Can you tell me about your program and school?
I teach hoof care for three levels: a two-day course for beginners, a five-day intermediate course for those with mid level experience, and a five-day advanced course for experienced farriers. Most of my beginner students are horse owners frustrated by poor farriery standards and who want to learn to look after their horse’s feet and to understand how correctly balancing the hoof will optimize the flight pattern of the hoof. Intermediate students generally have less than five years experience, and attend to increase their skills. Advanced students have more than five years experience and are generally aware of the need to improve and fine tune their skills in one or more areas.
I also teach many barefoot trimmers who have realized they need to learn how to shoe to help some their clients with horses who do not tolerate barefoot trimming. I also welcome and encourage overseas students and farriers to attend to fine tune and fast track their skills while on a trip to Australia. Many farriers have not been taught how to save time and energy while not taking short cuts, or how to replicate a correctly balanced hoof every time. My methods have been refined over 50 years of being a full-time farrier, and my goal is to put these skills back into the industry for the benefit of all horses. I release as much information on my website as possible, and this information is available to anyone who visits the website.
My mission statement is “My concern is that the basic principles of horseshoeing are being lost, that there are too many variables in hoof care and horseshoeing standards, and not enough is understood about how to achieve a correctly balanced hoof.”
Who does the instructing and how much experience does the instructor have?
I am the sole instructor, there are no “helpers” or assistants or other farriers! I have been shoeing horses for over 50 years, I have been teaching for over 12 years, overseas and around Australia, and now solely teach from my blacksmith shop in Oakbank, South Australia. I am an Accredited Master Farrier (Certificate 111 in Farriery 21677 VIC) and also a Trade Assessor (Certificate 1V in Training and Assessment TAA40104)
What is the student to instructor ratio, and is there a limit to class size?
Beginner and intermediate classes have a maximum of four to five students, and advanced classes have a maximum of two students. All courses are live-in, so all meals and accommodation (and airport pickup) are provided.
How many hours of instruction in the programme?
The beginners course is 20 hours over 2 days and 2 nights, the five-day intermediate course is 50 hours over 5 days, and the advanced Course is 50 hours over 5 days.
Do you track what percentage of graduates end up as farriers?
Beginner students improve their current skills to enable them to work with increasing confidence on their own horses. Intermediate students and those wishing to become farriers generally return for further courses to increase their proficiency. Advanced students generally attend to fine tune their skills or to be tested for accreditation.
Are supplies included in tuition?
I supply tools and aprons, shoes and nails for use while at the school. I advise students on appropriate tools to purchase for their level of expertise. Course notes are provided and all students are encouraged to use me as a mentor and to keep in contact with any hoof related lameness queries.
Does the program follow a standard curriculum set out by a farrier association?
In Australia the nationally recognized certification is Certificate 3 in Farriery. I am an Accredited Master Farrier (Certificate 111 in Farriery 21677 VIC) and also a Trade Assessor (Certificate 1V in Training and Assessment TAA40104).
For more information on ABC Hoof Care Farrier visit www.horsefarrier.com.au
photos courtesy David Farmilo