How To Become a Farrier
Are you wondering how to become a farrier? This essential equine career is in demand. Read more to discover how to become a horse farrier, including farrier education requirements, equipment and skills needed.
What Is a Farrier?
Before you decide that you want to become a farrier, let's take a look at what a horse farrier is. A farrier is a sort of horse podiatrist and specializes in caring for the hooves of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as blacksmiths, farriers combine blacksmith skills with basic equine anatomy and physiology knowledge to clean, trim and shoe horses' hooves. A farrier career is physically demanding but rewarding.
How To Become a Farrier: Farrier Education Requirements
In the United States, accreditation is not required for a farrier career. Initial experience is typically gained through an internship or farrier school. Apprenticeships are vital because of the hands-on nature of the job. Before becoming a farrier, you want to make sure that you can handle the physical demands. The American Farrier's Association has certification programs that demonstrate your professional abilities and make you more marketable.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Farrier?
The length of time to become a farrier in the United States varies based on the farrier education path you take.
- Apprenticeship - requires multiple years of shadowing an experienced farrier as you learn to be a farrier, but provides invaluable hands-on experience.
- Accredited Farrier School - can reduce the length of time it takes to become a farrier; however, an apprenticeship is still necessary for real-world experience.
- Certification - isn't necessary, but it provides an endorsement of your skills and can improve your job prospects. Becoming a farrier with advanced certifications takes longer but translates into higher pay.
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Farrier Education and Skills
As you are learning how to become a farrier, you are likely wondering about the specific skills that are required. Every horse and situation is different, so you will need to be adaptable and spend time getting to know each animal. Becoming a farrier requires a diverse skill set that includes:
- Horse anatomy
- Making tools
- Business expertise
Classes involving agriculture, animal science, welding, business and math will help prepare you for this multidisciplinary field. A farrier must be physically fit, able to communicate with both horses and their owners and willing to work odd hours.
Farrier Tools & Equipment
So now that you know what it takes to become a farrier let's discuss the tools of the trade that are needed to start your career. There is more to horseshoeing equipment than just horseshoes and nails.
Essential Farrier Tools:
- Shoe puller
- Farrier stands
- Hoof testers
- Hoof knives
- Hoof nippers
- Nail clinchers
- Protective horse boots
Protective clothing such as an apron or work chaps are also needed. You'll also need a toolbox, carrying case or rolling caddy to transport your gear.
Become a Farrier with Supplies from NRS
Becoming a farrier can be very costly initially because of all the instruments and supplies needed to start your business. But if you want to know how to become a horse farrier without breaking the bank, look no further! NRS is your best resource for quality farrier tools and supplies at affordable prices. Stock up on all your farrier gear today!