National Farriers Week on July, 2023: do you need to be certified to be a farrier?
National Farriers Week 2023. 15th Annual National Farriers Week - American Farriers Journal National Farriers Week Logo
Certified versus non-certified. There are no state or national requirements to be a practicing farrier in this country. All of the certifications in America are voluntary. Therefore, a local farrier can literally attend a two-week course and come home and start a business. The difference between certified and non-certified is that at some point a certified farrier has met the standards set by a particular organization and has been judged by his peers to be capable of meeting those standards. The largest and most recognized organization is the American Farriers Association (AFA); which, is the only organization recognized by the FEI. The AFA has four levels of certification and two endorsements. To learn more about the AFA, go to the website www.AmericanFarriers.org. The second largest certification program in the U.S. is the Brotherhood of Working Farriers (BWFA), which has five levels of certification. There are other programs and a handful of degrees available from accredited colleges. Whether you use a certified or non-certified farrier, it would be beneficial to do your homework and learn what the requirements are for the different levels and variations between the organizations.
Question about equine farriers and dentists?
Yes, you do have to have a certification to be a farrier or a horse dentist, and from what I hear, they make a decent amount of money. I imagine some make more than others depending on where you live, how good you are at your job, and how much you charge, but a direct quote from my farrier was "You get paid like a doctor to smell like a hobo!"
I found this quote for you: "According to The State of The Farrier Industry November, 2000 published by the American Farriers Journal, Farriers spend 39.5 hours on their farrier business, working with 34.5 horses and serving 14 clients per week. In 1999 the national average annual gross pay for a farrier was $58,536. That is a 24% increase from the year before." The information is a little old. If I find better numbers I'll edit them in.
Here's another quote: "What the farrier wants to earn for a gross income (before taxes): Beginning Farrier - Six weeks shoeing school, $24,000.00 a year. Journeyman Farrier with continuing education - $36,000.00 a year. Master Farrier with continuing education - $40,000.00 a year. Add a college degree of a four year BS/Equine Science, add $5000.00 a year to base salary; a six-year degree, M/S Equine Science, add $8,000.00 per year. If the person has teaching credentials and further education, you could add $25,000.00 per year to the base salary. These figures are what the average is outside the equine industry and within the sales force that services the equine industry."
And for equine dentists: "The Southern Illinois University approximated the national average annual income of an Equine Dentist at $40,000."
My horse just got shoes for the first time and balks when I ask him to collect. Could he just be adjusting?
That does seem like a long adjustment period, but maybe he's the sensitive type who over-reacts to every little change? Why don't you just back off his training for a couple weeks and see what happens? Lunge him, ride him lightly on a longer rein, and just let him get used to the shoes. If he's still acting weird after that, get the vet to look at him. It may not be a bad shoeing job, but your horse may have something weird about him that requires an adjustment to his shoeing.