Beginning and Advanced courses


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.


Our program attracts focused, serious minded students with a high degree of success entering the profession. 


Course 1


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 2

 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?