Getting into the Shoeing Biz

Q: I have always been fascinated with shoeing horses. I’ve done a little trimming of my own horses, but I haven’t been to a shoeing school. The only farrier education I have comes from asking questions and getting pointers from other farriers, along with reading books that I’ve purchased. 

I work on a ranch in northeastern California and have been married 2 years with no kids yet. I would love to have my own farrier business! Can I support a family being a full-time farrier? How do you suggest that I get started? 

 —Frank Emsoff, fcemsoff@psln.com

A: If you have a fascination and are seriously interested in becoming a horseshoer, I’d definitely encourage you to pursue shoeing for a living. One important thing to know is that working up to a full-time business may take a while. A good plan is to attend a reputable farrier school and try to ride with a full-time journeyman farrier. I’d also suggest getting a subscription to American Farriers Journal and attending clinics in your area. 

After you have a good educational foundation, you can work on building up a clientele. Any good business takes time to build and a farrier business is no different. I’ve made many good fiends in this trade and found many people willing to share their knowledge with me. 

  —MC

A: The best blacksmiths I know all had a mentor. I know some self-taught guys that make a lot of money. And I know some guys that went to…

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