October 24, 2017

The trade of horseshoeing hasn’t appreciably changed since the Industrial Revolution. Most farriers are drawn to the job for its independence and flexibility—and the prospect of good pay. Farriers aren’t required to get a license anywhere in the United States. A typical modern farrier works as a sole proprietor, for as many or as few hours as he or she wants to. A good farrier can charge upwards of $120 per horse.

Bob Smith has been professionally shoeing horses since 1974. He founded Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School (PCHS) in Plymouth, California to pass his skills on to another generation of farriers. Students, who pay $5,500 for the eight-week course, divide their time between classroom sessions and hands-on work forging and applying horseshoes. PCHS, which accepts no state or federal student loans, has over 2,000 graduates, including hundreds who are now working as professional farriers. For his efforts as an educator, in 2010, Bob was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame.

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