"Wilderness Blacksmith" sign - farrier schools in the midwest

The Midwestern United States is home to a number of schools for people wanting to make horseshoeing a career. A number of programs offer different levels of certification with the American Farriers Association and the Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association, as well as give students opportunities for apprenticeships and practical experience.

Illinois

Midwest Horseshoeing School provides a range of courses, from a basic 2-week introductory class on trimming to an advanced 20-week session that prepares students for the AFA Certified Farrier exam. Courses incorporate lectures, lab hours, guest speakers and field trips, as well as forge work and hands-on practice. Students will have opportunities to learn a variety of shoeing methods and apply them to a variety of breeds and performance horses. The school places a special emphasis on business education. The website: http://www.midwesthorseshoeingschool.com/index.html has more details.

Indiana

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park has occasional weekend basic blacksmithing classes. Students learn the basics of forge work, as well as tempering and forge welding. For more info, see: http://www.connerprairie.org.

Indiana State Horseshoeing Academy runs 12-week basic, 18-week intermediate, and 24-week advanced horseshoeing courses. The school teaches anatomy and biomechanics, horsemanship, business operations, pathology and other topics in addition to trimming, shoeing and forge work. Graduates of the intermediate and advanced courses can pursue AFA Certification if they wish. If you’d like more information, check out: http://www.indianastatehorseshoeing.com/Home_Page.php.

Troy Price Horseshoeing School offers a variety of courses from 2-week introductory trimming sessions to advanced 36-week journeyman horseshoeing courses. Lower-level classes cover basic anatomy and trimming/shoeing practices, while the advanced courses let students work towards building therapeutic shoes and applying gait and conformation analysis to their work. The journeyman course prepares students wanting to attempt AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier certification. Visit: http://www.troypricehorseshoeingschool.com for more information.

Kansas

Pratt Community College has a 1-year Farrier Science option that leads to a Farm & Ranch Management Certificate. Classes include anatomy and physiology, trimming and shoeing, and equine behavior. Computer, math, communications and health classes are also required. AFA and BWFA Certification exams are administered at the end of the program. The website is: http://prattcc.edu/department/agriculture.

Minnesota

Minnesota School of Horseshoeing runs a Farrier Science Program for those interested in entering the profession. The course is weighted towards practical work, and the curriculum includes conformation, horsemanship, forge skills, and corrective shoeing. It aims to prepare students for the AFA Certification exam. It also features a free apprenticeship program after course completion. See: http://www.mnschoolofhorseshoeing.com/page2.htm#3.

Missouri

Heartland Horseshoeing School offers a wide range of courses all designed for people who want to make a living as a farrier. All classes include instruction in anatomy, gait analysis, basic and corrective shoeing, and shoe-making. Their basic 8-week course prepares students to take the AFA Certified Farrier exam, while their 24-week journeyman course prepares students for the AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier exam. Students in the more advanced sessions can take advantage of internship placements. Courses in blacksmithing and 1-week certification prep courses are also offered. The website is: http://heartlandhorseshoeing.com.

Shurshod Horseshoeing School has 4-week courses that include demonstrations, lecture and hands-on practice. Class size is limited to six students per session. Classes begin with basic forge work, and cover corrective shoeing and shoe-making as well as horsemanship, anatomy and physiology, gait analysis, and business operations. Diplomas are awarded on graduation, and students will have the opportunity to take the BWFA Certification exam. For details, visit: http://www.shurshod.net.

Nebraska

Butler Professional Farrier School offers two 6-week courses at a basic and advanced level. The basic level introduces anatomy, trimming and shoeing practices, business practices and lameness issues. The advanced course teaches students to do more specialized work for horses with pathological conditions. The school also runs customized 1-week follow-up courses geared towards specific skills the student wants to improve. All classes focus on both theory and practice. For further information, check out: http://butlerprofessionalfarrierschool.com.

Ohio

Hocking College offers a 5-semester long Associate of Technical Study in Farrier Science and Business degree as part of its Natural Resources program. Corrective and performance shoeing, gait analysis and forge skills are taught, along with nutrition, horse handling and business management. In-class and practical experience is provided. Visit: http://www.hocking.edu/programs/farrier for all the details.

Contact program coordinators for more specific details, and talk to a number of schools to see what kind of certification, and what program, is the best fit for you.

by Cindy McMann

image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Midwest Region (Creative Commons BY)