“What’s the best farrier school?” is a question that commonly comes up. Unfortunately, choosing a school is not as straightforward as picking out the best TV or computer from Best Buy since they don’t come with convenient labels ranking their attributes. Since everyone has different needs, likes and dislikes, choosing a farrier school is a subjective decision.
As a vocational school, the reason why most people attend farrier school is to get a job out of it. So using that as a focus it makes finding the right school much easier.
The quality of the education you’re going to get comes down to a few things. Sections two and three of the Education Guide point out in detail the process of finding the right farrier school (read How to choose a farrier school for the basics you should look out for and Questions to ask farrier school for a closer look at how to find the right farrier school for you). But a lot of what makes a school great boils down to the instructors and the curriculum. How much experience do they have? How good are they at teaching? Note that the first does not necessarily ensure the latter, and vice versa. And how extensive is the curriculum? Is each course long enough and detailed enough for you to learn the ropes? Is there adequate hands-on training? Do you think you’ll feel comfortable working as a farrier when you come out of school?
As a hands-on occupation, farriery demands an intensive skillset that takes time to learn properly. Learning is an ongoing thing that will continue throughout your career, but to get started on the job requires at least a good amount of skill in order to do the job properly.
This is where certification comes in. The objective of certification is to ensure a standardized skill level that will show potential clients that they can properly do the job. Does the school you’re looking at prepare students for certification? If so, which certification? Just as not all farrier schools operate at the same standard, not all certification programs ensure the same standard. Read Farrier certification for an introduction to the various certification programs.
Aside from covering all the important points like instructors and curriculum, finding the best farrier school also demands that you know your needs well. If you’re the type who has a hard time in a school environment, perhaps you’d be better off taking a shorter school program and learning more on the job as an apprentice. Ask yourself, ask schools and ask other farriers and you’ll find the right school for you!