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Anyone a Farrier?

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  • Anyone a Farrier?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm currently in school for Natural Resources Conservation but am considering taking a different path and going to school to become a farrier. I have been thinking about this for a long time but have been pushed by family to go to college and get a bachelor's degree vs. going to a trade school. My father owns his own small business and is in the trades, he never went to college, just trade school which I think is a big reason why my parents really pushed me to get a degree. I know I can always go back to school to become a farrier after college but I don't want to waste time and more importantly money on a degree that I may never end up using. Anyway, this is obviously a huge decision and would requiring relocating to a part of the country where I don't know anyone as well as moving my horse (which is scarier than moving myself lol). I really do think I would prefer being a farrier rather than moving into a career based on my degree.

    So, I guess what I'm looking for is info from anyone who is a farrier to get a little more insight on the business. I have of course talked to my farrier about the business a little but I'd love to get some responses from a wider variety of people. If you could also include what school/program you attended that would be much appreciated! I am considering doing the 36 week course at Kentucky Horse Shoeing School if that helps! TIA!

  • #2
    Talk with Forging Ahead, the well respected farrier group in Northern Va. Their lead farriers have college degrees. Forging Ahead offers a good apprenticeship program, although you should probably finish college and farrier school before you do it.

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    • #3
      Yes, get that college degree to fall back on if after a few years as a farrier you get hurt too bad to keep at it.

      Ask the farriers on the Health forum, there are some there that can tell you what would be best for you.

      You could check with your school about some shop/welding classes also.
      That would help you so much with the forge work.

      Comment


      • #4
        Daughter went to Heartland Horseshoeing School in MO last year. It was about 6 months of schooling. They shod a lot of horses, got in a lot of forge work in building shoes, working steel in a fire. It will give you a VERY good set of basics to work from, though of course you will have to be self-motivated in learning more after school. Hits on aspects of running your business, to be successful in turning a profit, not only working steel.

        http://heartlandhorseshoeing.com/

        Girls attend and graduate, one of the instructers is a good female farrier, doing shoes and forge work, Certified. Not just a trimmer.

        Daughter chose it because it was a bit shorter than the Kentucky School of Horseshoeing, with more live horse shoe work than dead leg work. She would have taken their long course if she had attended, but it would have cost more in room and board than the Heartland School. Husband is a professional Farrier, full-time, and only suggested these two schools when daughter started talking about being a Farrier herself. Husband and daughter visited both places, asking plenty of questions, before she made the choice. Cost was a concern, since she was paying the expenses herself.

        http://www.kentuckyhorseshoeingschool.com/

        She has been working with husband some since return home, learning other styles of shoes, how to do hoof related things she didn't see in MO. Different kinds of horse disciplines in our area than she met at the School. She feels very confident in going to a new client's barn and working on strange horses. Her Customer's make second appointments, are happy with the work she does. Still building a customer list, price is ALWAYS the big deal locally in choosing their Farrier, not what skills they have!!

        So a couple Schools for you, that produce skilled Farriers. Self motivation is always the best tool to take to Farrier School, have to push to be the best you can. They are NOT easy courses, so finishing, passing the skill tests required to Graduate are a mark of your determination to succeed.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Beaudacious22 View Post
          Hey everyone,

          I'm currently in school for Natural Resources Conservation but am considering taking a different path and going to school to become a farrier. I have been thinking about this for a long time but have been pushed by family to go to college and get a bachelor's degree vs. going to a trade school. My father owns his own small business and is in the trades, he never went to college, just trade school which I think is a big reason why my parents really pushed me to get a degree. I know I can always go back to school to become a farrier after college but I don't want to waste time and more importantly money on a degree that I may never end up using. Anyway, this is obviously a huge decision and would requiring relocating to a part of the country where I don't know anyone as well as moving my horse (which is scarier than moving myself lol). I really do think I would prefer being a farrier rather than moving into a career based on my degree.

          So, I guess what I'm looking for is info from anyone who is a farrier to get a little more insight on the business. I have of course talked to my farrier about the business a little but I'd love to get some responses from a wider variety of people. If you could also include what school/program you attended that would be much appreciated! I am considering doing the 36 week course at Kentucky Horse Shoeing School if that helps! TIA!
          Why think in terms of "either or..."?

          One of our former farriers worked his way through college as a farrier. We were invited to his graduation from the University of TN in Knoxville with a BA in Business Administration and a minor in Math.

          He went to farrier school, apprenticed with one of the best in East TN, and went out on his own. He was skilled, personable, answered his phone, and was always on time for appointments. Or he called to say he had a problem.

          Not all solutions to problems are "binary."

          Good luck in what ever choice you make.

          G.
          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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          • #6
            My farrier is a physical anthropology major. We have some very, very interesting conversations. If you can find a really good farrier to apprentice to, skip the farrier school. He did and he's one of the top in his field.

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            • #7
              I would also suggest you finish your degree, then go to farrier school.

              Being a farrier is very hard physically and carries the risk of injury. If you get hurt or develop a medical problem (bad back, etc) you may want that degree down the road. (And college isn't getting any cheaper, and the credits you already have earned will generally only hold for so long, so you might as well finish now.)
              Flickr

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              • #8
                My husband is a part time farrier; one of his very good friends picked it up and went full-time in about five years.

                From our experience, I'd say definitely do both. Experienced farriers like to have "finish men/women" along to help and teach; serves as an apprenticeship. Tag along with anyone that will have you, don't believe everything you hear but remember everything they say. Keep your ears open and mouth shut; hold horses and pound nails and learn. Start picking and choosing, ask the local vets who might need a horse holder that will give you a chance.

                When you start thinking schools, I wouldn't go anywhere else but the Mission Farrier School in WA. I have some personal experience with them and the horses Mark has been under and they're my best place to start with anything farrier.

                Farrier work is definitely a hands on deal. Get out and DO it. But for heaven's sake do it in your spare time for now. I don't know any successful farrier that didn't start out part-time.
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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