Why Choose Mission Farrier School?

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 schools shortcomings.  Any comparisons to be made will have to be made by the prospective student hopefully in a spirit of searching for the best fit of horseshoeing schools for the student.  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 has been teaching modern, updated and relevant farrier science longer than anyone.  And being a third generation horseshoer and former rodeo cowboy, 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" is part of the reason we have navicular horses at age 7.  The "way we've always done it" has lead to long toes and low heels.  And 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 and under run heels, 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.  The health of the foot is in the back of the foot. 

Your Horse shoeing school education will cost you time and money  -  Let us set you up for success by giving you the best farrier science and horse shoeing education available.  If you know what you are getting into, if you are looking to become a professional farrier, if you will commit to working hard, then we hope you will choose Mission Farrier School.  We're looking for a few serious Farrier, Pre-vet, Veterinary and Equine Animal Science students who want to make a difference.



The qualifications and teaching style of the instructors directly influences your learning experience.


Mark J. Plumlee


A third generation horseshoer, former rodeo cowboy, and owner/instructor of Mission Farrier School, Mark Plumlee's qualifications are unique in that Mark has 6 certifications through three National Farrier Associations.  This gives him the ability to teach tried and true methods which are in the horse's best interest.  

His certifications are:

CJF: Certified Journeyman Farrier, through the American Farriers Association

RJF: Registered Journeyman Farrier, through the Guild of Professional Farriers

And the following 4 certifications through ELPO, Equine Lameness Prevention Organization

LS-HMC: Live Sole Hoof Mapping Certification, (research on identifying the internal structures of the hoof through landmarks on the bottom of the foot).

CNBBT: Certified Natural Balance Barefoot Trimmer,

CNBF: Certified Natural Balance Farrier

CLS: Certified Lameness Specialist

As well as a Farrier Educator and Clinician in Modern Farrier Science

Shasta Budvarson


Shasta Budvarson is a competitive rider as well as being a talented farrier and exceptional Instructor.  Her teaching style encourages students to develop practices that promote continuity, creativity and craftsmanship. 

Mark and Shasta strive to instill the importance of shoeing the hoof that's in front of you at the moment.  Being methodical about customizing your approach to accommodate that particular horses needs is an important aspect of being a good farrier.   All the while, assessing environment, nutrition, performance expectations, hereditary traits and temperament.  Every case is different.

Shasta has the following certifications through ELPO, Equine Lameness Prevention Organization 

LS-HMC = Live Sole - Hoof Mapping Certified

 CBT = Certified Barefoot Trimmer

 CFP = Certified Farrier Practitioner

CLS = Certified Lameness Specialist

She is also a member of the AFA and holds the following:

CF = Certified Farrier

how is mission farrier school different from other schools?

What sets us apart

Mark was privileged to travel with Gene Ovnicek back in the early 1990's as Natural Balance farrier science first emerged.   He is an educator and contributing member of ELPO, the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization.  Mark currently has 6 educational DVD's available, and has been a pioneer in mainstreaming Natural Balance farrier education for over 15 years.

Having taught initially at the community college level, Mark has taught horseshoeing school from both the traditional perspective and the natural balance perspective.  This gives his students a unique opportunity over all other Horseshoeing Schools. 

Mark has taken the natural balance farrier science and has successfully integrated it within a traditional farrier school education.  He has given talks and clinics on all aspects of Hoof Health for over 20 years. 

How many horses do we get to shoe while in class?

Our students will be under horses almost every day, with the exception of perhaps clinic days.  Clinic days are where we all focus on one particular horse, such as a laminitis case, white line disease case, or a special Navicular case.  During those times you will have the opportunity to learn the application of the EDSS system, Double Nail Pad system, and other therapeutic support systems.  Much can be learned from these special therapeutic cases.

While some programs tout the number of horses students will shoe while in class, we prefer to focus on the amount of learning students receive from shoeing each horse while in class.  Your farrier education is not about nailing on great numbers of shoes.  It is rather about learning healthy foot function, and why; learning a proper trim and why; and learning to choose the right shoe, and why.  Nailing on shoes is certainly important, and you will get lots of that here, however, you will soon find that is the easy part. 

If you go to any continuing education clinics, you will find that the whole group will be focused on just 1 or 2 horses.  There is much to be learned in that environment.