Upon successful completion of all assigned course work, as well as meeting all other requirements, such as attendance, passing the final horse, and satisfying financial obligations to the school; students will receive a Certificate of Completion. Having earned this certificate from Heartland Horseshoeing School is not an easy feat, and it is recognized throughout the horse and farrier industries as a significant accomplishment.
At Heartland Horseshoeing School we cover many of the newest methods of modern farriery, while maintaining our roots. With this in mind, there are coke-fired forges in the shop so that you can learn to use this ancient, yet incredibly useable, method of blacksmithing. It costs more to use coke than propane, but the skills needed to use coal and coke are worth the price. If you endeavor to compete at the international level someday, having experience in a coke fire will be invaluable. We use the same coke that is used at The World Championship Blacksmiths Competition in Calgary. This is one of the only shops in the world that contains 20 brick coke forges.
Most of the actual shoeing will be done out of propane forges since they are more common in the field. It is to your advantage that you can gain the experience of using both methods of forging. Most graduates will buy a propane forge for their rigs when they begin their businesses. However, once they have a shop built, a coke forge is one of the first things they get. There is no comparison to the heat you can achieve in a coke fire.
We shoe almost everything using the time-tested methods of hot shoeing. We also do a lot of forge work related to shoeing, which means that you will be taught to use handmades. There is a tremendous amount of product available to shoe horses with in this day and age, but being able to make any shoe for any foot is a skill that few have. Having that skill sets you apart from the rest of the farriers out there, and will just be one more reason for your success. We would rather replace inventory with skill instead of replacing skill with inventory.
There is an ancient and respected company of farriers in the United Kingdom that is known as the Worshipful Company of Farriers. This company was begun in 1356, and has an unbelievable history in this great trade. During their celebrated history, they have never held an exam outside the United Kingdom. In November of 2009, that changed when Captain David Goodall, RN, brought 3 WCF Examiners, Sandy Beveridge, FWCF, Simon Curtis, FWCF, (hon) MRCVS, and Dr. James Sutton, MRCVS, to Heartland Horseshoeing School to conduct a higher level farriery exam.
There were 10 farriers in America that attempted their Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers exam, and one that finished up his Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. That was Dr. Mike Miller, MBA, MD, CJF, FWCF. He is one of the 35 currently living FWCF farriers, the 4th American to ever pass the exam, and the only FWCF to pass on foreign soil.
This is a one-time-ever in history event, and those that choose to come to school at Heartland Horseshoeing School will bend steel where these famous farriers have sweated and worked. Perhaps it will be the beginning of your own personal journey to greatness, as you make history in this craft.
In 2009, Frank Lessiter, the owner of The American Farrier’s Journal, began a contest for up and coming farriers. This is called the Rising Shoeing Stars, and each school can submit a couple of entries from graduates that attended their schools 3 years prior. With each submission is a letter from the school, letters from customers of the students, vets, other farriers, and the students themselves. For a grand prize, the winner gets an all-expense paid trip to the International Hoof Care Summit in Cincinnati, OH, as well as $1000 and a plaque.
In the first year, a graduate of Heartland Horseshoeing School from California, Mike Caldwell, CJF, was the top Rising Shoeing Star. In 2010, the top Rising Shoeing Star was another Heartland Horseshoeing School graduate, Sara Ellen Pennell, CF, from Maryland. Tom Richmond, CF, another HHS grad, was one of the runner-ups in 2010.
Being a part of these great young farrier careers has been a singular honor for the staff at Heartland Horseshoeing School. Their hard work and dedication has been a credit to themselves and the reputation of their school.