TEACHING UPDATED AND RELEVANT FARRIER SCIENCE WITHIN
A TRADITIONAL HORSESHOEING SCHOOL EDUCATION
... dedicated to offering a common sense approach to maintenance of
equine hoof, drawing on Natural Balance principles, traditional
and the increasingly improved technology available in the farrier
Set yourself up for success -
Get the best horseshoeing school education available at Mission
The first formal farrier
school education program in the world to incorporate
Natural Balance principles into its
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
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).
well as a Farrier Educator and Clinician in Modern
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
Having taught initially at the community college level,
Mark has taught horseshoeing school from both the
traditional perspective and the natural balance
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.
Balance" refers to trimming and horse
shoeing principles developed by farrier Gene Ovnicek
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
is Mark J. Plumlee, a Certified Journeyman Farrier,
Registered Journeyman Farrier, Certified Natural Balance
Barefoot Trimmer, Certified Natural Balance Farrier, clinician
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.
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
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
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.
Carl Longanecker handling
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.
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.