Farriers work with horses by removing worn shoes from hooves: they trim, shape, and measure them for new shoes using specialised tools. Horse hooves grow over time, thus requiring trimming and new shoes. Farriers also examine the horses hooves for bruises and cracks and treat them accordingly with pads and special materials. Farriers then heat and hammer new metal shoes to fit the horses hooves: the finished product is fitted and nailed and the hooves are filed to fit.

Duties and tasks

  • Craft metal shoes to fit horses hooves using smithing skills
  • Keep records of horses, clients, income, and expenses
  • Maintain a clientele and schedule work on a regular basis
  • Properly care for tools, materials, and equipment
  • Remove worn and poorly-fitting shoes using specialised tools such as pincers and snippers

Skills required

  • Ability to follow Safety Standards
  • Attention to Detail
  • Blacksmithing
  • Communication
  • Fit and able to Perform Physical Tasks
  • Knowledge of Animal Care

Working conditions

Farriers can work both outdoors as well as in barn settings, and may also use a home office. They will travel to various locations to work their trade. Because farriers work with sharp tools, specialised equipment, as well as large animals that can kick and bite, they must follow safety standards to reduce the risk of injury and illness. They may work in the evenings and on weekends when their clients are available. Depending on the number of clients and their locations, farriers may do a lot of travelling.

Professional associations / Industry information

Australian Farriers and Blacksmiths Association 

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