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Q: I’m a 37-year old woman who spent her younger years (until the age of 20) with horses. I went “astray” for awhile, but would like to rekindle my love for horses and try my hand at being a farrier. Is it feasible to begin learning farrier skills now with the objective of a career change? I would love nothing better than to work with horses full time, but am wondering if I’m indulging little more than a pipe dream.
Are there apprenticeships available? I've looked into farrier schools but need advice on which ones are worthwhile. It seems to me that learning how to shoe horses properly takes more training than the 2- to 12-week courses that I’ve seen some schools provide. If I were lucky enough to learn this skill, can I make a decent living as a farrier?
A: If you are prepared physically, mentally capable and are willing to put the work in, you can do it. The success of any self-employed person is essentially up to them. We’ve had students of all ages successfully complete our farrier program and go on to become successful farriers. We have two options in our farrier program: a 6-week certificate, and a 2-year associate of applied science degree. The program is very comprehensive and allows students time to develop the necessary skills and gain knowledge. If you are interested, I would be happy to send you some information.
—Nate Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mesalands Community College, Tucumcari, NM