The Northwestern United States (typically referred to as Oregon, Washington and Idaho, but can also include Montana and Wyoming) has a few farrier schools to choose from. For those living in the region or who want to move there to do their farrier education consider the following options:
Oregon Farrier School offers a variety of programs: the two-week Practical Farrier Program, 10-week Professional Farrier Program, 10-week Advanced Farrier Program and 15-week Internship Program. The Practical Program is for those wanting to learn basic shoeing and how to trim. The Professional program is designed for students wanting to work as farriers and gives the foundation necessary to run a successful farrier business. The Advanced Program goes a step further by delving deeper into farrier science, giving students additional skills and greater confidence as farriers. And the Internship Program is an opportunity to put the skills learned in the school program to use in a practical work setting. Visit www.oregonfarrierschool.com for more information.
Walla Walla Community College offers both a one-year certificate and a two-year degree. The former program prepares students for the AFA Certified Farrier examination whereas the latter prepares students for the AFA Intern test. Courses in the first year include basic shoeing, drawing for farrier science, applied math, applied equine biology, intermediate shoeing, applied writing, advanced shoeing, small business management for farriers, leadership and job psychology. The second year goes on to teach advanced hoof preparation and shoeing, oral communication in the workplace, advanced forging, job seeking skills and therapeutic shoeing. Visit www.wwcc.edu/farrier for more information.
Mission Farrier School offers an eight-week program that integrates traditional farrier knowledge with more modern farrier science. In this program students learn the basics of barefoot trimming and horseshoeing as well as advanced shoeing, therapeutic systems and farrier science. Read The Farrier Guide’s interview with Mission Farrier School’s Mark Plumlee and visit www.missionfarrierschool.com for more information.
Montana State University has an 11-week professional program that delivers farrier science skills necessary for students to run their own farrier business. The Farrier School at Montana State teaches farrier science principles in a hands-on setting, preparing students for the AFA Certification exam. The program also offers advanced studies. Visit animalrange.montana.edu/horseshoe.htm for more information.
Northwest College Equine Studies is a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program. This program is not farrier-specific, but is directed to those who want a well-rounded equine education (that includes some farriery), teaching equine evaluation, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, breeding, farriery, stable management and other related skills, providing a well-rounded education that trains students to ride a horse well and deal with them effectively. Visit http://www.northwestcollege.edu/equine for more information.
image: Duane Keys (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA)