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... dedicated to offering a common sense approach to maintenance of the
equine hoof, drawing on Natural Balance principles, traditional craftsmanship,
and the increasingly improved technology available in the farrier industry today.

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2018 Registration Form

Set yourself up for success -
Get the best horseshoeing school education available
at Mission Farrier School.

Mission Farrier School - Cover Story
"One Horseman's Journey to Farrier Science"
by Karen Plumlee and Catherine Madera


Qualifications: The qualifications of the instructor are very important in your choice of farrier schools.  

Mark Plumlee is the Owner and the Instructor at Mission Farrier School.  His qualifications are unique in that Mark has 6 certifications through three National Farrier Associations.  This gives him the ability to teach tried and true methods which are in the horse's best interest.  His certifications are:

CJF: Certified Journeyman Farrier, through the American Farriers Association

RJF: Registered Journeyman Farrier, through the Guild of Professional Farriers

And the following 4 certifications through ELPO, Equine Lameness Prevention Organization

LS-HMC: Live Sole Hoof Mapping Certification, (research on identifying the internal structures of the hoof through landmarks on the bottom of the foot).

CNBBT: Certified Natural Balance Barefoot Trimmer,

CNBF: Certified Natural Balance Farrier

CLS: Certified Lameness Specialist

As well as a Farrier Educator and Clinician in Modern Farrier Science.

In addition to his certifications, Mark's Natural Balance experience dates back to its inception.  Mark was privileged to travel with Gene Ovnicek back in the early 1990's as Natural Balance farrier science first emerged.   He is an educator and contributing member of ELPO, the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization.  Mark currently has 6 educational DVD's available, and has been a pioneer in mainstreaming Natural Balance farrier education for over 15 years.
Having taught initially at the community college level, Mark has taught horseshoeing school from both the traditional perspective and the natural balance perspective.  This gives his students a unique opportunity over all other Horseshoeing Schools. 
Mark has taken the natural balance farrier science and has successfully integrated it within a traditional farrier school education.  He has given talks and clinics on all aspects of Hoof Health for over 20 years.

Mark teaching a forging session in Colorado gathering of Equine Lameness Prevention Organization, ELPO

For more specific information on Mark Plumlee
and Mission Farrier School click on the
Why Choose Mission Farrier School page .


"Natural Balance" refers to trimming and horse shoeing principles developed by farrier Gene Ovnicek after studying the hoof patterns of wild horses from a variety of environments. This opportunity to observe equine hoof biomechanics straight from Mother Nature suggested a need to reexamine some of our traditional trimming and shoeing guidelines. The resulting Natural Balance principles offer the farrier an understanding of certain characteristics or reference points in each individual hoof so he/she can trim and shoe accordingly. Using Natural Balance principles, the farrier's task is defined primarily on the basis of information gleaned from the horse itself.

The same Natural Balance principles which have enhanced the shoeing of the sound horse have led to exciting and successful methods of treating lameness. Scientific research recently completed and presently ongoing supports the wild horse observations and confirms the wisdom of following Mother Nature's design for optimum equine biomechanics.

MFSOur Curriculum...
includes practical instruction in live shoeing, forging handmade shoes and modifying keg shoes, and classroom study of anatomy and physiology. Students gain hands-on experience with remedial shoeing techniques for treating lameness pathology of all types, including application of the Equine Digit Support System (EDSS).

Mission Farrier School
is not a "factory" operation. We have only a few sessions a year, as well as a few special educational events. 


For more Curriculum information, please click here to visit our Student Registration page

A wide variety of horses with challenging feet are brought to the school, which provides a multitude of learning opportunities that accelerate the student's understanding of healthy foot function.  We simply look to mother nature to show us what is different about domestic feet.  Working on problematic feet allows students to see what it takes to optimize the healing process in a lame horse, and thus provides the tools to help keep healthy horses sound.

In addition to Natural Balance principles, students are familiarized with the standards of farriery endorsed by by the American Farriers Association and The Guild of Professional Farriers, which form the basis of both the AFA's and The Guild's certification programs.

Students gain working experience with the different materials used in handmade shoes, with a variety of manufactured specialty shoes, and with numerous accessory products such as pads, packing, and repair composites.

Applying Dental Impression Material as a means of support on a Severely Foundered Horse".


Applying a Therapeutic System to a
Horse afflicted with Ringbone

Purple Podiatry Pads have been used by veterinarians and farriers around the world to provide temporary support to many laminitic and foundered horses. 

Mark PlumleeOur Instructor...

is Mark J. Plumlee, a Certified Journeyman Farrier, Registered Journeyman Farrier, Certified Natural Balance Barefoot Trimmer, Certified Natural Balance Farrier, clinician and educator.

Mark is a past Vice President of the Guild of Professional Farriers, and certification examiner for the Western United States.

After maintaining a traditional shoeing practice for almost 20 years and as a third generation farrier, Mark gained exposure to Natural Balance theory in 1993 and has enthusiastically pursued its advancement since that time. Mark has successfully integrated Natural Balance farrier science with traditional craftsmanship to maintain a high level of soundness in his equine clientele.  His private practice deals primarily in equine lameness prevention, recovery and rehabilitation.

Mark Plumlee


Mission Farrier School Students trim and shoe a variety of breeds and disciplines.

Now Scheduling Horses

Specializing in Equine Lameness Prevention, Recovery and Rehabilitation.

Meeting the needs of lame horses and sound horses alike. 

If you have concerns over Laminitis, Navicular, White Line, PIII fractures, Club Feet, Low Heel Syndrome, Long Toes, Stumbling, or other hoof related lameness issues, we are happy to provide our assessment and discuss your options at no charge.

Mission Farrier School offers rehabilitation board and boarding for special needs horses, on a case-by-case basis.  Regular boarders are also welcome.  If you are looking for a nice, safe place to keep your horse, and enjoy riding on 20 acres with both an indoor and outdoor arena, in a friendly, low-stress environment, drop us an email.  For more information on boarding, click to the Facilities Page.


Students learn in depth, the study of  anatomy and lameness pathology, as well as work with veterinarians and other practitioners.

Lameness issues and challenging cases in all riding disciplines are addressed.
click here for more information


Carl Longanecker
Carl Longanecker handling a foal
before his first foot trim.

Good horsemanship is an integral part of our curriculum, whether it is gentling and teaching foals to follow so their feet can be trimmed in an appropriate manner, or helping the hard to shoe horse get beyond his fears.


Faith Equestrian
Snohomish, Washington

17028 Trombley Rd.,
Snohomish, WA  98290
Phone: 425 890-3043
Direct E-mail

Thank you for taking the time to visit the Mission Farrier School website.
You can find us listed under Horseshoeing Schools and Farrier Schools.