The practical portion of the higher level exam will consist of a candidate shoeing a complete horse with handmade shoes. The hind feet of the horse will be shod with open heeled, 3/4 fullered shoes and quarter clips. The front feet will be shod with a pair of either straight bars, egg bars, heart bars or W-shoes. Each candidate will draw for the type of shoes to be made for the front feet. The time is 2 hours 30 minutes for the straight bars or egg bars, and 2 hours 50 minutes for the heart bars or W-shoes.
On the day of the exam, the examiners will look at the horses to be shod and determine which feet best suit the different types of shoes. Once that is determined, the candidates will be assigned a horse through a random selection process, thus drawing for the types of shoes they will be applying.. All of the above shoes should be clipped and fullered as discussed prior to shoeing of the individual horse.
Being able to shoe a horse from a list of shoes like this in the time allotted requires candidates to have skills well above those of the average shoer. This is not an easy task, nor is it designed to be.
Candidates should bring a shoe display of at least 7 handmade shoes. These shoes are a candidates choice but should be selected to show a broad level of skill and knowledge.
Each candidate will take a written test that consists of 20 short-answer essay questions. There will be a 2 hours 30 minute time limit for the written exam.
There is a forging portion of the exam, which requires the candidate to draw from the list of shoes for display. The candidate will be given one hour to make the shoe they have drawn as detailed by the examiner. The examiner will detail the type of material, dimensions, and modifications desired for the shoe that has been drawn.
There is an oral portion of the exam, where a candidate will sit down with the examiners for a period of 30 minutes and answer any shoeing related question deemed appropriate by the examiners.
It is the intention of this exam to be difficult, and as such, it will give those that pass the exam a certain amount of credibility in the international farrier community. This exam will be judged at the highest level, and candidates can expect to work hard to earn their certificates.