MFS Duncan, Oklahoma March 9 - May 1, 2020

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2019 / 2020 schedule mission farrier school


Sept. 16 - Nov. 8, 2019

Snohomish, WA

Event Details

Sept. 16 - Nov. 8, 2019

Snohomish, WA

Basic Farrier and Practicing Farrier Courses

March 9 - May 1, 2020

Duncan, OK

Event Details

March 9 - May 1, 2020

Duncan, OK

American Farriers Journal Article

Basic Farrier and Practicing Farrier Courses 

2 Instructors:  Mark J. Plumlee and Shasta R. Budvarson


Click on a file to download.  Registration

2020regmfs (pdf)


Additional Information

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.

Course Outline: 

 Yes, you will learn how to trim feet and nail on shoes, but you will also learn:

* how to succeed in business

* the biomechanics of the lower limb

* accurate, relevant hoof science

* the anatomy of the lower limb, tendons, ligaments, bones, joints

* and how it was designed to function

* the importance of a heel first landing

* determining breakover

* what the pivot point for forward movement means to your horse

* how to identify distortion

* how to evaluate lameness

* how to assess anterior/posterior balance

* how to assess medial/lateral balance

* what goes wrong and why

* regular shoeing, performance shoeing, therapeutic shoeing

* application of the EDSS, SoulMax, Clog, and DNP therapeutic systems

* how to correctly understand and trim feet

* understanding the merits and challenges of barefoot

* how to trim for barefoot maintenance and performance

* what shoe to use and why

* how to use the forge and anvil

* how to properly shape keg shoes

* hand forging shoes

* and how to communicate all this to your client.

(See course outline for more specifics).

Our graduate's success speaks for its self and for us.  90% of our students remain in the profession 3-5 years after graduation.  The national average hovers around 7%.  That's quite a difference.  Why?  Because Mission Farrier School teaches meaningful hoof science.  You will know how to meet the needs of a foot and how to communicate that information to the client.  

The horses tell the truth, and they will thank you.  When you have a proliferation of lameness like navicular disease as early as 6-7 years of age because 'it's the way we've always done it', there comes a time that we need to reexamine how horses are being shod.  Traditional or 'conventional' farrier science has become part of the problem. Shoeing a distorted toe, produces a lever on the dorsal aspect of the coffin bone and this puts the navicular region, impar ligament and collateral ligaments of the coffin joint under stress.  This will lead to lameness issues in the majority of horses who work or perform.  100 years ago farriers were not shoeing a distorted toe.  

Horses were vital to the family farm and the economy of the land, and farriers hand-made all shoes.  As mechanization and the automobile came upon the scene, society's dependency upon the horse all but disappeared.  What also disappeared at that time were farriers who actually understood the biomechanics of the lower limb and how it was designed to function at a high level of soundness.  It was with the advent of the keg shoes, or 'ready-mades' as they were called, that implied that the shoe was ready to nail on in its present shape.  These keg shoes carried a more pointed toe, and horse shoers began to shoe the grown distortion.  Thus the beginning of rampant navicular disease in the equine population. 

The people who come to our program are looking specifically for what we teach and are very focused.  The average age is 37, though we've had them as young as 17 and as old as 63.

Goes far beyond conventional farrier science, and it will be our goal to not only produce professional farriers, but equally as important, to produce men and women who are driven to become professional horsemen.  If you can aspire to become a good horseman, you can't help but become a true professional and a better farrier.

Will give you the knowledge you need to recognize the needs of the equine foot.  That knowledge will not only help you attract a better clientele, but will also help you to become more successful in your business. You'll know how to prepare a foot for barefoot trimming, regular shoeing, performance shoeing and therapeutic systems.

Class sizes are limited.  Small class sizes mean a more personal touch to teaching and to your learning.  Mission Farrier School is a private vocational school, and has the highest success rate in the nation of graduates staying in the profession.

Mission's priority is not in graduating large numbers of farriers, but rather in graduating a few, very good men and women who can meet a horse's hoof care needs, and discuss those needs with the client.

MFS students start shoeing live horses the second day of class, under Mark's careful supervision.  All live shoeing.  Cadaver work is only used during dissections.   

Students receive an in-depth study of the anatomy and physiology of the equine limb, and the biomechanics of how that limb was designed to function.  You'll discuss what goes wrong and why. 

Mission Farrier School is privileged to be able to teach dissections using equine limbs donated from caring veterinarians and horse owners from around our community.  This gives our students an opportunity to get a literal hands-on understanding of the tendons, ligaments, bones and joints of the lower leg, as well as really seeing and feeling the internal structures of the hoof.

Mission Farrier School is a referral center for lameness rehabilitation cases from WSU School of Veterinary medicine, as well as working with clinic veterinarians from around the greater Northwest.

Students are included in all aspects of therapeutic shoeing.  They gain valuable hands-on experience through doing, not just observing.  If you can understand what it takes to get a severely lame horse healthy, you can better understand how to keep a healthy horse sound. 

Mission Farrier School occupies a  36' x 72' heated professional farrier shop.  Work environment is very important during the early stages of your learning.  The shop is equipped with professional grade anvils and forges, classroom lecture area, library of farrier reference books, assorted specialty tools for student use.

The vast majority of student shoeing is done on-site, at the Farrier School, in a controlled environment.  Weather permitting, occasional field trips are made to the local Christian Horse Camp, where Mission Farrier School also maintains the hoof health of their 70+ horses.

Has a large committed clientele that bring their horses to class for students to shoe.  This is vital to your education.  These clients have been with us for years, specifically because of the quality shoeing that we teach. 

Communication is an important skill in both getting and maintaining desirable clientele.  Many professional farriers lack the ability to explain a horse's needs to the horse owner.  They lack the tools necessary to explain what they are doing and why they are doing it, in language the owner can understand.  'Because that's the way we've always done it' is not an adequate response.  

At Mission Farrier School you will learn (1) how to evaluate a horse's needs, and (2) how to communicate that information to the client.  Having the skills to be able to 'talk the talk' with clients, veterinarians and other equine professionals help make MFS graduates some of the most successful in the industry. 

Good Hoof Science, Communication, Forging Skills, Craftsmanship and Horsemanship.  We believe that these 5 things are the essence of true professionals.  Today's better informed horse owner expects his/her farrier to be not only knowledgeable about the foot, but to also be a good horseman.  Physical restraints or rough handling of horses never has a positive outcome for the horse, and usually has a negative impact on the farrier as well.

Mission Farrier School teaches positive horsemanship over restraint methods.  We are grounded in the natural horsemanship techniques as taught by Tom and Bill Dorrance,  Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman, and Jon Ensign.  Mark has extensive experience in round pen shoeing and believes that good horsemanship is helping a horse make a willing connection with the farrier.  All students will have the opportunity to learn and participate in round pen shoeing. 

Students will learn how to make this good connection with horses,  whether you have grown up around them or are just beginning.  It's never too late or too early, if you are willing to stay teachable.  This will pave the way to building a quality clientele that appreciates your professionalism.

Mission Farrier School discusses and encourages all types of continuing education as well as certifications through the American Farriers Association, the Guild of Professional Farriers and Natural Balance Farrier Certification. 

Your farrier education is just the beginning of your learning experience.  If you aspire to become a true professional, your learning will continue long after you graduate from school.  Our hope is that you will continue to build on what we have taught you throughout your lives and careers.  These 8 weeks are just the beginning of your education and we are committed to offering you the best beginning available.  We look forward to welcoming you into our program.

* Approved provider for, and licensed by, the Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB) as a private vocational school.

* Approved for funding through Veterans Affairs, GI Bill.

Learn More

Onsite student housing is available on a first come first serve basis at no additional charge. Students are welcome to come a few days ahead of time and stay a few days after class if desired. If you are considering farrier school you're 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.