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FarriersFarriers have to undertake a four-year apprenticeship to learn how to trim, balance and apply shoes to the horse’s hooves. If they pass their exams, they are then qualified to shoe horses without supervision. Farriers learn blacksmithing skills in order to prepare horseshoes, but a blackmith is NOT allowed to shoe horses under UK law.

The farriery industry is regulated by the Farriers Registration Council in the United Kingdom. The National Farriers Training Agency used to oversee the farriery apprenticeship, but was shut down following a poor OFSTED report in July 2013. The apprenticeships are now run by a handful of colleges around the country.

Horse & Hound followed the ups and downs of apprentice Roland Thompson as he retrained to become a qualified farrier in a regular blog, Roland’s Nags and Nails from 2011 to 2013.

Thrush in the horse's hoof

Abscesses are the most common hoof problem according to a new survey. Research conducted over a month, ending 18 March, asked more than 600 horses owners about hoof injuries and their relationship with the farrier. Abscesses accounted for 47.92% of hoof issues, followed closely by cracks and splits (47.74%) and…