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Student Information
Mission Farrier School has been teaching therapeutic shoeing for over 20 years,
using state of the art materials and techniques.

Our goal is always to do something FOR the horse, not just TO the horse.

If you are interested in Mission Farrier School, we'd be happy to answer your questions.
Mark Plumlee, Owner/Instructor (425 890-3043) All calls are returned.


Click Here view "Why choose Mission Farrier School?

Click Here for Tuition and Registration Information

Click here for Facility and Student Housing information.

Click here for Tool Requirements


Our Curriculum...
includes practical instruction in live shoeing, barefoot trimming, modifying keg shoes, and forging handmade shoes. Additionally, the classroom study of anatomy and physiology will focus on the bio-mechanics of the lower limb with consideration given to the natural foot and what goes wrong and why. Ours is a centered, common sense approach with an emphasis on the center of articulation around the coffin joint.

Students will gain hands-on experience with basic, performance and remedial shoeing techniques for treating lameness pathology of all types. This may include the application of the following: Sole Max therapeutic systems, Plywood systems, Double Nail Pad systems, Glue-on Composite systems, the Equine Digit Support System, and Sigafoos Cuff glue-on systems.

Students will be familiarized with Certification opportunities presented by various national farrier organizations. Note that certification is NOT mandatory in the United States and no school may actually "certify" students. However, after graduation, students can choose to certify thru these different associations and all avenues of certification will be thoroughly discussed in class.

Because Mark Plumlee's private practice specializes in Equine Podiatry, students gain working experience with the different materials used in several different therapeutic modalities. In addition, students will use a variety of basic and performance shoes, pads, packing and adhesives, while in class.

Classes fill early. If you are interested in Mission Farrier School, we'd be happy to answer your questions. Please email or call Mark Plumlee, Owner/Instructor (425 890-3043) for your telephone interview. All calls are returned.

For those looking to finance their education, Mission Farrier School accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. We also suggest that you check with Boeing Employees Credit Union ( and SoFi Lending Corp ( for personal and educational loans. Mission Farrier School is a Licensed Vocational School and is approved to take VA funding thru the Veterans Administration Post 911 GI Bill and Vocational Rehabilitation. Mission Farrier School is also approved to accept International Students. Email us at with questions.

Course I
8-Week Basic Farrier Education - $12,000

This is an outline only. There is much more to be discussed in detail. Cases will be taken as they present themselves in class. Given that it is impossible in an 8-week program to work on every type of case one may encounter, all aspects contained below will be discussed via instruction in the most up-to-date and relevant hoof science available. This is not your grandfather's farrier education. We do not teach by the numbers. We will teach you to read a foot and think thru a protocol by developing a "feel", using the 5-Guidelines for evaluating hoof function, hoof-mapping, common sense, intuition, knowledge and your skill as it develops.

Week 1
Anatomy: External Structures of the Hoof.
Understanding the Shoeing Positions.
Understanding your tools.
Safety guidelines.
Introduction to: Pulling Shoes, Trimming Feet, Driving Nails, Finishing Feet.
Anvil Basics/Forging
How to Succeed in Business
Horseshoes and Nails - Identification.

Week 2
Anatomy: Sensitive Structures of the Hoof.
Keg Shoe Modifications.
Introduction to 5-Guidelines.
Pre-Shoeing Analysis: Evaluating Foot Falls
Hoof Mapping: Recognition of Distortion
Basic Shoeing.

Week 3
Anatomy: Bones of the Lower Leg.
Conformation and its effects on movement.
Biomechanics of the Natural Hoof.
Learning to evaluate soundness.
Forging/Anvil Work
Barefoot Trims
Shoeing Practice

Week 4
Anatomy: Tendons & Ligaments.
Lameness Evaluation of the Lower Limb.
Angular Limb Deformities and
Flexor Deformities.
Barefoot Trims
Basic & Performance Shoeing.
Power Point Presentation:
(1) The Natural Foot.
(2) What Goes Wrong and Why.
(3) Coronary Grooving and Siping.
Forging: Shoe Modifications & Hand-Made Shoes.

Week 5
Review of Anatomy.
Discussions of: P-3 Fractures, Ring bone, Laminitis and Founder, Navicular syndrome
vs. Navicular disease, Chronic Heal Lameness.
Pad's, Packing, and Frog Support.
Horsemanship: Handling Bad Actors.
Horsemanship: Round Pen Work.
Trimming/Shoeing: Time management.

Week 6
Anatomy: Review
Therapeutic Shoeing and Support Systems.
Basic, Performance and Advanced Shoeing.
Discussion/Application of Glue-on Shoes (steel, aluminum, composites).
Stepping up our Forging Skills.
Dissection of the Lower Limb.

Week 7
Review: Forging skills.
Recognition of Gait Faults.
Toe Clips, Side Clips, Trailers, Heal Caulks.
Shoes to Correct Gait Faults.
Blemishes and Unsoundness.
Review of Basic, Specialty and
Therapeutic Shoeing.

Week 8
Review: Shoeing for Soundness and Conformation
Vet/Farrier Relations
Certification Discussions: "Is it required"?
"Who offers It"?
"When can (or should) I take it"?
NB Certification,
Guild of Professional Farriers Certification,
American Farriers Association Certification.
Setting Up Your Business
Beginning Inventory
Review-How to Succeed in Business


Course II
8-Week Practicing Farrier Course - $12,000

Students who have successfully graduated from Mission Farrier School's Basic Farrier Education Course may be eligible to receive a Scholarship to help offset the cost of Tuition for this 8-week Practicing Farrier Course. Applicants for the Scholarship will be selected based on a written essay answering the following questions: (1) Describe your farrier education experience and your farrier work experience. (2) Tell us where you feel you need help and why you are choosing this second 8-week session.

Students will be presented with practical work, as they might find in their clientele and cases will be taken as they present themselves in class. Given that it is impossible in an 8-week program to work on every type of case one may encounter, all aspects contained below will be discussed via instruction in the most up-to-date and relevant hoof science available. Students will be expected to work more efficiently on hoof mapping, trimming, shoe shaping, nailing and finishing feet. They will be expected to demonstrate these skills to the instructor and show that they are able to think thru a protocol by developing a "feel", using the 5-Guidelines for evaluating hoof function, hoof mapping, common sense, intuition and knowledge. To be eligible to take the Practicing Farrier Course, applicants must have graduated from Mission, or any other recognized school, or have 2-years of experience as a farrier.

Week 1
Review: Anatomy- External Structures of the Hoof
Review: 5 Guidelines of Foot Function.
Review: Forging and Anvil
Review: Hoof Mapping
Use the 5 guidelines to assess and shoe.
Work on time mgmt.

Week 2
Review: Anatomy- Sensitive Structures of the Hoof
Show advancement in shoe shaping.
Communicating Pre-Shoeing Analysis and discussion of foot falls with clients.
Recognition/discussion of Hoof Distortion.
Practice becoming proficient in Barefoot Trims & Practical shoeing with consideration to performance expectations.

Week 3
Review: Anatomy- Bones of the Lower Leg.
Practice Trimming/Shoeing/Shoe Shaping.
Developing a shoeing plan.
Discussion/Application of Glue-on Shoes (steel, aluminum, composites).
Diagnostics: Hoof Testing, Leverage Testing, Reading Radiographs, understanding Vet reports.

Week 4
Review: Anatomy- Tendons & Ligaments
Practice Shoe Shaping.
Show progress in trimming and shoeing.
Demonstrate progress in making your own shoeing decisions with respect to choosing shoes, pads, packing, adjustments and glue applications.

Week 5
Understand and demonstrate how to shoe the following: Distorted Feet
Non-distorted Feet.
Show Horsemanship Skills on both the lead rope and In Round Pen Work.
Understand the Pressure & Release principal and demonstrate it.

Week 6
Choosing the correct shoe and
Shoeing Performance Horses.
Proficient in Shoe Shaping!
Demonstrate your ability to stay on task and accomplish your work in a timely manner.
Dissection of the Lower Limb.

Week 7
By week 7 & 8, you should be making all the decisions for the horse, with very little input from the instructor. Putting it all together, with your work getting done efficiently. Pulling, trimming, mapping feet, shoe selection, shoe shaping, nailing, and finish work.

Week 8
Review: Shoeing for Soundness & Conformation
Farrier/Client Relations
Discussion of Certification Levels 1-3.
Discussion of AFA CF & CJF level certification.
Practical Test: Observation, Hoof Mapping, trim, select shoe, shoe shaping, nail, finish, discuss.
You should be able to explain to the client and the instructor the following:
Discussion of the horse's soundness and performance expectations.
Where the heels of the foot belong, for both a barefoot trimming application and a shoeing application.
Where the heels of the shoe belong.
Where breakover needs to be on the foot.
What shoe you are choosing and why?
Or, can this horse be barefoot? Why or why not?




A Must Read Article: From the Farrier Guide to Education and Employment

Our program attracts focused, serious minded students
with a high degree of success entering the profession. Below are some testimonials from graduates and clients.

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


Mark and Karen,

I wanted to thank you for your tutelage and instruction at Mission Farrier School. It came at a critical time in my life and has provided an amazing avenue for me to work with horses and enjoy every minute of my job. I have never had this experience in a "job" before. What an amazing profession this is.

I easily made the most I have since I graduated ($6,315 in May alone! ). What am amazing experience to make a living, provide for my family and work with horses all day long. I am convinced their is nothing better.

You are amazing people and I can't tell you enough how much you have changed my life and benefited my family.

Best wishes and God Bless,

Clayton Cockrum
(425) 346-9522


From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


I graduated from the program in October 2014, and am happy to report a continuing satisfaction with my decision of farrier schools. The education at Mission contains several elements which make it an experience of the highest quality;

1) Mark Plumlee is an excellent instructor, whose experience and expertise as both horseshoer and teacher are evident daily. It's a pleasure to learn from someone who has developed mastery of not only the trade, but also at helping others to understand it. He fosters a truly positive learning environment - a very useful, and uncommon, skill.

2) The subject matter and science regarding the natural hoof is a universal and reliable path toward hoof health. In conversation with other farriers and horseman from as far as Iceland, I have been pleased to find that I stand confidently on a solid foundation for approaching both hoof and horse. The information presented makes sense both scientifically and intuitively.

3) The program involves plenty of time under horses and with hands on the tools. As any program should, it does.

4) Both Mark and Karen bring a healthy, family style tone to the entire operation. It's clear they want the best for their students, clients, and horses, and are willing to put forward the effort to match.

Overall, I can say I walked away from the Mission Farrier School with the things that I came there to get. I entered the program with a lot to learn about horses and shoeing, and I couldn't have asked for much more. It's a job well done all the way through, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in furthering their knowledge and skills in the farrier trade. 

Isaac Murphy

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


After college, I spent 11 years in corporate sales (Xerox,  Microsoft,  Comcast) and becoming a farrier has been one of the most significantly positive things that I've ever done in my professional life for me and my family. Prior to going to school,  my experience with horses was very limited (I literally didn't know how to put on a halter and had never picked up a horse foot ever).  I just graduated in December 2014 and now stay extremely busy (200+ horses on my books) and am able to support my family (mortgage,  2 daughters) and love every day being a farrier.  I owe an incredible amount to Mark and Karen and their school.

Clayton Cockrum,
Monroe, WA

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


Hi Mark and Karen,

I hope you are both well. I wanted to write and tell you about a very proud moment I had this weekend. Some of our local farriers got together this Winter and invited Chris Gregory to come give a clinic here. We had the clinic last Saturday and I just had to write and tell you both how it went.

There were 12 farriers there. Most of whome were in their 50s and had been farriers for 20 years or more. To start out, Chris wanted to go over some basic lower limb anatomy and to my surprise, most of the farriers brought out little notebooks and started taking notes on the bones and tendons we deal with everyday! I was so shocked to see these full time farriers taking notes on things that we all learned in yoru class, an in my opinion, we should all have down pat.

Part way through the day Chris challenged us all to use a pen and mark on the outside of the hoof capsule where we thought the Navicular bone was inside the hoof. I was extremely proud to make my mark literally an inch away from the others and even prouder when Chris announded that I was correct.

I was the youngest farrier and the only woman in attendance. There were lots of things that happened all day that made me so proud of my solid farrier education and I wanted to pass on those good feelings to you. Thanks for everything!


From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


Mark and Karen,

Thanks for setting me up for success in my farrier career! I had my first client the other day and completely astonished them by simply following and explaining our 5 guidelines. They loved that I was not only able to explain what I was seeing/doing but also willing to listen to what they had to say.

Thanks again! Chris

From a Mission Farrier School Client


Tucker starts his new life today. It is because of Mission Farrier School and Faith Equestrian that this is such a happy day for us. We can't thank you enough!

Taylor and Jackie

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


Hey! Had a huge success this week with a chronic laminitis case. Champ loved his Double Nail Pad system with a window cut out for relief. He is walking better than the current owner has ever seen him move. She has owned h im for eight years! He has what looks like a canker of sorts ot the right of the p3. UGLY foot! But he's moving great! Yeah for DNPs yeah for client that want to help their horses and yeah for Mission Farrier School! Thanks for doing what you do! Aloha, Melissa

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


Hey Mark and Karen,
Just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how great things are going for me here. Spring has arrived and business is booming! I have gotten a new client almost everyday this week! Everyone loves my work and my "way with the horses" and I am just so thankful that I found Mission Farrier School.
I feel like I got the best possible education, hands down! I had another new farrier come up to me a few nights ago in a restaurant, we talked horses, hooves and schools for a few minutes and he said to me, "Wow, your experience was WAY different than mine. I kinda feel like I should have spent more time choosing a school...." 
Everything we learned in class have been invaluable to me. Even the things I thought at the time that I would never have to use. I feel like not only am I good farrier, I have better horsemanship as well. After I explain what I'm doing to my clients and show them how the lower limb should function, they think it's wonderful!  I even got the chance to shoe a championship winning jumper, I was sweating that one wondering if I was going to finally have to nail a perimeter fit! The owner thought the shoes were amazing and gave me a big tip when I was done.
Anyways, I'm just really excited that my business is going well. I truly love each moment spent under a horse and love helping the ones who need a little special attention. You guys truly helped me achieve my dream.
Thank you!



From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


Mark and Karen Plumlee are exceptionally proficient and professional in the operation of the school.  From the study of detailed limb anatomy, to the extensive forging exercises, to the professional nailing and hoof finishing, MFS has it all.  I strongly recommend Mission Farrier School to someone just starting out, or to the horseshoeing veteran simply looking for "more".  
As a provider for my family, walking away from a successful high tech career wasn't easy, so when I decided to make a complete occupational change to horseshoeing, I knew that I needed to choose an education that would give me the best chance to succeed.  After extensive research and personal interviews with the directors of the "top schools", I was impressed that studying at Mission Farrier School would give me the best opportunity in my new profession.  What has succeeded my expectations was the amount of success I would have, as I built my business immediately following school.  The demand for this "common sense" approach to horseshoeing is nothing short of remarkable!  Within 6 months of marketing myself, I had a full-time clientele.  But better than that was the success I had in helping horses with "incurable" lameness issues and the happiness reflected on the faces of their owners.  

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate to a prospective student


My experience at Mission Farrier School was great. Mark Plumlee is an excellent and patient instructor, a superb horse handler and a pretty darn good farrier to say the least. The curriculum is very complete including, shoeing, trimming, anatomy, lameness, horsehandling, field work and forge work. You will get a lot of hands on work both in the school shop and out in the field working on horses.

When I attended the school my horse experience was limited at best so I'm pretty sure I tested Marks patience to the limit! When I graduated I felt I was a fairly competant farrier and I continue to improve daily. If you get a chance go to There are a couple testamonials from customers that might be of interest. Post graduation support has been excellent. (I'm sure I'm still testing Marks patience!!!)

As far as building a post school client base, the demand is astonishing for professional grade farriers. If you are willing to conduct yourself as a professional, hustle, focus on customer service and quality of work, and use the natural balance principals you learn at Mission Farrier School, you will be successful. Referrals are now becoming a large part of my business because I follow the principals and procedures learned at Mission Farrier School and service the heck out of my customers.

I have had several moderately severe/difficult cases and have been successful in helping these horses so far. There is a testamonial from a client regarding this on my website. Mark spends a lot of time on lameness and it really gives you an advantage over most farriers. You will learn how to talk the talk believe me! And you will know how to walk the walk and help the horse.

Hope this helps in making your decision.

Randy Rauscher

From a Mission Farrier School Client


Hi Mark and Karen,
Thank you again for doing such a thorough and beautiful job on Jiggy's feet.

I did groundwork with her tonight and couldn't believe my eyes! She moves so differently. In her turn out she was loping around and had an extended trot that she couldn't do before. We are astonished and shocked to see how much discomfort she was in that prohibited so much of this movement, so thank you again for squeezing me in today. I so appreciate your helpfulness and educating me about her feet.  I look forward to seeing you guys again soon.  Blessings, HW  MFS Client

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate's Client


Randy is a great farrier! He is patient and very thorough. I have two quarter horses, age 19 and age 15.  The 19 year-old had terrible feet and was in such discomfort that we were concerned that we would have to put him down in the near future. Before Randy shod him, he was not rideable. He is now sound, pain free and acting like a young colt. The 15 year-old was on anti-inflammatories and Bute due to lameness. He is now off all medications, sound and pain free.  We have tried all sorts of things to help our horses and all they really needed was Randy and natural balance!  We are in constant contact with horse people of all disciplines, so we tell everyone to call Randy or find a farrier that was trained at Mission Farrier School.  It is truly amazing to see your horses go from lame and in pain to sound, rideable, pain free and happy immediately after they are shod.  MC and RC, Clients of MFS Graduate Randy R

From a Mission Farrier School Graduate


Hi Mark & Karen,

Thank you so much for the opportunity you have given me and so many others. It feels good to know the truth and the "right" way to shoe a horse. I feel lucky to be a front-runner in the battle against "bad" shoeing. I believe that God lead me to the right school. Thank you for everything you have taught me.


From a Mission Farrier School Client


Hello Mark & Karen

We were remembering that one year ago today we brought our poor, sick, lame, post surgery horse to you and asked for help. We feel so blessed that you let us into your care. We wanted you to know that Tucker is now sound, and fat and sassy and having a ball trail riding. We just wanted you to know we are thankful for you!


Ron & Jackie

Therapeutic Shoeing is a regular part of our curriculum.  Our clientele regularly include: Laminitis cases, white line disease, stumbling problems, Cushings and Peripheral Cushings cases, and veterinary referrals.  We also trim and shoe a variety of sound horses from all breeds and disciplines.  Students considering farrier school are invited to visit our facility and are encouraged to ask questions.  Please feel free to call or email to confirm an appropriate day to visit.