The Path to Becoming a Farrier: Training and Certification Process

The Path to Becoming a Farrier: Training and Certification Process

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a farrier? This article will guide you through the necessary steps to become a certified farrier, including training programs and certification processes. Whether you are a horse enthusiast looking to turn your passion into a profession or simply curious about the path to becoming a farrier, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started on this rewarding career journey.

Training to Become a Farrier

Becoming a farrier involves specialized training to learn the skills needed to care for and shoe horses’ hooves. There are several paths you can take to become a farrier, including apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, and online courses.

Apprenticeship Programs

One common way to become a farrier is through apprenticeship programs. These programs allow you to learn from experienced farriers in a hands-on setting. You will typically work alongside a seasoned farrier, gaining valuable experience and knowledge as you assist with caring for horses’ hooves and learning how to properly shoe them. Apprenticeship programs can vary in length, but most require a commitment of several years to complete.

Vocational Schools

Another option for aspiring farriers is to attend a vocational school that offers farrier training programs. These programs typically combine classroom instruction with hands-on training in a workshop setting. Vocational schools can provide a more structured learning environment than apprenticeship programs and may offer a faster path to becoming a certified farrier. Some vocational schools also offer job placement assistance to help you find work after completing your training.

Online Courses

For those who prefer a more flexible learning option, there are online courses available for aspiring farriers. These courses typically cover the basics of farrier work, including hoof care, shoeing techniques, and horse anatomy. While online courses may not provide as much hands-on experience as apprenticeship programs or vocational schools, they can be a convenient way to learn the fundamentals of farriery at your own pace. Some online courses also offer certification upon completion, which can help you demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

Overall, there are several training options available for those interested in becoming a farrier. Whether you choose to learn through an apprenticeship program, attend a vocational school, or take online courses, gaining the necessary skills and knowledge is essential for a successful career in farriery.

Certification Process

Becoming a certified farrier involves meeting specific requirements and passing exams administered by certifying bodies in the field.

Certification Requirements

To become a certified farrier, individuals must complete a formal training program in horseshoeing and blacksmithing. This typically involves completing a certain number of hours of hands-on experience working with horses and forging horseshoes. Additionally, candidates must pass written and practical exams to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field.

Certifying Bodies

There are several certifying bodies that offer certification programs for farriers. Some of the most reputable organizations include the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) and the Guild of Professional Farriers (GPF). These organizations set the standards for certification and ensure that certified farriers meet the necessary qualifications to practice in the field.

Exam Preparation

To prepare for the certification exams, aspiring farriers should take advantage of study materials provided by certifying bodies and participate in hands-on training with experienced professionals. It is also recommended to attend workshops and seminars to further enhance knowledge and skills in horseshoeing and blacksmithing. By dedicating time and effort to exam preparation, individuals can increase their chances of successfully passing the certification exams and becoming certified farriers.


Becoming a farrier is a rewarding and fulfilling career that requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ongoing education and training. By following the training and certification process outlined in this article, aspiring farriers can take the necessary steps to achieve their goals and become successful in this specialized field. With the right combination of passion, skill, and knowledge, individuals can forge a path to a fulfilling career as a farrier, working closely with horses and making a positive impact on their lives.