years older than me to mid-1990s and we went to the Army Saddle Club in Larkhill with my bossthe day and I still think about him most days.Brendan Murray to shoe a few horses. While we were there, we were asked if we could shoe the Commanding Officers new event horse. We tied himWho would you most like to thank and why? . . . All the people who up to the side of the wooden stables and started to shoe him. He took afought, died or survived the two World Wars. What they went through is slight dislike to the smoke and pulled back on his rope. Unfortunately, theunimaginable to us and has taught me many valuable things. I try to think string didnt break, and he ripped a whole plank of wood off the stable andof them as often as possible.ran backwards down the yard terrified of the plank of wood on the end of his rope. He then ran out of the gateway heading towards the ArtilleryWhere are you happiest? . . . Pottering around in my forge at the ranges on Salisbury plain! After about 30 minutes and a huge manhunt weweekend, make a few shoes, fix a couple of things and stroke the tractor.managed to retrieve him. The horse was intact but had four very smashed up feet. Im not sure how Brendan explained this to the Commanding Officer but funnily enough we were never asked to shoe him again!Extended trial Biggest mistake youve learnt from . . . when youre dictating a textperiod for newly message to your phonecheck it before you send it! I was running aroundqualified farriersan hour early for a client so I thought Id dictate a message via my phoneSign up and get to my client notifying her that I was ahead of schedule. The message Iin touch todaydictated to my phone was Hi Karen, Im running about an hour early. I could either come straight to you or nip and do a quick pair of fronts on the way.Unfortunately, my phone had replaced the word fronts with something which sounded like fronts but meant something completely different! I apologised immediately and we still laugh about it now.Your secret weapon . . . grinderI couldnt do without it(the one in my van, that is!)Best time saving tip . . .organisation. Im meticulous about loading the van the night before and making sure that any time-saving modifications are done to shoes before I arrive the next day.Advice you would give your younger self . . . take your time and charge an amount that is fair to you and the client. Your Achilles heel . . . getting involved! I find it hard to say no when Im asked to do things. Im a strong believer in giving things back to the industry and to people but I just have to watch how I divide my time these days.Your most treasured possession . my tractor. Shes beautiful and does everything I ask of her.Favourite pub/bar . . .the Sportsman Irish pub in Ruislip Manor (its called something else now). I played football for them for a few years when I lived in London. I spent far too much time in there, but I seemed to play better with a hangover!What keeps you sane? . . .the wife. Shes the most level-headed person I know, always calm, never gets flustered and has a measured, grown-up and sensible approach to everything. Shes all the things that Im not!Whos your biggest inspiration? . . . Difficult one this because Ive been privileged enough to work with many fantastic forward-thinking farriers. November 2019|FORGE| 35'