Farriers and Hoof Care
across the UK

Select a farrier you are happy to work with because your farrier is an essential member of your horse welfare team.

Hoof care is ongoing throughout your horse’s life irrespective of their activity level.

Regular professional hoof care can help to to manage your horse’s health which can be pretty challenging given the many the variable and often extremes of UK weather plus the widely different exercise regimes horses, ponies and donkeys may have.

A farrier is qualified and experienced to give advice and assistance with hoof issues including abscesses, seedy toe, laminitis and can work with your vet and therapists to provide specialist shoeing when required for your horse.

Read more about farriery and legislation below.

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The Farriers (Registration) Act 2017 requires all practising farriers across Great Britain to be registered.
The following information is from the Farriers Registration Council:
The purpose of the Act is to:

“Prevent and avoid suffering by and cruelty to horses arising from the shoeing of horses by unskilled persons; to promote the proper shoeing of horses; to promote the training of farriers and shoeing smiths; to provide for the establishment of a Farrier Registration Council to register persons engaged in farriery and the shoeing of horses; to prohibit the shoeing of horses by unqualified persons; and for purposes connected therewith.”

“Under Section 1 of the Act the WCF was given the general responsibility for securing adequate standards of competence and conduct among farriers together with the advancement of the art and science of farriery and education in connection with it.

The Farriers Registration Council was set up to maintain a Register of Farriers and to determine who is qualified to register, to make rules with respect to the form and keeping of the register, to approve and supervise courses, qualifications and institutions providing training in farriery, to undertake the preliminary investigation of disciplinary cases through an Investigating Committee and to determine cases through a Disciplinary Committee.

Farriery is defined in the Act as:

“any work in connection with the preparation or treatment of the foot of a horse for the immediate reception of a shoe thereon, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot or the finishing off of such work to the foot.”

This means that “barefoot trimming” i.e. trimming that is not in preparation for the application of a shoe does not fall within the definition.

Those who may carry out farriery:
  • Registered Farriers
  • Enrolled Farriery Apprentices or persons attending a Council approved training course
  • Veterinary Surgeons
  • Trainee Veterinary Surgeons working under the supervision of a Veterinary Surgeon or Registered Farrier
  • Persons rendering first-aid in case of emergency to a horse.

It is a criminal offence, with a fine of up to £1,000 and costs, for anyone other than those listed above to carry out farriery. It is also a criminal offence for anyone other than a Registered Farrier to describe themselves as a farrier.

How to tell if a farrier is registered:

All Registered Farriers are issued annually with a personal registration card and a vehicle window sticker. Horse owners are encouraged to ask to see them as proof of credibility.”

Hoof Care and Farriers