Davishomesteadandforge

farrier apprenticeship

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Does anyone know how if farriers generally take on apprentices or do you have to go to a school? Its something I'm thinking about getting into, but I'm not sure how one would go about it. 

As a side note is it a pretty decent area to have a job or is it a pretty hard area to make a living?

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. Have you called the local farrier supplies? Called a local farrier? We're more a blacksmithing forum, farriers abound but it's not a common topic.  Use the (PAPER) phone book and phone, it works much better for this kind of searching than the internet ever did. Be polite tell them what you want to do and just ask. Try not to make it a long story so you don't take up time they could be working. If they don't know, chances are they'll know who does know. Farriers need supplies and the supply stores will know who teaches, there are going to be adds on the bulletin board. 

We have a couple okie farriers here, Charles Stevens is the one I know for sure. I expect he'll chime in soon. If not he'll show up in a search for his name and you can PM him. He's been shoing horses professionally for I don't know how long. He's a great guy always helpful and generous. I'm sure he'll be more than happy to help.

Shoing horses is a specialized type of blacksmithing and yes there are schools, certifications and levels of achievement. Getting a horse's shoes right is a LOT trickier than it may seem, shoes are commonly corrective to account for weak or damaged tendons, bones, etc. from hoof to hip or shoulder.  

It's a good trade and pays well but it can be hard on you physically, take care of your back and knees, they can take a real beating.

That said I'm not a farrier, the closest I came was pulling a half thrown shoe on my horse. One time Banjo half threw a shoe and I couldn't get it off so I ended up leading him home about 3 miles and doctoring his pulled tendons for a month or two. Vinegar massages twice a day. After that I carried a shoe puller and even used it once maybe saved Banjo another injury. Always carried it in the saddle bag unless I was in an arena or the fields at home.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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You're welcome, it's my pleasure. Another set of eyes on a problem is a good thing. I have those head slapping DOH moments all the time, frequently reading here.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Most don’t take on apprentices unless it’s their kids (in the US) Oklahoma horse shoeing school (Percel, were I went) has its good points and it’s bad. You lurk to shape and nail on o shoe first day, and they are real good with the forge work but the owner is not very progressive (despite being a vet/farrier) I spent a year in self study unlearning and relearning. I spent a lot of time reading pre copyright blacksmithing farrier books and modern research/studies. I can’t personaly vouch for the school out of Ada (have herd good things) or the new one between Yukon and Chickasha buy the Braums dairy. 

 

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Back when, I was told that the average career length of a farrier was 2 years as physical issues sidelined a lot of folks early; OTOH I've met farriers with 40 years of shoeing behind them....   

Apprenticeships in many crafts are hard to find; especially if you are under age as the Master is risking their life savings on you not getting hurt "on the job". Remember you can't sign away your right to sue here in the USA and if you are under an insurance plan they may REQUIRE you to sue anyone else involved or not pay for any medical bills!  You are therefore asking someone to bet maybe a million dollars on you without them knowing you well to start with.

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