The picture in your head, the feeling about the horse and your professional experience are very important.
Aksel Vibe (1974) comes from a small valley in Norway. In this somewhat remote area, he grew up with horses, and started helping his uncle with farriery when he was about 13 years old and went to the farrier school at age 18. After that, he was an apprentice at the VET University with Magne Delebekk until 1996.
Searching for experience and knowledge, he travelled and worked in Sweden and Denmark until he settled in 2000 and start his own business shoeing dressage horses and show jumpers.
In the years following, he had several apprentices and employees. After moving to a different area in Norway with Julia, also a farrier, Aksel decided to work without additional farriers for the time being.
Aksel has a tremendous drive on pushing himself to become better at was he does. Taking the AWF exam in the UK, is one of the results from his endless drive to always improve.
Next to his own business, Aksel is a partner in a Vet / Farrier business. Giving clinics and lectures are becoming a bigger part of his day to day job.
Anything from lecturing for veterinarians to basic forging for apprentices and talks at riding clubs educate riders of the importance of hoof care.
Vibe started with shoeing show jumpers and dressage horses, but does more and more remedial shoeing. He shoes his horses with the goal to extend their performance period, trying to keep them in an optimal condition. “Normally, horses are top performing between the age of 7 to 14 years. My approach is to make that 7 to 18 years”. Extending their working career is good for the horse and benefits the owners as well.
“Actually, I’m shoeing the horse, not only the feet”. Aksel explains that a good insight in the training conditions is crucial for his approach. For example, if you understand the surface, you can prevent certain injuries.
Vibe keep records of his most complex cases on his iPad. “The picture in your head, the feeling about the horse and your professional experience are very important.” If the circumstances change, the horse’s shoeing plan needs to be reviewed. For example if a horse goes to a new owner, then it’s situation has to be redefined. Not only because the environment changes, but also because a new rider can differ in character, locomotion or weight. Aksel have been shoeing a few of the Norwegian Paralympics horses: “This adds another dimension to my work, taken in consideration that riders are facing different challenges."
If you understand the surface, you can prevent certain injuries
“Recent years I have learnt that surfaces is of great importance for sport horses. To learn more about and take in consideration what kinds of impact the different properties in surfaces is becoming an important factor in the decision making how I shoe horses." Aksel just spend an entire evening talking to a producer of equine surfaces, about different types of materials, fibers, grain sizes and how it influences the locomotion of a horse.
You can’t get enough knowledge and skills
We are talking to a man that feels that he’s only half way his career. He strives to improve his skills continuously, doing competitions keeps him keen and he learns a lot of it. Aksel lives by personal development and growth. “You can’t get enough knowledge and skills. Be a shark to get it and become what you want to be!”
Why? Aksel wants to inspire others and set an example. He comes from a small village, but that has never kept him from achieving what he wants. In this way, he wants to help his colleagues to be more aware of their capabilities and to do their job even better. To make them reach their full capacity.
For what reason? For the horses. They are number one.
“A day working with horses is always a good day.”