Leicestershire, England, farrier Tom Holliday elected to spend a year shoeing in Landrum, S.C., following an exchange week there last summer.

Holliday first experienced U.S. farriery last summer by participating in the joint exchange program between the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) and Worshipful Company of Farriers (WCF).

He stayed with Jeff Pauley, who has shod horses in the Carolinas since 1989. Five years ago, Pauley earned an associate with the WCF.

“When the WCF expanded its availability of programs to the U.S., they would occasionally come over to test candidates if there was enough interest,” he told the Tryon Daily Bulletin.

He was eligible to test for the certification because he earned the AFA’s journeyman farrier certification.

“At that time there were about 10 U.S. farriers with that designation and now there are about 20,” Pauley says.

Holliday has his diploma from WCF, having grown up with horses and entered the WCF certification program after high school. Before starting their farrier course, he completed a forging course at Herefordshire College of Technology.

“I always wanted to be a farrier,” he says.

Holliday pointed out how farriery is different in the U.S.

“You don’t have to have a qualification to be a farrier. You have to have one to cut someone’s hair, but not to work on someone’s horse, where you could possibly lame it.”

In the U.K., farriers must be certified and registered to work — unlicensed farriery is a criminal offense. The WCF sets the standards.

However different, Holliday likes the area. According to Pauley, that’s why he got his visa to spend a year working with him.

Pauley has served as the team farrier for World Equestrian Games in two previous years and will do so again for the U.S. endurance team in 2018. He also travels as a clinician for Delta Mustad. Besides these engagements, his hoof-care clients are diverse.

Holliday shares Pauley’s passion for farriery and appreciation for a multitude of professional experiences.

“I like the variety of working with all kinds, from drafts and hunting horses to kids’ ponies.”