What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Practical work making horseshoes and fitting them to horses' feet
- Skilled work that can be physically demanding
- Work for yourself or for a stable, vet or equine hospital, or in the military
As a farrier you'll make and fit shoes for horses.
- 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
You might also work with vets and equine hospitals to provide corrective shoeing and surgical farriery.
You'll usually be self-employed. Your working hours will depend on your customers, and may include some weekends. You may need to travel long distances to customers' premises, like farms, riding schools or stables.
You'll need a driving licence and vehicle that's suitable for carrying a mobile workshop, stock and tools. The job is physical, and involves a lot of bending and lifting. You'll work outdoors in all weather conditions.
This role is ideal for someone who enjoys being around horses and has good coordination and practical skills, physical strength and stamina, good communication skills for working with horse owners and vets, the ability to keep accurate records and deal with payments and accounts.
You can take the Farriery Access course offered by Warwickshire College or Herefordshire and Ludlow College. 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.
You could also 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.
Alternatively, 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.
You must be registered with Farriers Registration Council.
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 and you could also move into lecturing or provide a consultancy service.