How to become a farrier

What does a farrier do?

Farriers are skilled craftspeople who make and fit shoes for horses according to the needs and welfare of the animal.

They first check the horse's leg, foot and hoof, cut away any excess hoof growth and ensure that the horse is balanced correctly. They then select the most appropriate type of shoe, bearing in mind the horse's size, foot condition, type of activity and working conditions.

Shoes are either hand or machine made, and are fitted hot or cold. The farrier may adjust the shape of the shoe if necessary, using a hammer and anvil.

Farriers are increasingly becoming involved in remedial work with veterinary surgeons and equine hospitals providing corrective shoeing and surgical farriery.

Most farriers are self-employed and need to organise their own bookings, order stock and tools, and keep accounts.


What's the working environment like for a farrier?

The working hours vary according to the needs of customers, but are usually in daylight hours and likely to include some weekend working.

Farriers work on their customers' premises, such as farms, riding schools or stables. This involves extensive travel with a mobile workshop. The work is physically demanding.

A driving licence will be required as you'll need a vehicle for carrying a mobile workshop, stock and tools.


What does it take to become a farrier?

To be a farrier you should:

  • enjoy working with horses, and ideally have some practical experience
  • have good co-ordination and manual skills
  • have physical strength and stamina
  • have good communication skills to work with horse owners and vets
  • be able to organise appointments, keep accurate records and deal with payments and accounts.


Farrier career opportunities


Further information

If you would like to learn more about becoming a farrier that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Farriers' Registration Council & Farriery Training Service
Sefton House
Adam Court
Newark Road
Tel: 01733 319911

Lantra House
Stoneleigh Park
Nr Coventry
Tel: 0845 707 8007

Lantra career advice sites:



National Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers
The Forge
10th Street
Stoneleigh Park
nr Coventry
Tel: 02476 696595



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