Farrier

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Farriers prepare and treat horses’ hooves, and make and fit horseshoes.

Salary Range: £16,000 to £30,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • training with the army
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You can take a farriery access course to start your career.

This is a one-year, full-time course aimed at students who want to move onto an apprenticeship and do not meet the GCSE requirements, or hold a Certificate in Forgework.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

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You could get into this work by doing an advanced apprenticeship in farriery.

This will take 48 months to complete and includes periods of college study and training on the job, with an approved training farrier.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • City and Guilds Forging Certificate

Other routes

You could join the army as a soldier with the Household Cavalry.

After 2 years as a mounted ceremonial trooper, you’ll be eligible to apply for the Forge and join a team of farriers.

More information

Registration

  • you must be registered with Farriers Registration Council

Further information

You’ll find more details about training and working as a farrier from the Farriers Registration Council and the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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Day-to-day tasks

You’ll make and fit shoes for horses. Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • discussing the horse’s shoeing requirements with the owner
  • checking the horse’s leg, foot and hoof, cutting away any excess hoof growth and making sure the horse is properly balanced
  • choosing the most suitable type of shoe for the horse’s size, foot condition, type of activity and working conditions
  • making horseshoes by hand or machine
  • adjusting the shape of the shoes, using a hammer and anvil
  • fitting the horseshoes

Working environment

You could work at a client’s business, at a riding stable or on a farm.

Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and you’ll travel often.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

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You may be able to move into a permanent role with large stables, horse breeders, or mounted regiments of the police or army.

You could work in equine hospitals, with vets or in the farriery suppliers business.

You could become an Approved Training Farrier (ATF) and employ and train apprentice Farriers. 

You could also move into lecturing or provide a consultancy service.