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Meeting Community Needs

There are many livestock owners on Native American reservations, and all of them need to take care of their horses’ feet. By learning horseshoeing skills. livestock owners will become more self-sufficient with their horse-care, save money, have the potential to earn more money, and most importantly, improve the quality of horses on the Nation.

Supporting Native American Nations Mission

Horseshoeing is a universal skill that cuts across all cultures and nations. If people own horses, they need to care for their horses’ feet. Practical skills such as horseshoeing add an important component to your course offerings.

Families often share responsibilities when it comes to taking care of their horses. If one member of a family has horseshoeing skills, they are more likely to teach other family and community members those skills, so that people will increasingly have access to better horse and hoof care. Properly taking care of horses is also a life skill that can increase a person’s sense of self-worth and self-sufficiency.

Meeting Native American Nations Goals

Horseshoeing can be an endeavor that provides personal satisfaction by providing for animals. It can also be turned into a competitive business to support a person and their family. Horseshoeing, while an ancient craft, is also ever-changing with new technologies and needs.

Horseshoeing has been done by Native American Tribes for hundreds of years and is part of their culture, respect for life and caring for animals. Horses will always be a part of the American landscape and it will always be a challenge to properly care for the number of horses. Having trained individuals to care for these horses will always be of service to the nation in the future.


Anatomy of the Legs and Feet

You will learn to recognize the name of the parts of the lower leg and foot. The way the leg is formed affects the way that the horse stands and moves. Since 50% of a horse’s problems occur from the knee down, they fall directly within the realm of the horseshoer’s influence. The anatomy and physiology of horses’ legs and feet are a foundation of farriery.

Physiology of the Legs and Feet

You will learn how the different parts of the leg and hoof work. You will also understand how changes in normal structure can cause faulty gait, injury, and even disease. Our primary objective is to teach you to shoe “normal” and “problem” horses. This includes learning to recognize and correct traveling and lameness problems where they occur.

Equine Conformation

You are taught about the way skeleton and muscles are put together and how that varies from breed to breed. You will be able to recognize what constitutes good conformation for the different breeds and why. You will also learn how horses are judged for conformation. With this knowledge, you will be able to shoe to correct for faults and improve conformation.

Basic Blacksmithing

Our course begins in the classroom and moves to the forge. Each student learns the proper use of the blacksmith forge. You will learn how to build fires to get the proper heat from your forge in accordance with the type of job you are doing. At the forge, you will learn the use of different types of metal. We also teach forge welding and the brazing of calks and garbs. You will learn the proper use of the anvil. You will also have access to arc and acetylene welders, saws, grinders, and other facilities in the shop. These skills will enable you to do corrective shoeing.

Trimming the Foot

As soon as the class learns to make horseshoes from steel bar stock, we start instruction on trimming and corrective trimming. We cover the hand tools, name, purpose, proper use, and care of each tool.

Leveling and Balancing the Foot

Much more science is involved in the proper trimming of the foot than in the fitting and nailing of the shoe. To level and balance the foot, the shoer must first be able to determine when the foot is level. This is not an easy job and in cases of deformed feet, is a decidedly difficult task.

Normal Shoeing

Having mastered trimming, you will learn to put shoes on the horses. This will not be any great feat after you learn to level the foot and make shoes that fit properly. You will learn how to choose the right size and length of bar stock to properly fit normal hooves and nail and finish your work using the right methods and tools.

Corrective Shoeing

You will learn to balance horses for soundness and performance. Some lameness can be corrected by shoeing. You will learn how to recognize them and how to determine which corrective shoe to use. You will learn about lameness caused by improper shoeing and how to change a horses mode of travel to stop forging, interfering, scalping, cross-firing, knee hitting, speed culting, etc. As the course progresses you will be making hand tools, swedge blacks, race plates, harness horse shoes, gaited horse shoes, and a variety of corrective shoes with calks, trailers, toe grabs, rolled toes, bars, etc. The course will concentrate on the pleasure horse because today they are by far the predominant horse.

Horse Handling

You will have many opportunities to learn the finer points of horse handling, particularly when working with colts and horses being trimmed or shod for the first time. Many of our longtime customers permit the Native American Horse Education Foundation to work on their horses under my supervision. So students have plenty of horses to work on. Besides the large number of horses near the school, we supply student shoers for several riding stables and a riding school. One stable alone provides the school with over two hundred head of horses.

Equine Nutrition

You will learn a basic healthy diet for horses, how to feed horses according to the way they are used, and dealing with those problems.

Starting your Business

You will learn how to set up your business and conduct your relationships with your clients, veterinarians, and competitors. You will also learn why you should work closely with each of these groups.

Grading and Satisfactory Progress

A minimum passing grade of 75% out of a possible 100% is required on all examinations and assignments. If a student scores below our high standards, we will work with him/her as much as needed until a passing grade is achieved. A student is dismissed by the school when it is clear that he/she is unable to satisfactorily acquire the knowledge and skills required to be a competent horseshoer.

Scoring as follows:
  • Shoeing Horse Test: 50% of grade
  • Forge Test: 25% of grade
  • Written Test: 25% of grade




Native American Horse Eduacation Foundation will donate one anvil and one anvil stand with vice to each chapter / district to ensure that program graduates will have access to this necessary equipment in the future.

It will be maintained by the chapter /district and loaned out on an as needed basis.



Two-week Course in Horseshoeing

Learn how to shoe your own horse

Students are taught how to bend and shape shoes and to operate gas forges. They will learn how to use instruments to balance horse feet. Videos are used for proper demonstration of mule and horseshoeing and include safety procedures. Instruction includes field trips to various stables and shoeing of privately owned horses. The course covers front shoe/back shoe, how much to cut off horse feet, proper angle, medial/lateral balance side to side, drive nails correctly, and how to make all four feet the same length.

Personal savings of at least $100 per horse each time you shoe.

Horses need to be shod or trimmed every 7-8 weeks or 7-8 times a year.

Farierry offers employment and entrepreneurial opportunities at working ranches, riding stables, farms, law enforcement agencies, and numerous other facilities where horses are essential.

Twelve-week Certified Professional Farrier Course

Tucson School of Horseshoeing will dedicate three summer months to Native American Students attending our 12-week course, allowing them the opportunity to meet other students from diverse backgrounds and experience different types of sport horses. They will be able to earn professional certification to conduct their business on and off the reservation, to stay competitive in a modern marketplace.

Native American communities benefit from this program by increased opportunities for their youth, greater self-sustainability and preserving Native American culture. Program students would be encouraged to offer their new farrier skills for barter and other forms of compensation. The goal is to give back to their community on the reservation.