2024: March 18 - May 10 & Sep 23 - Nov 15
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2024: March 18 - May 10 & Sep 23 - Nov 15
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Mission Farrier School is not an easy program and a telephone interview is required prior to acceptance. It is important that students are specifically looking for what we teach, and it is important that their farrier education is a good fit for them as well as for us.
This is not a continuation of high school, and it is not a community college course. It is a serious horseshoeing school farrier education program with an emphasis on in-depth equine science. You will come out of this course able to shoe a horse and able to communicate at a professional level with Veterinarians and other professional farriers.
The purpose of this page is to show the serious prospective student why Mission Farrier School should be their choice of farrier schools. This page is not meant to disparage any other farrier school. In that spirit, we intend to set forth our positive attributes without pointing out other horseshoeing school’s shortcomings.
Any comparisons to be made should be made by the prospective student hopefully in a spirit of searching for the best fit of horseshoeing schools for the student’s goals and learning style. Of course we believe that we teach the best horseshoeing school/professional farrier education program in the country, and we have a pretty darn good track record to prove it.
Mark and Teddy have been living and teaching relevant farrier science longer than anyone. And being a third generation horseshoer and life-long horseman, Mark has lived it and taught it from both sides, so he understands the issues better than most.
We've heard it said, "what's wrong with the way we've always done it"? Well, the "way we've always done it" has led to a dysfunctional back of the foot and isn’t always coherent with meeting the needs of the horse. Another interesting fact is "the way we've always done it", isn't really the way we've always done it.
Before the advent of keg shoes in the early 1900's, back when horseshoers were blacksmiths, horses didn't have distorted long pointy toes, under-run heels and navicular disease at age 7. “In my opinion”, says Mark Plumlee, “this is because blacksmiths hand forged shoes to a healthy foot that had more overall mass behind center and less overall mass in front of center. Due to unsound shoeing practices, many of today's horses have just the opposite. With the advent of the automobile came “keg shoes” or ready-mades as they were called, implying that the ready-made manufactured shoe (shipped in a keg) were ready to take out and nail on. Because all these shoes were made with the same pointy toe, farriers began just nailing them on with little regard to the shape, thus began the migration of long toes and low forward heels”. Fortunately (as of 2022) most of today’s shoe manufacturers are now making a standard shoe with a broader toe and a built-in breakover advantage. That wasn’t true even 10 years ago.
The health of the foot is in the back of the foot.
At Mission Farrier School you'll find:
Yes, days are long, might be hard and it's likely you may bleed at some point, remember laughter is good medicine. Mark and Teddy have a great sense of humor and possess the natural ability to lead students through the experience of farrier school leaving graduates enriched in ways not expected.
Both are great story tellers / historians and you'll be privy to insider tips and hear of horses and cases not yet written about. You'll learn through listening to legends and lore. Ask Mark about the superstition of why a full bucket of water needs to be by the forge. Your instructors have volumes of experience. Bring your questions and make the most of the opportunity.
Both instructors are personable and approachable. Mid way through, you'll have a one-on-one evaluation to help sort out what topics require more emphasis and where each student is at in their learning. We encourage feedback, your input is valued.
It's hard to put into words, the eight weeks you dedicate will impact your life in a positive way beyond learning the skills you'll need to become a farrier.
Equines are described in different manners: Breeds, types, 'bloods' and purposes. As a farrier, you'll want to be able to recognize some basics like the type and style of horse you will be working on.
Recognizing coat colors, patterns, markings and gaits adds to your ability to talk the talk and it will help you in your client relations if you can exhibit some knowledge at first glance. You will see a variety of horses, donkeys, mini’s and mules during class.
Before and after school learning opportunities are available throughout the class session.
Off hours you may have a chance to pull up a seat and watch Teddy working the Mustangs. Teddy is a TIP Certified Trainer. For those students interested in furthering their education working with Mustangs, Teddy is an excellent resource. Want to improve your horsemanship skills in person and online ? Visit Live Equestrian. Also Visit Mustang Heritage Foundation
Ever had questions about the popular sport of Cowboy Mounted Shooting? It's a fast action timed event where skilled riders use two .45 caliber single action revolvers in competition. Mark and Karen Plumlee are long time members of CMSA, the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association. Check out this Northwest Horse Source article: Meet Mounted Shooter and Farrier, Mark Plumlee.
Although their personal focus is on Western style horsemanship/ranching/roping, both Instructors are highly knowledgeable about a variety of disciplines including dressage, show jumping, cross country, endurance, speed events and others. Our graduates come from varying backgrounds and locations.
We teach our students to trim/shoe the foot that's in the hand.
Whether all is familiar to you or attending school will be your first introduction to ranch life, Mission Farrier School offers an experience like no other horseshoeing school in the world.
We invite you to take a moment to listen to Tom Swearingen's original cowboy poetry titled "Teddy Franke Is One Tough Hand".
"This was my second time at a farrier school. Mission Farrier School was far ahead of the first one I attended, I learned so much more and understand more about helping horses and shoeing correctly. I have only been out of school a couple of weeks and am working already.
I am very thankful to both Mark and Karen for their help and support while I was at their school. They work hard to help you be the best you can. "
"I can't say enough good about my experience there. The instruction is based on the most current farrier science which can be bit of a departure from the "old school" way of doing things. They question the "why" of how things are done, and are ever finding new solutions to old problems. The curriculum is well-rounded with focus' on anatomy, bio-mechanics, horsemanship, and metal craftsmanship - as well as actual horseshoeing.
Although there is a written syllabus, the learning is fluid and largely based around each horse that comes through the door and the lessons it brings. Each horse has something to teach. Additionally, Mark Plumlee is an amazing teacher. He has a background in "conventional" farriery and has expanded his knowledge far beyond his traditional roots. He has the ability to take each student where they are, at whatever level of experience."
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