Trades & Services

Farrier

Farriers prepare and treat horses' feet, and make and fit horseshoes as well as racing plates for racehorses.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Farrier do?

Farriers prepare and treat horses' feet, so that they can make and fit horseshoes. Farriers also make and fit racing plates for racehorses. Farriery is sometimes combined with blacksmithing work.

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Work activities

As a farrier you would:

  • inspect horses' legs and hooves and identify health or gait problems or irregularities
  • discuss and agree the horse’s shoeing requirements with the owner
  • cut away excess hoof growth and make sure that the horse is properly balanced
  • choose the most suitable type of shoe for the horse's size, foot condition, type of activity and working conditions
  • make horseshoes by hand or machine
  • adjust the shape of the shoes, using a hammer and anvil
  • fit the horseshoes.

You might also work with veterinary surgeons or equine hospitals to provide corrective shoeing and surgical farriery.

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Key skills and interests

To become a farrier, you would need:

  • an interest in working with horses
  • knowledge of horse behaviour and equine care
  • good practical skills
  • physical strength and stamina
  • no allergies to horses
  • the ability to keep accurate records and deal with payments and accounts.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Your working hours would vary according to the needs of your customers, and would usually include some after-hours work. This may also include weekends, particularly if you work with racehorses.

Conditions

You would usually travel to customers' premises, for example farms, riding schools or stables.

A drivers’ licence is necessary, and you will need a vehicle that is suitable for carrying around stock and tools.

Farriery is very physical work. It involves a lot of bending and lifting, handling horses, and sometimes working outdoors in all weather conditions. Farriers usually wear protective clothing.

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How to become an Farrier?

Entry Level Education

To become a farrier you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Farriery. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

You can also become a farrier by completing a VET qualification in Farriery.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment for farriers has declined by more than ten percent over the past 5 years and is expected to continue to decline.

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