After a lengthy shearing career, a Dunedin man decided to take a step back. However, things only seem to be speeding up.

Aaron Robinson has been shearing for more than 20 years.

The now 42-year-old said he first started shearing ''pretty much as soon as I left school'' and has done it ever since.

He recently started his own business, AA Lifestyle Shearing, to take a bit of a step back, but after 18 months he was surprised with how busy he was.

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Mr Robinson covers the area from Milton to Waitati and can shear anywhere from one to 1000 sheep.

He could shear a sheep ''pretty much anywhere'' with his trailer and stand, that was run from a portable generator.

''I enjoy getting out and meeting a range of people there's a lot of lifestyle blocks out there ... there's a lot of characters out there.''

He said for the bigger jobs he got a mate to help him, but might have to look at employing someone in the future as his business continued to grow.

Mr Robinson said starting up his own business was a bit of a risk but once he got his gear sorted it was easy.

Although Mr Robinson was ''flat out'' at the moment, he hoped with shearing the smaller numbers he would be able to continue for another 20 years.

''It's just a bit easier on the body.''

''You get to have a break in between jobs, whereas when your contract shearing it's full-on all day.''

Mr Robinson said he had not shorn competitively except for ''the odd speed shear when I was younger''.

However, having the skill had allowed him to work and travel.

''I'd encourage young people to get into it. It's a great way to see the world and you can make a good bit of money in a short time.''

Southern Rural Life