Beginner’s Guide To Horseshoeing 2021: 14 Essentials For Your New Farrier’s Basic Tool Kit


Every farrier has their own tool preference. For basic farriery, there are a few tools that you will need to start with. Listed here are those basic tools, and the uses that you will get from them.

  • Anvil – All farriers will need an anvil to mold horseshoes into the proper shape and style needed.  Each horse hoof is different and as such, every shoe will need to be custom fit by shaping it on the anvil.
  • Farrier Knife – This is one of the three main tools you will need when trimming a horse. Used to cut out excess sole and frog.
  • Hoof Nippers – Used to cut the hoof wall down to the correct length. When used by an expert farrier, the viewer may notice that the farrier uses the nippers to cut off any overly excessive sole and hoof areas that reduce the need for extra rasping or knife strokes.
  • Farrier’s Rasp – Multi-purposed, the rasp will both finish a trim by rasping off any extra hoof and rounding up the edges or finish a shoeing job by rasping down nails and wall as needed.
  • Farrier’s Nailing Hammer – This is the little hammer that you see a farrier punching nails through the horses’ hoof to keep the shoe on with. The one side has a small head to drive the nails, while the other side has two protruding claws that allow the “wringing off” of the nail when it comes out the side of the horses’ hoof.
  • Farrier’s Nail Clinchers – These are used to fold over the nail to ensure that the horseshoe stays on the horse. Clinching is a very important step and one of the details of finishing a horseshoeing job that can really add stability and shine. Clinchers come in two different kinds one with a short ball-like head, and the other with an “alligator-like” head – personal preference will determine which one you use.
  • Horseshoe Nails – Of course we need nails to nail the shoe on! Horseshoe nails come in many different lengths and head sizes made by many different manufacturers.
  • Farrier’s Clinching(Nailing) Block – This is usually just a small piece of metal with an angled edge. The block is used to put underneath the wrung-off nail when “setting” the nails before clinching.
  • Farrier’s Forge – Forgework is part of every successful Farrier repertoire. The need to custom make or fit a horseshoe for a specific horse in a specific situation will arise. This can be made smooth if the farrier is skilled at working out of the forge. Nowadays the selection of “keg” shoes or “Store-Bought” horseshoes is enormous. As such, the necessity of making a shoe from scratch has been reduced, but the ability to really custom fit a particular horse’s needs is obviously increased with skill at the forge.
  • Farrier’s Hoof Stand – This is an issue that every farrier will need to get comfortable in their own way. Usually how you are taught when you apprentice is how you will follow. Every farrier has a personal preference on what kind of stand to use and what situations to use the stand-in. Commonly a hoof stand is used for finishing a nailing job or easing the strain of lifting an injured leg.
  • Horseshoe Pullers – These look like Hoof Nippers, yet bigger. They’re used, as the name implies, to pull off a horse’s shoe when necessary. A farrier uses these whenever resetting or removing a horse’s shoes.
  • Horseshoes! – Of course you’ll need to stock horseshoes in order to be a farrier. There are many sizes, styles, and types of horseshoes ranging from steel to aluminum to plastic – the farrier will have his own individual tastes as to manufacturer and specific shoe type per horse.
  • Blacksmith Hammers – Used to make and shape horseshoes, a blacksmith’s hammer choice is one of both practicality and personal preference.
  • Farriers Apron – After the first few times of not wearing an apron(or “chaps” as some prefer to call them) the novice farrier will realize that the apron is a necessity. Guarding against knife strokes and rasping is only one of the bonuses of wearing farrier chaps.

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