What To Do, What To Avoid When Getting Started

Clients will expect you to know much more about horses than just the feet.

Starting any career is no easy task and that’s certainly the case for new horseshoeing school graduates. After a few weeks or months of schooling on the equine foot, you’ll quickly realize that you don’t have all the answers or the confidence needed to succeed.

That’s why we’re sharing the thoughts from three recent graduates on how they overcame key obstacles in launching their hoof-care careers.

Each began a full-time shoeing career after graduating from horseshoeing school in 2005 and has already earned certified journeyman farrier status from the American Farrier’s Association (AFA). The three were recognized with a “Rising Shoeing Star” award at the February 2009 International Hoof-Care Summit. 

This program is designed to promote the importance of further horseshoeing education while encouraging young shoers to be successful. This award program is co-sponsored by Anvil Brand Shoe, Co., G.E. Forge & Tool, Life Data Labs, Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, Vettec, Victory Racing Plate Co. and American Farriers Journal.


Q: What were the major obstacles you faced in getting started?

Caldwell: Establishing a balance between family and work was tough. It meant determining what I needed to earn to reach my desired standard of living. 

It seemed like I always wanted to buy two tools at every clinic, but that didn’t make financial sense.

I worked out of the back of my truck since I already had the vehicle, but then tried a shoeing trailer. Eventually, I went back to using only the truck with a used topper shell.

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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