ON THE COVER: Sloughhouse, Calif., farrier Amber Madden, APF-I, (right) offers some pointers on nipping a horse’s hoof wall to Makena Murayama of Koloa, Hawaii. Madden, who has been shoeing for 13 years, owns and operates Madden Horseshoeing.

Farrier School is Just the Beginning

On the first day of class, Bob Smith makes two important points to his Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School students

“I tell students, ‘If you don’t like shoeing horses, it’s going to be a horrible way to make a living,’” the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member recalls with a smile. “Then I tell them that it’s a lifetime of learning.”

Smith isn’t telling tales outside of school, either. A primary farrier education is no different than attending a trade school to become a welder or an electrician. You’ve taken the first step, but you’re going to need some practice. Perhaps Smith explains it better with his swimming analogy.

“After the end of the program, we take you to the edge of the cliff and we push you into the little lake,” he says. “The only thing we’ve taught you to do is the doggy paddle. We’re trying to keep you from drowning. You learn how to go in different directions, change speeds, the breaststroke, and the backstroke while continuing your education after you leave school.”

Help is Here

The farrier industry is a collection of incredibly generous people who are armed with valuable experience and the willingness to share it with you. There’s no greater example than the knowledge and advice that you will find within the pages of this 15th edition of the American Farriers Journal’s Getting Started in Hoof Care.

The valuable information you will read comes from knowledgeable hoof-care professionals who have invested their lives in this…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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