Some schools provide farrier supplies to students and others don’t. So a good question to ask schools you’re thinking of attending is whether they will provide them or not? If so, will you get to keep these farrier tools or are they just for use during your time in training? If the school doesn’t provide tools, it’s worth asking if they sell them and whether you get access to a student discount? Also, make sure to inquire about the quality and condition of the tools.
The number of farrier tools you need for training depends on the length of your course. If you’re just taking a short trim course you can get away with spending a couple of hundred dollars, but if you’re taking a long program you can spend a couple thousand or more on tools.
Whether schools provide farrier supplies or not, you can’t do the job without them and since farriers are usually self-employed, it means you’ll likely have to purchase your own tools and supplies. Luckily, one benefit of self-employment is that you can write off your supply purchases as expenses, so remember to keep the bills for all your purchases, new and used.
So account for these expenses as you consider the costs of going to farrier school and becoming a farrier. To give you an idea of some typical costs, here’s a list of common farrier supplies and their average prices in 2019 (from most to least expensive):
- Forge – $750 (£500 / 625€)
- Anvil – $450 (£300 / 375€)
- Anvil stand – $300 (£200 / 250€)
- Toolbox – $200 (£160 / 180€)
- Hoof nippers – $150 (£120 / 135€)
- Farrier apron – $75 (£60 / 67€)
- Driving hammer – $60 (£40 / 50€)
- Rounding hammer – $60 (£40 / 50€)
- Tongs – $60 (£40 / 50€)
- Shoe puller – $50 (£40 / 45€)
- Nail puller – $40 (£32 / 36€)
- Rasp – $30 (£20 / 25€)
- Ball pein hammer – $20 (£16 / 18€)
- Cross pein hammer – $20 (£16 / 18€)
- Clinch cutter – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Pritchel – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Straight blade – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Curved blade – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Loop knife – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Hoof knife – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Knife sharpener – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Rasp handle – $15 (£10 / 12€)
- Wire brush – $7.50 (£5 / 6€)
Bear in mind that expensive tools such as hammers and hoof nippers will last a long time, whereas supplies such as horse rasps and brushes will need to be replaced more often. Also, typical farrier supplies such as horseshoe nails and hoof care accessories (i.e. hoof polish) will get used up regularly throughout the course of your work. Though their per unit cost is low, you will go through a lot of them, so costs can add up.
Supply purchasing is an ongoing thing as a farrier, but the highest costs come at the beginning when you’re starting out with nothing. So make your purchases count. Do thorough research by asking instructors and other farriers what the best tools for the job are. Then take your time to shop around and find the highest quality tools at the best price.