A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming
and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their
hooves, if necessary. A farrier combines some blacksmith's skills
(fabricating, adapting, and adjusting metal shoes) with some
veterinarian's skills (knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the
lower limb) to care for horses' feet.
1 History and ceremonial
2.1 Tools used
4 See also
6 External links
History and ceremonial
Historically, the jobs of farrier and blacksmith were practically
synonymous, shown by the etymology of the word: farrier comes from
Middle French: ferrier (blacksmith), from the
Latin word ferrum
(iron). A farrier's work in colonial America or pre-Industrial
Revolution Europe would have included shoeing horses, as well as the
fabrication and repair of tools, the forging of architectural pieces,
and so on. Modern day farriers usually specialize in horseshoeing,
focusing their time and effort on the care of the horse's hoof. For
this reason, farriers and blacksmiths are considered to be in
separate, albeit related, trades.
In the British Army, the
Household Cavalry have farriers who march in
parade in ceremonial dress, carrying their historical axes with
spikes. They are a familiar sight at the annual Trooping the Colour.
There is also a farrier on call "round the clock, twenty-four hours a
day, at Hyde Park Barracks".
In the United Kingdom, the
Worshipful Company of Farriers is one of
Livery Companies of the City of London. The Farriers, or horseshoe
makers, organised in 1356. It received a
Royal Charter of
incorporation in 1571. Over the years, the Company has evolved from a
trade association for horseshoe makers into an organisation for those
devoted to equine welfare, including veterinary surgeons.
A farrier's routine work is primarily hoof trimming and shoeing. In
ordinary cases, it is important to trim each hoof so it retains its
proper orientation to the ground. If the animal has a heavy work load,
works on abrasive footing, needs additional traction, or has
pathological changes in the hoof, then shoes may be required.
Additional tasks for the farrier include dealing with injured or
diseased hooves and application of special shoes for racing, training
or "cosmetic" purposes. Horses with certain diseases or injuries may
need remedial procedures for their hooves, or need special shoes.
Used to shape horseshoes to fit horse's feet
Forge and tongs
Used to heat horseshoes to allow custom shaping and specialized
design, tongs hold a hot shoe in both the furnace and on the anvil
Used to bend over ("clinch") ends of nails to hold the shoe in
Two types, a larger design used on the anvil to shape shoes, a smaller
one used to drive nails into hoof wall, through nail holes in shoe
Used to trim frog and sole of hoof
Used to trim hoof wall
Used to detect cracks, weakness or abscess in the hoof
Used to finish trim and smooth out edges of hoof
Used to rest a horse's hoof off the ground when rasping the toe area.
In countries such as the United Kingdom, it is illegal for people
other than registered farriers to call themselves a farrier or to
carry out any farriery work (in the UK this is under the Farriers
(Registration) Act 1975). The primary aim of the Act is to
"prevent and avoid suffering by and cruelty to horses arising from the
shoeing of horses by unskilled persons".
However, in other countries, such as the United States, farriery is
not regulated, no legal certification exists, and qualifications
can vary. In the US, three organizations - the American Farrier's
Association (AFA); the Guild of Professional Farriers (GPF); and the
Brotherhood of Working Farriers (BWFA) maintain voluntary
certification programs for farriers. Of these, the AFA's program is
the largest with approximately 2800 certified farriers.[citation
needed] Additionally, the AFA program has a reciprocity agreement with
Farrier Registration Council and the Worshipful Company of
Farriers in the UK.
Within the certification programs offered by the AFA and the GPF, all
farrier examinations are conducted by peer panels. The farrier
examinations for both organizations are designed so that qualified
farriers may obtain a formal credential indicating they meet a
meaningful standard of professional competence as determined by
technical knowledge and practical skills examinations, length of field
experience, and other factors. Farriers who have received a
certificate of completion for attending a farrier school or course may
represent themselves as having completed a particular course of study.
Sometimes, usually for purposes of brevity, they use the term
"certified" in advertising.
Where professional registration exists, on either a compulsory or
voluntary basis, there is often a requirement for continuing
professional development activity to maintain a particular license or
certification. For instance, farriers voluntarily registered with the
American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF) require at least
16 hours of continuing education every year to maintain their
Equine forelimb anatomy
Household Cavalry Army Farriers
Natural hoof care
Worshipful Company of Farriers
^ "Farrier" at Etymonline.com
Household Cavalry Info site, Farriers section. Accessed 20 March
^ Audrey Pavia; Kate Gentry-Running (4 February 2011).
and Nutrition For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons.
^ J. Warren Evans (13 December 2000). Horses, 3rd Edition: A Guide to
Selection, Care, and Enjoyment. Henry Holt and Company. p. 314.
^ Dave Millwater (19 October 2009). The New Dictionary of Farrier
Terms 2. 7. 2-PB. Lulu.com. p. 39.
^ Cherry Hill; Richard Klimesh (2009).
Horse Hoof Care. Storey Pub.
p. 78. ISBN 978-1-60342-088-4.
^ Andrea E. Floyd; R. A. Mansmann (2007).
Equine Podiatry. Elsevier
Health Sciences. p. 413. ISBN 0-7216-0383-1.
^ "Getting More Out of Your Hoof Nippers".
^ "A Valuable Diagnostic
Tool When Properly Used".
^ "Why Rasps are the Most Important -- Yet Most Neglected --
your Shoeing Box".
^ Farriers (Registration) Act 1975
^ "Finding a Farrier".
^ "The American Farriers Association". Americanfarriers.org.
2011-04-28. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
^ Registration guidelines for The Guild of Professional Farriers
Farrier Accreditation". Archived from the original on
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