2023: March 27 - May 19 & Sep 26 - Nov 18
2023: March 27 - May 19 & Sep 26 - Nov 18
The only requirement for applying to MFS is that we have a personal one-on-one telephone interview with you. Just call Teddy 907-687-6047 or Mark 425-890-3043 to have your telephone interview. (If you get voicemail, feel free to leave a message and they will call you back).
During our phone interview, we will want to know why you want to be a horseshoer, what motivates you, and that you have thoroughly reviewed our website. We want students, Men and Women, who desire to become professionals in the industry. We are simply looking for people who want to make a difference in the lives of horses and their owners!
The telephone interview also gives us both an opportunity to get to know each other a bit and lets us personally answer your questions. We want to make sure that what we teach coincides with what you are looking for in a farrier education program. Our goal is that we are a good fit for each other. If we don’t think we can meet your expectations, we will tell you that upfront.
It is hard work, it is self-employment, and it is physically demanding, but if you have a true desire to learn, we look forward to teaching you!
No previous experience with horses or horseshoeing is necessary. Some of our very best graduates have been those who come to class with the least knowledge and experience. It is easier to teach you if you don’t have to “un-learn” something first.
If you want to get a jump-start on class, we recommend our 4 Videos, Introduction to Hoof Health, Barefoot Trimming, Common Sense Shoeing, and our Forging DVD.
No. We are looking for dedicated students willing to learn and to do what it takes to make a difference for the health and well-being of the horse, whether that is a healthy trim, a simple shoe, or a therapeutic system. We want students who are self-motivated in their profession and committed to their education and continuing education.
In 1968, the average cost of attending farrier school was $2400. The average cost to shoe a horse was $12 a head. At that price, a graduate would have to shoe 200 horses to pay for his/her schooling. Classes were typically taught at community colleges and lasted 9 months, with an average of 30 students per class.
Our tuition is $12,000 (and has been since 2018) . The average cost to shoe a horse is anywhere from $80 - $160 a head. If we figure low at $100 a head (which our graduates should be able to get in all but the most rural or economically depressed parts of the country), a graduate will have to shoe 120 horses to pay for his/her schooling. Our class is an intense 8 weeks long, with a maximum of 8-10 students. We offer the Basic Farrier program for those just starting out and the Practicing Farrier program, for those who have already had training at another school, or have had 2+ years of professional experience, or those students who just want to further immerse themselves into the science of horseshoeing.
The relative cost today, is about half that of 1968. At Mission Farrier School, we teach only a few sessions per year. Our class sizes are kept as small as possible to allow each student the best learning opportunity. The instruction and understanding of hoof science and healthy foot function that you receive at Mission will set you up for success wherever you choose to locate your business. Both Teddy and Mark work hard to make themselves available to graduates and prospective students, via phone, text or email.
8-Week Program, Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm or until the work is done.
Class size limited to 8-10 Students.
$2000 refundable deposit due with the Registration Form & the Ability to Benefit Self-Assessment (found under the Student Information TAB).
$10,000 balance is due the first day of class.
Students will be under horses several days a week. There is also much that needs to be learned in lecture and on the Forge and Anvil. It does no good for you to be under horses every day if you don’t understand what you are doing or why you are doing it. We need to be able to teach you to reason and think for yourself, to evaluate the horse’s that are in your clientele and all that comes from learning the science behind why we do what we do.
You will begin shoeing live horses the second day of class, with a lot of help! During the first week, you might focus on just 1 or two feet per day. We want you to succeed and it’s not a race. We want you to understand the needs of the foot that is in your hands. As you progress, you will be given more.
A typical day at Mission Farrier School might go like this: 9am – Students gather and preview the day’s cases. Horses show up between 9 and 9:30 and are assigned to students. The class watches as each horse’s history is presented, and as each is evaluated for hoof function and their way of going. Much can be learned during this time. This is where we learn to “talk the talk” with the client. Learning to “talk the talk” has become more and more important, as today’s clients are better educated and demand answers in a language that they can understand. This is where you will learn to effectively communicate what you are doing to their horse, and more importantly, why.
This is also the area where most professional farriers fail. One of the biggest complaints we hear from the horse owning public is “I don’t understand what my farrier is doing. I would like to understand it, but when I ask, I don’t get an answer that makes sense to me”. If you can answer their questions in a way that they can understand, you should have all the clients you ever need. Because, in the farrier trade, the most effective advertising is by word of mouth.
Forge work will take place throughout the day as we learn to modify manufactured shoes, and forge hand-made shoes. Some days we may spend more time working on the anvil. Mission Farrier School believes that good craftsmanship is an important part of being a good farrier. As a professional farrier and in order to make your day run more efficiently, you need to have good skills on the anvil. This is the biggest single thing that slows farriers down in the field.
Lecture usually takes place at the very beginning of our day, and also towards the latter half of our day. There will be days that we dedicate to just lecture. During lecture, we cover lower limb anatomy, biomechanics, lamenesses, what goes right and what goes wrong and why, and the why’s and how’s of what we do. See our Course Outline (under the Student Information TAB) for a general description of topics covered while in class. There is much more that is discussed in detail.
Towards the end of the 8 weeks, we will cover the various certification opportunities from different associations that are available to graduates. What to take when, and what to expect from a variety of different certification associations.
You will learn to trim feet for healthy barefoot maintenance, and you will also learn how to apply the appropriate horseshoe to meet the needs of the particular horse you are working on. (And you will learn so much more)!
· It all starts with learning how to evaluate feet for healthy foot function.
· How to evaluate correct movement and how to identify lamenesses.
· Learning and understanding the importance of a heel-first landing.
· You will understand how and why to respect the sole plane and why we trim feet the way we do, for both good barefoot maintenance as well as good shoeing.
· You will learn what shoe to use for both basic and performance shoeing, and what therapeutic systems to use for things like navicular disease, laminitis, tendon injuries and coffin bone fractures.
· You will get hands-on experience in therapeutic shoeing, thinking outside the box to create a variety of remedial shoeing systems. The use of composites and adhesives are rapidly emerging as better tools to aid in managing lamenesses.
· Gaining skill on the anvil and forge, both for making hand-made shoes and for performing any necessary modifications to pre-manufactured shoes.
· You will learn hoof science that focuses on the biomechanics of the horse and treats each horse and sometimes each foot as an individual. The shoe is just one component of the protocol of helping a lame horse become sound and keeping the sound horse healthy.
· You will learn how to identify hoof distortions and thereby manage hoof growth.
If you are serious about shoeing horses for a career, this is a wise investment in your own future and in the health and well-being of your future clients. Set yourself up for success, call Teddy or Mark and see if you will be a good fit for our program.
No school can “certify” their students. But schools can host Certification clinics. Certification is offered through various Farrier Associations. And while certification is not required in the United States, we do encourage our graduates to further their education through a variety of continuing education clinics with the goal of becoming certified. Throughout the 8 weeks, we teach to certification standards and towards the end of your 8 weeks, we will discuss the various certification opportunities from the different Farrier Associations.
Tygh Valley is a great little town in central Oregon that is now home to Mission Farrier School. Tygh Valley is about 35 minutes straight south of The Dalles, Oregon and is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from the Portland International Airport. Contact Teddy for transportation ideas.
In 2022 Teddy Franke was approved as a TIP Certified Mustang Trainer. Tip stands for Trainer Incentive Program which is run through the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Mission has always been known for its emphasis on teaching meaningful horsemanship. This adds another dimension as students get the chance to get their hands on Oregon BLM mustangs under Teddy's careful supervision. We encourage you to read the full article under the “About MFS” Tab, Mustangs @ MFS.
We believe whole-heartedly that if you can aspire to become a good horseman or woman, then you can’t help but become a better farrier. We hear far too many stories of farriers beating up on horses. Where a swift correction is sometimes necessary, losing your temper and beating a horse never produces a good outcome for the horse and usually not for the farrier either.
Horsemanship helps us work with a horse not against him. If you look through some of these pictures, you will see students shoeing horses loose in the round pen or shoeing them with the lead rope tucked in the belt of their farrier apron. Some horses will totally lose their minds when it comes to shoeing. This is frustrating for the client and dangerous for the farrier.
We have found that round pen shoeing, where the horse has been given the freedom to move, often reduces the panic and fear. It is a process. Teddy is an AQHA professional horseman also a member of the TIPS Mustang program. His skills in the round pen and teaching them to his students is exceptional. We have had students go on to specialize in handling difficult horses or young untrained horses and teaching them to stand for the farrier. It starts and ends with good horsemanship!
About 45% of our students are women. Women make excellent farriers! What was once considered a man’s job, has moved more and more towards favoring a woman. Perhaps because most women are not physically able to strong-arm a horse as some bigger men are, women usually pick up better on the “asking” a horse for his foot, rather than demanding it. And while we are speaking “generally”, generally women are also excellent communicators and have better listening skills when it comes to dealing with clients. At least in the 25+ years we’ve been doing this, this is what we have found, and it’s only our opinion. Our program seems to be a good fit for women, as we delve more deeply into the science of trimming and shoeing horses.
Yes, but it also depends on what you mean. Students who have horses in the area are more than welcome to schedule them to be trimmed or shod here in class. We will treat your horse just like any other client and begin with a thorough pre-shoeing evaluation. You’ll probably learn more than you ever wanted to know about your own horse. Because this is a school, during our pre-shoeing evaluation, we get real specific about each horse’s possible issues, or in some cases, perceived lack of issues. Our student’s horses are shod at no cost, and you will learn a lot from your own horse.
If your question means that you are from out of town and want to bring your horse to school with you for the entire 8 weeks, then yes, that is certainly a possibility. You will need to speak with Teddy about your expectations and the availability and cost of board.
The average age of our students has been dropping over the last few years from 37 years old to around 32 years old currently. Most were career changes. But having said that, we are getting more and more students under the age of 30 and have had students as young as 17 (and as old as 63). We will accept students under the age of 18, with the parents’ permission and only after having a telephone interview with both the student and the parent or guardian. Anyone can become a professional farrier if they set their heart and mind to it, combined with an aptitude for it and the physical ability to do the hard work.
While we encourage potential students to finish High School, it is not a “requirement”, just an encouragement. If you are under 18, we must have a telephone interview with both you and your parents. (An in-person meeting and tour of our facility is even better). We are looking for focused students, who are serious about learning and doing professional work. This is not an extension of high school. We expect our students to be mentally mature, and able to fit in to a professional class setting.
Our student’s success is of great importance to us, and while we have no control over what students choose to do once they graduate from our program, we make every effort to give them both the knowledge and the skills necessary to make the best decision they can for the horse and for the client. It is our belief that if you run your business like a business, return phone calls, show up on-time and do the best job you can for both the horse and the client, you will have all the work you can handle. The farrier trade is a word-of-mouth business!
Mission Farrier School is not a “high-volume” operation. Our priority is in graduating a few very good farriers, men and women who can go out and discuss a horse’s needs with the owners, then meet that horse’s needs for healthy functioning feet, whether that be barefoot, simple shoes, or advanced therapeutic support packages.
If you can see what it takes for a lame horse to recover, you can better understand what it takes to keep a healthy horse sound. So yes, a centered approach that reduces injuries is important for all horses. With more and more information on the internet, most clients understand that shoeing horses in this manner potentially saves lameness issues and vet bills later.
Class time is generally 9am – 5pm, occasionally 6pm or later depending on the work that needs to be completed and the needs of the horse. Once you have learned the basics of the anvil and forge, you are welcome to come in early, stay late, or spend some time on the weekends practicing your forge work. Craftsmanship is an important part of our curriculum, and we hope all our students will want to spend extra time on the anvils. From time to time, we also host a variety of clinics and educational type events which students are welcome to attend.
Forging: Making modifications to pre-manufactured shoes.
Slide Presentation: Rethinking Healthy Foot Function, based on Gene Ovnicek’s
Wild Horse Research and Mark Plumlee’s beginning years of understanding it!
Slide Presentation on Coronary Grooving and Siping.
Environmental Influences and It’s Effect on Domestic Feet.
Discussion and Treatment of Lameness Issues.
How to Identify Appropriate Balance in Your Horse’s Feet.
The Right Start - Maintaining Healthy Feet in Foals.
Yep! Farrier work is tough, demanding physical labor. It’s not uncommon to smash your thumb, hand, knee, and other body parts with your hammer, or run a nail through those same body parts, at least until you get those parts trained to stay out of the way. They usually smarten up pretty quick! Even so, horses are big, and toes get stepped on, fingers get smashed and you will get pulled and shoved around, especially while you are learning. It can be frustrating and there will be times when you will want to quit. But if you can hang in there, you will learn more than you thought possible, and you will make a difference!
If you are serious about making a difference, then we’d like to have you as a student. Give us a call or email to set-up a telephone interview.
Contact Teddy to discuss your options.