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Farrier facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Italian farrier 2006 2
Nailing on shoes

A farrier is a person who works with iron, or other materials, to make horseshoes and take care of horse's hooves. They check for signs of disease and make sure the feet are well cared for.


At one time, a farrier and blacksmith had almost the same job, which can be seen by the etymology of the word: farrier comes from Middle French: ferrier ("blacksmith"), from the Latin word ferrum ("iron"). Today, farriers usually specialize in horseshoeing, and on the care of the horse's hoof. For this reason farriers and blacksmiths are now known to be different jobs.


Farrier tools
Some farrier tools, including hammers, nippers, rasps, and hoof knife, a set of custom-made corrective shoes are shown below the toolset

A farrier's routine work is primarily hoof trimming and shoeing. In ordinary cases, it is important to trim each hoof so it retains its proper orientation to the ground. If the animal has a heavy work load, works on abrasive footing, needs additional traction, or has pathological changes in the hoof, then shoes may be required.

Additional tasks for the farrier include dealing with injured or diseased hooves and application of special shoes for racing, training or "cosmetic" purposes. Horses with certain diseases or injuries may need remedial procedures for their hooves, or need special shoes.

As a service-based industry, farriers must combine technical competence with horsemanship and the ability to deal with clients. Self-employed farriers and those in partnerships may also require skill in running a small business.

Tools used

Farrier's tools
Tool Picture Function
Anvil, hammer FarrierJimKnockBrackenTools.JPG Used to shape horseshoes to fit horse's feet
Furnace and tongs FarrierJimKnockBrackenTools (10).JPG Used to heat horseshoes to allow custom shaping and specialized design, tongs hold a hot shoe in both the furnace and on the anvil
Clinchers Used to bend over ("clinch") ends of nails to hold the shoe in place
Hammer Two types, a larger design used on the anvil to shape shoes, a smaller one used to drive nails into hoof wall, through nail holes in shoe
Hoof knife Hoof knife.jpg Used to trim frog and sole of hoof
Hoof nippers HoofNippers.jpg Used to trim hoof wall
Hoof testers Used to detect cracks, weakness or abscess in the hoof
Rasp HoofRasp.jpg Used to finish trim and smooth out edges of hoof
Stand FarrierJimKnockBracken (14).JPG Used to rest a horse's hoof off the ground when rasping the toe area.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Herrador para niños

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