Job Description:

Farriers make and fit horseshoes and care for horses' hooves.

Job Category:
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing

What you will do:

As a farrier you’ll:

  • talk to the horse owner about what work is required
  • check the horse’s legs, feet and hooves for problems
  • cut away excess hoof growth and make sure the horse is properly balanced
  • choose suitable shoes for the horse’s size, foot condition and type of activity
  • make horseshoes by hand or on a machine
  • shape shoes, using a hammer and anvil
  • fit horseshoes
  • make final checks to finish


You’ll need:

  • practical skills in horseshoe making
  • physical strength and stamina, to manage lots of standing and lifting
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills for working with horse owners and vets
  • the ability to work on your own (drive)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a farrier, which is a skilled professional responsible for caring for horses’ hooves and crafting horseshoes, you don’t need specific GCSE subjects. However, you can choose subjects that provide a foundation for the skills and knowledge necessary for this profession. Here are some recommended GCSE subjects that can be beneficial if you’re interested in becoming a farrier:

  1. Science: Knowledge of biology and anatomy can be helpful in understanding the structure of horse hooves and legs.
  2. Design and Technology: This subject can provide practical skills and an understanding of working with metal, which is important for forging and crafting horseshoes.
  3. Mathematics: Basic mathematical skills can be useful for measurements and calculations when fitting and shaping horseshoes.
  4. Physical Education: Physical fitness and strength are important in farriery, as the work can be physically demanding, involving lifting and handling horses, as well as using tools.
  5. English: Good communication skills, both written and verbal, are valuable for interacting with horse owners, clients, and other professionals in the equine industry.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an approved apprenticeship
  • training with the army


You could take an Access to Farriery course at college that will give you some of the skills and knowledge to apply to be an apprentice farrier.

This takes 12 months to complete.


You can get into this work by doing an advanced apprenticeship in farriery with an approved training farrier.

This takes 48 months to complete and includes training on the job and periods of study at a college approved by your local farriers registration council.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 40-48 hours of work. You could be required to work as a contractor/be self-employed as customers demand.

You could work at a client’s business, at a riding stable or on a farm. Your working environment may be physically demanding, outdoors in all weathers and you may spend nights away from home. You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you may be able to take higher level qualifications, for example a Diploma in Higher Education or a degree in farriery.

You may be able to work with larger stables, horse breeders or mounted regiments in the police or army.

You could also work in equine hospitals, with vets or in the farriery suppliers business.

You could become an Approved Training Farrier (ATF) and employ and train apprentice farriers.