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


Farrier Science

“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

Farrier student working on a horse hoof

What can you expect from the Farrier Science program?

The Farrier Science certificate program is one of a kind. The farrier program at Olds College has a fully equipped, state-of-the art farrier lab that has been referred to as the best seen to date by American Farrier Association examiners. The farrier facility is equipped with 12 gas forges and 4 coal forges, a classroom with computers and projector, and a 16 foot workshop trailer for industry field trips. Unique clinics with specialized farriers and product representatives expose students to new materials and techniques for applications such as performance or reconstruction.

Our Farrier Science certificate program is recognized as providing the finest farriery programming in North America. As one of the world’s oldest professions, farrier holds a certain nostalgia, however today’s students are trained to use the newest techniques and products that are designed to serve a rapidly growing and changing equine industry.

Our students benefit from hands-on working field trips to various locations such as:

  • Warner Ranch
  • Ya Ha Tinda
  • University of Calgary Veterinary program

Our Farrier Science instructors are industry leaders with their own farriery businesses. They are keenly aware of industry needs and trends and bring cutting-edge, real life experience into the farrier lab every day. We have built a strong reputation since the 1960s with a lengthy list of Farrier Alumni representing Canada in World Farrier competitions. It is highly recommended that you take the time to investigate the Farrier profession and to job shadow or work with a Farrier. It is important to increase your knowledge and understanding of the industry, to recognize the physical requirements of the profession, and to ensure you feel you are a suitable candidate for the program. Typically, farrier students should be in good physical condition and the industry normally requires personal transportation with a vehicle.

What will you learn?

You will learn all of the skills necessary to be a successful farrier or blacksmith, including:

  • Customer service and client education
  • Trimming, forging and fitting handmade shoes
  • Equine anatomy and physiology
  • Performing modifications to machine made shoes in the forge
  • Producing useable forging tools for the production of horseshoes
  • Applying therapeutic and corrective horseshoes and appliances to the equine foot
  • Brazing and lap welding in the gas and coal forge
  • Welding using the manual arc process
  • Welding using the oxy-acetylene equipment
  • Building farrier and blacksmithing tools using the arc welding process and the oxy-acetylene process
  • Performing basic computer skills utilizing Excel software to create basic records and financial reports for an independent farrier business
  • Making sound choices in the safety and management of the horse
  • Performing different modes of restraint to safely control and work on horses to create a safe working environment
  • Applying horseshoes and shoeing techniques specific to the thoroughbred and standardbred industry

At the end of the course, students are also given the option to undertake the American Farrier Association certification exam.

Program at a glance

Credential: Certificate

Length of Program: 1 Year

Method of Delivery: On-Campus

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the fall 2020 term of this program will be offered remotely (online) with mandatory in-person, on-campus labs. Learn more...

Program Intake: Fall Intake (September program start)

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.  

Applications Open: October 1 for the Fall Intake.

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details

  • Tuition & Fees: $6,150 / Books & Supplies: $3,575

*These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. Please note that this is an estimate for domestic students (international students should refer to the Fee Schedule) and all fees are subject to change.

What do I need to apply?

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. Submit this questionnaire in a timely manner to have your application assessed more quickly for the program.
  • 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*

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. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.

Where can I live on campus?

CHOC is the exclusive service provider of on-campus housing for Olds College. Live in Centennial Village, our newest campus living facility featuring 450 private suites (no roommates), or in College Courts our 4-bedroom townhouses. Enjoy a short commute to class, partake in weekly residence life events and enjoy the safety of living on campus.

Learn More

I have some more questions. Who do I contact for help?

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

Admitted Students

Admitted Student 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.

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.