A student preparing for horseshoeing school.

How to Prepare for Horseshoeing School

The more you prepare for horseshoeing school, the more successful you will be when you arrive. Horseshoeing requires strength, an eye for detail, and hand-eye coordination. While these things come naturally to some people, they can be attained by anyone who puts in the work and decides to achieve them.

Get in Shape

Horseshoeing is an athletic endeavor. If you’ve sat and watched a farrier shoe a horse, it seems relatively easy. They’re talking and laughing and getting the job done.

It doesn't start out that way. A professional farrier is under a horse for 4-5 minutes. As a student, it could take you 20 minutes or more to do the same job. Holding a hoof for that long requires a lot of strength in your core, back, and legs.

If you don’t have access to a gym, go online and search for exercises you can do at home. The stronger you are, the easier it will be to get under the horses and work on their feet.

Practice With a Hammer

If you haven’t swung a hammer much in your life, practice before coming to school.

  1. Get a box of 16D nails, a 24 oz hammer, and a block of wood
  2. Practice driving the nail straight into the wood
  3. Try to cut down the number of blows it takes to drive it in

The exercise above will help you practice your hand-eye coordination. It will also build your strength, making you more efficient once you start working on the forge and under horses.

Horseshoeing is a right-brain activity. Shaping shoes and trimming hooves requires you to see shapes, angles, and curves. If you haven’t seen many hooves and go online and look for right brain exercises so you can be ready to learn to recognize hoof angles and shoe shapes.

Learn to read a ruler! They don’t teach this in school anymore. Learn to read a ruler quickly and accurately down to ⅛ of an inch. If you struggle with a ruler, you will have problems with trimming and making shoes correctly.

Shadow a Farrier

If you can find a farrier to ride along with before you come to school, that’s great. Pay attention to their horsemanship, their trimming, their blacksmithing, and how they run their business.

You can go online and find tons of videos on shoeing horses and what it takes to shoe horses, but you don’t see videos on how to be a successful self-employed farrier. To successfully be a sole proprietor, you have to be prepared to run a business.

Leave the Personal Stuff at Home

Tie up loose personal ends before you come to school. Get it out of the way, so you aren’t dealing with distractions when trying to learn. Be prepared to put your cell phone away while you are in school. You won’t be able to check your phone every five seconds

A wolf that chases two rabbits ends up hungry. You have to focus on your training and nothing else for eight weeks while you are in school if you want to get the most out of it.

Ready to start your career as a farrier? Apply Now