SMILE! Bella the horse had a fun day with students Hugo Lattanzi and Rory Little at a UQ Gatton farrier presentation.
SMILE! Bella the horse had a fun day with students Hugo Lattanzi and Rory Little at a UQ Gatton farrier presentation. Contributed

Horseplay! Farrier shows city students the ropes

BELLA the horse may have become a bit too excited at the prospect of new shoes.

She was one of the horses reshod in front of more than 700 primary school students who learnt about shoeing a horse at UQ Gatton's farrier presentation at the RNA's Rural Discovery Day.

Final-year farrier apprentice at UQ Gatton's Vocational Education Centre Ben Bell enjoyed teaching the students what was involved in shoeing a horse.

"People are often surprised what is involved in being a farrier. It combines animal handling and forging skills," he said.

He said most people, let alone inner-city primary school students, didn't know about the farriers' skills anymore.

"The primary school students are all from city schools so the majority of them haven't seen a horse be shod before," Mr Bell said.

"They definitely learnt something new."

He said his trade let him do what he loved by working with horses.

"I love being a farrier because it allows me to work somewhere different every day with horses," he said.

Year 4 student Rory Little, from St Columba's Primary in Wilston in central Brisbane, was one of the students who watched the presentation and learned about shoeing horses.

"I really enjoyed learning about how to shoe a horse," Rory said.

"It was really fun and interesting."

The UQ Gatton Vocational Education Centre is the only place in Queensland to offer a fully accredited farrier apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship through the centre takes four years.

The RNA's Rural Discovery Day is a unique hands-on learning experience allowing youngsters to find out first-hand about rural activities before the state's biggest show in the Ekka.

They are able to take part in activities ranging from milking cows, tasting honey from a beehive, discovering where their food comes from as well as learning about shoeing horses and potting seeds.


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