Curriculum

The course covers three areas of study:

In the classroom

Classroom instruction consists of lecture, PowerPoint presentations and video. Includes topics such has horseshoeing theory and practice, anatomy, movement, lameness, business fundamentals, client management and ethics.

On the Forge

Forge demonstrations are performed by expert instructors. Students practice techniques with instructor oversight and assistance. Students practice forging handmade shoes from bar stock and making modifications to factory made shoes. Each week focuses on a different type of shoe which students create and submit for evaluation.

Working with Horses

Students work on live horses to practice trimming and hot shoeing. While we will discuss and demonstrate techniques to work with difficult horses, we do not bring unbroken, ill- mannered horses to the school to be 'cowboyed' — you will learn to be a professional farrier not a horse wrestler.

Syllabus

How the 8-week course is presented:*

Week 1

In the classroom

Introduction to the school and curriculum. Basic horseshoes and nails. Working with tool steel. Hoof construction and function. Basic anatomy; bones, joints, tendons, ligaments and their function.

On the Forge

Assignment of tools, forge and anvil. Basic forging skills. Plain punched handmade front and hind pattern shoes.

Working with Horses

Basic horse handling. Body positions for shoeing and trimming. Use of shoeing tools. Pulling shoes and trimming feet. You begin working on live horses on Thursday.

Week 2

In the classroom

Continuation of anatomy and physiology. Basic tendons, joints and ligaments and their function. Movement as it relates to shoeing. Beginning of conformation.

On the Forge

Rocker Toe front pattern shoe and a Blocked Heels hind pattern shoe due for grade.

Working with Horses

Shoeing and trimming of horses with clips.

Week 3

In the classroom

Conformation evaluations. How to recognize, trim and shoe for: Base-narrow, narrow in the front, base wide, offset knees, toed-out, toed-in, base-narrow toed out, straight pastern and slopping pastern.

On the Forge

Side clip shoe, front and Quarter clip, hind, shoes due for grade. Plus keg shoes modified for clips.

Working with Horses

Shoeing and trimming of horses applying rocker toed and clipped shoes.

Week 4

In the classroom

Conformation evaluation continued. How to recognize, trim and shoe for: bow legged, knocked-kneed, base wide toed in, standing under, camped in front, calf knee, buck knee, cut out under the knees, and tied in at knees, base wide behind, bow-legged behind, base narrow behind, narrow behind, cow hocked, sickle hocked, straight and camped behind.

On the Forge

Plain front shoe with borium and Square toe and trailer with quarter clips, hind pattern shoe.

Working with Horses

Shoeing and trimming of horses. Assessing conformation as it relates to trimming and shoeing.

Week 5

In the classroom

Discussion of lameness. Definition, causes, signs, treatment and prognosis of the following types of lameness: abscess, angular limb deformities, arthritis, bog spavin, bone spavin, bowed tendon, bursitis, buttress foot, canker, capped hock, club feet, contacted heels, contracted tendons, corns, cracks, curb, epiphysitis, flares, flat feet, hoof loss, keratoma, laminitis, (reading X-rays) navicular, Osselets, P3 fractures, pedal osteitis, popped knee and quittor. Use of hoof testers.

On the Forge

Egg Bar, front pattern shoe and egg bar, hind pattern shoe, drilled and tapped, due for grade. Both shoes must be forged welded and fit to a foot.

Working with Horses

Shoeing and trimming of horses.

Week 6

In the classroom

Discussion of lameness continues; ringbone, scratches, sesamoiditis, sheared heels, shin buck, shoe boil, sidebone, splint, stifle lameness, suspensory sprain, thoroughpin, thrush, upper fixation of the patella, weak flexor tendons, white line disease, Windpuffs, wobbles, yeast infection, white line disease.

On the Forge

Straight bar shoe with pad, front pattern shoe and a Lateral heel extension shoe, hind pattern due for grade.

Working with Horses

Shoeing and trimming of horses.

Week 7

In the classroom

Discussion of gait faults in horses. Definition, causes, signs and treatment of the following; forging, overreaching, front limb interfering, hind limb interfering, winging out (paddling), scalping, crossfiring, toe dragging, speeding cutting, elbow hitting. Shoeing techniques for the following events; Dressage, Western Pleasure, Show Hunter, English Pleasure, Long-Distance Horses, Reining, Cutting and Working Cow Horse, Speed Events, Polo, Jumping,Cross Country, Shoeing For the Streets, Winter Riding, Forge and Roping.

On the Forge

Aluminum with clip, front pattern shoe Slider shoe hind pattern due for grade.

Working with Horses

Shoeing and trimming of horses. Discussion of resections, when they are needed, and proper use of Rotor tools. Shoeing and trimming of horses. Hoof reconstruction using acrylic hoof repair materials.

Week 8

In the classroom

The practical side of being a farrier including bookkeeping, the tax implications of being self-employed, advertising, scheduling and rescheduling clients. How to present yourself to barns, trainers and veterinarians. Basic business practices for the self-employed. Review and preparations for the final exams. Final exams. School graduation ceremony.

On the Forge

Final forge exam.

Working with Horses

Shoeing and trimming of horses for final exams. Subject matter and the weeks they are presented may vary from block to block. Shoeing and trimming horses takes priority with forge work and classroom worked around horses.

*PLEASE NOTE: Subject matter and the weeks they are presented may vary from block to block. Shoeing and trimming horses takes priority with forge work and classroom worked around horses.

The 8 week course is $5500.00.  A $250.00 deposit is required to hold a spot in class.  The balance of $5250.00 will be due on the first day of class and is fully refundable if you decide, by the end of day 5 of the first week of class, that horseshoeing is not for you.
Effective January 1, 2018 the course tuition will be $6000.00.

Every student is assigned a complete set of hand-tools. All tools will be returned the last day of the program. During the program we will visit the largest farrier supply house in the region so that you may shop for and purchase your own tools, if you wish.

All written exams may be taken orally. Students are graded on classroom, forge and shoeing. Final exams will be conducted on week 8. A forge final exam, a written (oral) exam and a horseshoeing exam.

We keep class sizes small to ensure a high degree of personalization and one-on-one student assistance. Classes typically average 12 to 14 students with a maximum of 20. We use only expert instructors with experience as professional farriers and do not rely on inexperienced "student" instructors.

The classroom offers free WiFi. Bob has one of the largest horseshoeing libraries in the world! It includes over 180 books on Horseshoeing, Blacksmithing, Lameness and Conformation and over 110 trade related videos which are available to students, on request, to supplement classroom learning. The classroom is open for extra student work from 24/7. The forge area is open from 7 AM to 8 PM seven days a week.

Dormitories are available for $70/week. The dormitory offers 1500 square feet of common area (Kitchen, Dining and Lounging areas). For entertainment we provide cable TV, video games, a pool table and free Wi-Fi. To ensure your comfort dorms have central heat and air. The kitchen is furnished with all utensils and appliances to allow students to save money by purchasing food and preparing their own meals.