Farriers' Roundtable

Q: “What is the best way for a new person to enter the farrier trade?”

—Missouri farrier

A. Before jumping into the farrier trade, ride with a farrier for a couple of weeks. It’s one thing to be interested in horses, be around horses or watch your farrier shoe your horses, but it’s certainly another thing to see what we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Some people are lured in by the mystique of being a farrier, or they think it’s an easy job. But, once they get out there and see all of the situations we face, they may have a different idea of what it means to be a horseshoer.

After a couple of weeks of watching everything we do, a person should realize if he or she still is interested in being a farrier. At that point, I’d suggest going to a school with a good horseshoeing program.

I’ve had people come to work for me who are just out of school and some people who have been green to the business. The shoers who went to school and received a solid training base have always worked out for the best.

Once the student completes the education, he or she needs to spend a minimum of 1 to 2 years as an apprentice. A student fresh out of school is not ready to enter the farrier trade without some experience.

—Mike DeLeonardo, Salinas, Calif.

A. If one aspires to become a farrier and has no prior…

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