Length of Program: 1 YearProgram Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)September 2020
Skip to content
Skip to content

Farrier Science Certificate

Applications Open: October

Length of Program: One Year

Program Status: Open

Take your horse care knowledge to the next level in the one-of-a-kind Farrier Science program. Recognized as providing the finest farriery programming in North America, Olds College has a fully-equipped, state-of-the art farrier lab. This one year program will train you in new techniques and products designed to serve a rapidly growing and changing equine industry.

Learn from instructors who are industry leaders with their own farriery businesses and engage in unique clinics with specialized farriers and product representatives. You will learn all of the necessary skills to be a successful Farrier or Blacksmith and experience hands-on working field trips to Warner Ranch, Ya Ha Tinda and University of Calgary Veterinary program.

Program Intakes: Fall Intake – September program start

Applications Open: First Wednesday (9 a.m.) of October for the Fall Intake

Length of Program: One Year

Method of Delivery: On-Campus

Credentials: Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive an Olds College certificate in Farrier Science.

Apply Now!

  • "The Farrier Science program is longer than others that are offered, so students have more to draw on when they’re finished. It takes a couple of years to get started in the business. The apprenticeship is good because you get a hands-on feel for the business. You find out exactly what it’s like to work as a farrier."
    • Brian Rusnak, Still Meadows Ranch

Admission Requirements

  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2

  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or 20-2

  • 50% or better in one of Biology 20 OR Chemistry 20 OR Science 20

  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement(completed at minimum 3 years of formal education taught entirely in English or provide the results of a recognized English Language Proficiency exam)

  • Submit an Applicant Questionnaire: The applicant is required to complete the Applicant Questionnaire and submit to Olds College. This is the applicant’s opportunity to demonstrate their experience and knowledge with horses to adequately cope with the course material. Students are also required to submit 50 hours of industry experience.

  • There is a strong demand for this program; therefore applicants should pay close attention to the admission requirements and submit documentation in a timely manner.

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. To be considered under Alternate Admission Status, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
  2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Indicate why you wish to enrol in the program
    • Elaborate on your career goals
    • Detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
  3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, etc. for the last 5 years
  4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold (e.g.: first aid, safety tickets, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

*Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

Transfer Options: Olds College has developed agreements with other educational institutions to allow for transition to Olds College, or to another institution to continue your education. Articulations & Agreements

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants: Olds College welcomes applications from International Applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency.

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,480 / Books & Supplies: $3,580

Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for complete details.

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Tuition, Fees & Payments

Scholarships & Student Awards

Olds College offers over 450 awards, valued at $500,000+ in scholarships, bursaries and prizes. Thanks to our industry partners, alumni, and friends of Olds College we are fortunate to offer a generous student awards program to students.

For additional information on scholarships, bursaries and prizes at Olds College, visit Scholarships & Awards

Entrance Awards Available!

Entrance awards range from $250 - $1500 for students applying for the 2022-2023 academic year and have a paid tuition deposit by June 15, 2022.

Awards are selected randomly from those that have applied and qualify based on the criteria.
Award will be applied as a tuition credit to the student's account after the add/drop course deadline, confirming full-time attendance.
Not all that apply will receive an entrance award.

Student Funding

For information on how to apply for government student loans, financial aid or for help with financial planning, visit our Student Funding page.

Course Details

For course descriptions and requisites, view the Academic Calendar.

Academic Calendar: Farrier Science

Term 1
  • Completed the following:
    • FAR1200 - Equine Anatomy (3-0-0 hrs)
    • FAR1300 - Horse Handling and Horseshoeing I (3-0-0 hrs)
    • FAR1301 - Horse Handling and Horseshoeing II (1-4-0 hrs)
    • FAR1400 - Introduction to Blacksmithing (2-4-0 hrs)
    • COM1020 - Workplace Communication (3-0-0 hrs)
Term 2
  • Completed the following:
    • ACT1000 - Recordkeeping (1.5-0-1.5 hrs)
    • FAR1700 - Farrier Welding (1-2-0 hrs)
    • FAR2400 - Advanced Keg Shoe Modifications I (1-2-0 hrs)
    • FAR2401 - Advanced Keg Shoe Modifications II (1-2-0 hrs)
    • FAR2500 - Advanced Corrective and Therapeutic Forging (2-4.3-0 hrs)

Career Opportunities

Olds College has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Family farm/business
  • Local trimming & shoeing business
  • Specialty shoeing
  • Therapeutic & corrective shoeing (usually involves working with a veterinary clinic)
  • Performance horse shoeing (reining, heavy horse, dressage, jumping, etc.)
  • Working ranches, summer camps, outfitting guides, mounted units (RCMP), & racing industry.

Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

ALIS Occupational Profiles

Admitted Students Information

Program Dates

Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration

You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation

It is strongly recommended that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A device capable of running Microsoft Office, preferably a laptop

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to portal.office.com
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

The materials on our tool kit list are to be purchased before starting the program in September.  Students also participate in field trips to supply stores at the beginning of the program. If you have concerns about tools, then please let our instructors assist you on the field trip.

Required items Tool Kit List

Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Other Important Information:

  • Time Requirements: Significant time requirements will be needed to fully develop the skills needed to complete the program in a way to ensure that you are best prepared for a Farrier career following your studies.

  • Dress Code: You will be required to be outside during inclement weather and need to be dressed appropriately. We expect all students in the Farrier Science program to dress as equine industry professionals during class time; this includes long sleeved shirts that are buttoned, collared, or reach the neck and pants that cover the lower back.

  • Fitness: many first year students in our equine-related programs indicated that they wish they would have been better prepared for the physical demands of their program. We would like to remind you to perhaps work on your fitness by walking, running, and improving your upper body, lower body and core strength in the month before you come to College. Once here, you will be able to access personal trainers through the CLC Fitness Centre. Also ensure to work on grip strength and labour to develop calluses on your hands.

  • Additional Skills: This program requires you to have significant horse handling skills. You will need to be able to confidently work around horses. Lab activities are comprised largely of hoof care and trimming practices, manufacturing and modifying horseshoes. Shoeing horses at the college facility as well as at client properties will also be a large part of your practical training. Be prepared for long days as some destinations are some distance away. It is recommended that you devote your time here towards your program.

For More Information

Our Admissions office can help navigate you through the admissions process and answer any questions you have about your program of study.

☎ 403.556.8281
☎ 1.800.661.6537
✉ horses@oldscollege.ca

Olds College Farrier Competition Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you require industry experience hours?

The purpose of these job shadowing hours is to ensure that you understand the demands of the career and are better prepared to succeed in the program. It is of no help to you, nor us, if a student drops out of the program once it has started because the career isn't for them.

I am having a hard time locating a Farrier to complete industry experience hours - how can I find one?

Try searching the facility listing of your Provincial branch of Equestrian Canada - as any reputable equine facility would also have a qualified Farrier work from their facility. (e.g.: Alberta - Alberta Equestrian Federation, British Columbia - Horse Council of British Columbia, Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan Horse Federation, Ontario - Ontario Equestrian). If you are having problems locating a qualified Farrier, then please let us know.

Is Farriery a trade?

When you successfully complete the Farrier Science Certificate - you will graduate with a credential (certificate). Farriery isn't a trade recognized by various provincial apprenticeship boards, but is rather controlled through a professional organization known as the American Farrier’s Association (AFA). The AFA uses the terminology that you may be familiar with (apprentice, journeyperson) and it can lead to confusion.

Do I have to take the AFA exams?

We do hold AFA Certification tests at Olds College and students will have the opportunity to write either the Classification or Certified Farrier level - this depends on the talent and desire of the individual student. Pursuing the AFA levels (Journeyperson) also depends on the preference of the individual student. A number of our students build industry connections and pursue apprenticing with a CJF - while others choose not to and simply use the skills they've gained in the program to build their business.

When are classes scheduled?

Classes are scheduled between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Many of our Farrier Science classes have their lecture components delivered in a 'working classroom' within the Farrier Lab.

Why do you require students to work on their overall fitness prior to attending the program?

Farriery is physically demanding! We encourage students to work on their overall fitness and core strength in the summer months before the program starts. Also ensure to work on grip strength and labour to develop calluses on your hands. Students will have access to personal trainers through the recreation facilities at the CLC to help improve fitness.

You might also be interested in: