This is a relatively small profession and entry can be competitive.
By law, to shoe horses, you must be registered with the Farriers’ Registration Council.
You must apply for an advanced apprenticeship with an Approved Training Farrier (ATF). This lasts for four years and two months. Training places for apprentices are limited and you may have to move to another part of the country. (Please see More Information section below).
You need at least 5 subjects at National 5, including English and Maths or equivalent qualifications, for entry. You must also complete a Forging Certificate of 15 forging exercises.
The Farriers Registration Council (FRC) can provide information on all ATFs.
Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) runs the City and Guilds 12-week Certificate in Forgework course. To get in you need 3 subjects at National 4 including English and Maths. This course prepares you for a farriery apprenticeship or for an alternative career as a blacksmith.
You would normally need to have a driving licence.
You must be fit and pass a medical examination, including good eyesight.
You can also train as a farrier in the army in the Royal Horse Artillery or Household Cavalry.
There are only about 2,800 registered farriers in the whole of the UK, with around 300 Approved Training Farriers.
handle horses with confidence and enjoy working with them
work alone without supervision
use common sense and take responsibility.
You need to have:
strength and stamina
good practical skills
good hand skills and co-ordination
observational skills – to spot disease or injury
You would train on the job as an apprentice farrier with an Approved Training Farrier.
This would be combined with block-release college training, leading to a vocational qualification at Level 3 and the Diploma of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (DipWCF).
The approved colleges currently offering off the job training are in England: Herefordshire and Ludlow College, Myerscough College (Preston) and Warwickshire College.
Qualified farriers may go on to study for the Associateship and Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers.
Your first job may be with a small country firm.
There may be more senior appointments available with horse breeders, large stables and mounted sections or regiments of the police or army.
With experience you may be able to become a supervisor or craft instructor.
If you are able to attend Myerscough College (Preston) on a part time basis, you could study for the new Foundation Degree in Farriery.
Many farriers are self-employed, and therefore you may consider setting up your own business.
There can be opportunities to work abroad.
All registered farriers are required to undertake continuing professional development (CPD). This includes both formal (structured professional learning) and informal (self-managed learning, such as reading related materials) types.
There are now 3 colleges that provide approved farriery apprenticeships - Herefordshire and Ludlow College, Myerscough College (Preston) and Warwickshire College.
The Farriers Registration Council accredits and monitors the training.
The College of Animal Welfare specialises in veterinary nursing and animal care training. It operates from seven UK training centres, including the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School of Edinburgh University.