Is becoming a farrier right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do farriers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are farriers happy with their careers?
What are farriers like?

Still unsure if becoming a farrier is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a farrier or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Farrier

To become a farrier in the US, here are the general steps you can follow:

  • Gain Experience and Knowledge: Start by gaining experience and knowledge about horses and their hooves. Spend time working with horses, observing their behavior, and learning about their anatomy. Volunteer or work at horse stables, equestrian centers, or farms to gain hands-on experience and learn from experienced farriers.
  • Seek Mentorship: Find a qualified and experienced farrier who is willing to serve as your mentor. Apprenticeship under a skilled farrier is an excellent way to gain practical experience and learn the trade. They can guide you through the different aspects of hoof care, trimming, and horseshoeing.
  • Obtain Education and Certification: While formal education is not a requirement to become a farrier, getting a degree in equine science or enrolling in a reputable farrier school or certification program can provide structured training and enhance your skills. Look for schools accredited by organizations such as the American Farrier's Association (AFA) or the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association (BWFA). Completing a recognized farrier program can also increase your credibility and marketability.
  • Acquire Farrier Tools and Equipment: Invest in high-quality farrier tools and equipment. These may include hoof knives, rasps, nippers, hoof testers, and specialized shoeing tools. As you progress in your career, you may need to expand your collection based on the types of services you provide.
  • Develop Business Skills: Familiarize yourself with basic business skills to run a successful farrier practice. This includes understanding pricing, bookkeeping, scheduling, and client management. Building good relationships with horse owners, trainers, and veterinarians can help establish a solid client base.
  • Obtain Insurance and Licensing: Consider obtaining liability insurance for your farrier practice to protect yourself and your clients in case of accidents or injuries. Check with local authorities to determine if there are any specific licensing requirements for farriers in your area.
  • Continuously Learn and Improve: The field of farriery is constantly evolving, so it's important to stay updated with the latest techniques, research, and advancements. Attend continuing education seminars, workshops, and conferences to expand your knowledge and skills. Join professional associations like the American Farrier's Association (AFA) to access resources, educational materials, and networking opportunities.

Helpful Resources
Here are some helpful resources for farriers:

  • American Farrier's Association (AFA): The AFA is a leading professional organization for farriers in the United States. They provide educational resources, certification programs, conferences, and networking opportunities. Their website offers a wealth of information on various aspects of farriery, including industry standards, research articles, and educational materials.
  • Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association (BWFA): The BWFA is another reputable organization that offers educational programs, certifications, and support for farriers. They focus on promoting the art and science of farriery and offer resources for farriers of all levels of experience.
  • Farrier Focus Podcast: This podcast hosted by Simon Curtis provides insights, interviews, and discussions on various topics related to farriery. It covers a wide range of subjects, including hoof care, shoeing techniques, business management, and professional development.
  • Online Communities and Forums: Joining online communities and forums dedicated to farriery can be valuable for networking, seeking advice, and exchanging knowledge with fellow farriers. Websites like The Horseshoeing Forum and Farriers Forum provide platforms for discussions, sharing experiences, and getting answers to specific questions.
  • Farrier Supply Stores: There are several reputable farrier supply stores across the US that offer a wide range of tools, equipment, and materials needed by farriers. These stores often have knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance and recommendations based on your specific needs. Some well-known farrier supply stores include Centaur Forge, Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, and Anvil Brand.
  • Continuing Education Events: Look for local and national events, workshops, and clinics that focus on farriery. These events often feature renowned farriers and experts who provide demonstrations, lectures, and hands-on training. Attending such events can help you stay updated with the latest techniques, trends, and research in the field.
  • Industry Publications: Subscribe to industry publications such as American Farriers Journal and Hoofcare & Lameness magazine. These publications offer articles, case studies, and practical tips from experienced farriers, veterinarians, and researchers. They cover a wide range of topics related to hoof care, shoeing, and equine health.