2023: March 27 - May 19 & Sep 26 - Nov 18
2023: March 27 - May 19 & Sep 26 - Nov 18
Meet Mission Farrier School Graduates from around the globe.
Tim Rogers, DVM
2X Graduate of Mission Farrier School
Basic Course: Class of 2013
Advanced Course: Class of 2018
Performance ISELP member since 2020
Studied Veterinary Medicine - Equine at Colorado State University
As a Veterinarian and a graduate of Mission Farrier School, I occasionally present talks to local horse owners. My favorite topic is "hoof balance" and how to evaluate a foot. People always want to know how they can tell if their horses feet are getting better or worse. Most suspect things aren't going as well as they should be but talking to their farrier doesn't often provide much clarity. So I teach them exactly what you learn in day 1 at Mission Farrier School, how to map the sole of a foot, how to find the internal structures of the foot from that process, and how to do a trim balanced around those structures.
After my last "hoof talk" my phone was ringing off the hook with owners wanting hoof consults from me ($150) and wanting to know where they could find a farrier to give their horse what I described as a balanced trim.
Sadly, though I live in a county with one of the densest and wealthiest horse communities in the nation, there is not a single farrier I can recommend who has the basic knowledge to do what is needed. What Mission Farrier School teaches is scientifically and anatomically-based farrier work. You not only get that, but you get tons of rehab experience, making rehabilitation decisions based on sound anatomical and biomechanical knowledge using the most modern materials and approaches. And that is on top of learning the traditional skills to shape shoes or forge them from raw stock.
The point of all of this is to say that no matter how saturated an area is with farriers, no matter how prestigious and expensive the horses, there is an incredible need out there for the type of knowledgeable graduates Mission Farrier produces. Because we specialize in sports medicine, we can't do our job effectively without a farrier who understands their work from a modern anatomically-based perspective. The need is so great that my clinic is planning to send our own person to train at Mission Farrier School. We are confident we can keep that person busy full time just off our current veterinary clients.
So, if you are shopping farrier schools, ask yourself what sort of farrier you want to be. If you truly want to help horses who are struggling and if working with veterinarians on tough cases sounds like a career goal, then I don't think there is any place BUT Mission Farrier School to receive your foundation education. No matter how "saturated" an area is with farriers, there is always a place for a Mission Farrier graduate and the unique knowledge they bring.
Sincerely, Tim Rogers DVM
Grays Harbor County, Washington
Graduate of Mission Farrier School in the Spring of 2016
My name is Greg Gill, I graduated Mission Farrier School in the Spring of 2016, and eventually worked for Mark and Karen as an assistant instructor for a year.
At this moment in time I service Grays Harbor County Washington and I have a client base of about 300 horses.
Here is what MFS has done for me. When I showed up at school, I had a pick up truck, and the basic farrier tools needed to attend school, as well as some horsemanship skills, and a little experience in barefoot trimming. Over the next 8 weeks I was completely immersed in anatomy, hoof function, general horsemanship, round pen theory, and forge work. I got to work on a number of laminitis cases, and helped a lot of horses get comfy. Mark focuses on "doing something FOR the horse, and not TO the horse", and sometimes doing something FOR the horse takes trying new things, and thinking way outside the box. MFS helped me learn to think outside the box in order to make a more comfortable horse, and if I get stuck on a difficult case and can't seem to make the progress the horse needs I've always been able to call Mark and talk over a game plan on how to get a better result.
Along with learning the skills needed to apply different therapeutic systems to the horse, I learned how to get along with young horses who didn't hold still, old horses who couldn't hold their feet up very high or for very long, and troubled horses who just didn't like farriers or the shoeing process very much. We often ended up shoeing the horse loose in the round pen, and I've used that skill a lot over the years. I think learning to get along with the horse and the owner has been one of the biggest ways MFS has made me successful in the farrier industry.
Since attending MFS I have always had horses to shoe, and great clients to work for. It's hard to beat a job where you get to drive around, drink coffee, help out horses, and visit with good people every day.
Mark and Karen at Mission Farrier School have been a huge encouragement in my life and they gave me a career that I enjoy every day. - Greg Gill
How do you briefly condense the greatest yet hardest two months of my life?!
For the past 12 years, I’ve consistently attended CE courses and expanded my practice. The one thing that has remained the same is the basic principles taught in class. Watching the horse move, understanding anatomy, and mapping the hoof to recognize distortions.
We were taught to think outside of the box with an understanding on hoof science. That teaching is priceless, it allows the student to be able to apply anything to the hoof with purpose. The horsemanship is an added benefit to understanding behavior and it also made me more of a patient and better human being. Getting under a horse the very second day of class was brilliant, perfect practice from day 1. Mark says we do things FOR the horse not TO the horse. This is the reason so many graduates are so successful!
- Jen Poulan
Graduate of Mission Farrier School 2012
Read Liselle's insightful article Mystery of the Lost Shoe. She's posted several excellent blog entries on her website.
The 8 week program I completed with MFS provided me with a superb foundation for the beginning of my farrier career. A low student to instructor ratio, comfortable and safe forging/shoeing stations, and excellent quality of instruction are only a few of the benefits of this school. The hands-on trimming, forging and shoeing skills I practiced, along with a comprehensive introduction to anatomy, pathology and biomechanics enabled me to "hit the ground running" in the one-year apprenticeship I secured following school. Mark Plumlee taught me that farriery is both craft and science, and that to be successful in this career I must continually challenge myself to continue learning, continue practicing and to think outside my box. Ten years later, I enjoy an overflowing practice, love every minute of my job, and regularly encounter new situations that remind me how much more I still have to learn. Thanks, Mission!
- Liselle Batt
Liselle owns Western Maine Farrier Service, a mobile farrier practice offering balanced trimming, conventional forge-fit shoeing, as well as glue-on composite shoes and boot-fitting. She is a 2012 graduate of Mission Farrier School in Washington State, has served as secretary and past president of the Maine Farriers Association, and is currently accredited through the International Association of Professional Farriers (IAPF).
In addition to her ambulatory practice, Liselle owns Butterfield Farm, an off-the-grid solar-powered horse farm and trailer-in farrier shop providing short-term therapeutic board for horses suffering acute and chronic pathologies like laminitis or founder and white line disease. In her non-existent free time, Liselle enjoys procrastinating weeding the garden with shameful amounts of trail-riding on her quarter horse and Arabian geldings.
Choosing Mission Farrier School was the first, and continues to be the best decision I've made for my career as a farrier. Being able to map feet, and promote healthy hoof function are the most valuable tools I have in my toolbox. This understanding enables me to help horses lead happy, healthy lives with increased comfort levels and successful careers- whether they are beloved pets or high level athletes. I am beyond grateful for Mark, Karen and my time at MFS.
- Dana Hall
Your invited to read Dana's excellent piece with her insight generously offered. Dana and her peers are the epitome of professionalism. Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned veteran, there's value in taking time to click through.
Raglan, New Zealand
Sick Animals and Emergencies
Initial Evaluation with Hoof Mapping
Full and Half Set Shoeing
Glue On Shoes
Rehabilitative Applications for a Wide Variety of Lameness Concerns
Meet Sam @ Equine Hoof Sense
Mission Farrier School provides the most extensive farrier education available today. I retired from the Army in 2008 with 27 years of service. My last 3 year assignment was as a Professor at Oregon State University. In so stating my experience as a graduate of MFS I can with out hesitation state that Mark Plumlee's ability to insure each and every student fully understands Farrier Science as well the importance of Horsemanship is unmatched.
Since my graduation I have been applying the Natural Balance principles in all disciplines of my equine clientele and have become very successful.
The big bonus to attend this institution is the verity of lameness issues that are referred to Mark. There is nothing like going into a situation and knowing exactly what to do. Mark will paint the picture, explain the process, and help you become the best farrier you can possibly be. - Sam Ely