The Farrier Service of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) unites the skills, knowledge, and experience of farriers with referring veterinarians and the VTH's veterinarian specialists to provide therapeutic foot care for horses. In addition to seeing patients at the VTH on an appointment basis, our team will travel within a 35-mile radius of Blacksburg and regionally on a referral basis when a situation dictates.
We work on all ages, breeds, and disciplines of horses. Our relationships with referring veterinarians and farriers are extremely important to us, and our goal is to always work as a team to achieve the best possible outcome.
Advanced Farrier Certificate Program
Beginning in January (1-2 participants) and July (1-2 participants), the Advanced Farrier Certificate Program is a year-long training program designed to provide participants with the training and skills necessary to operate a successful farrier practice. Participants will be trained by members of VA-MD Vet Med's Farrier Service.
Participants' time in the program is split among classroom, laboratory, and applied instruction. Classroom instruction includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, and principles of horseshoeing. Laboratory instruction includes exercises in forging and welding, while applied instruction includes hands-on practical experience in routine and therapeutic trimming and horseshoeing.
During the program, participants will gain experience in the care of performance horses and therapeutic farriery, and working with veterinarians on hoof pathology and lameness cases.
Upon completion of the program, participants should be confident in the building and application of traditional hand-forged and manufactured horseshoes, as well as direct and indirect glue on horseshoes. It is expected that participants will achieve, at minimum, the Certified Farrier distinction (by examination) with the American Farrier's Association.
The Farrier Service sees approximately 2,200 cases per year, both on farms and at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH). The service provides on-the-farm farrier services for the Virginia Tech Equestrian Program and a quarter horse breeding operation within the Virginia Tech Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, as well as a select group of local clients. Cases referred to the Farrier, Large Animal Surgery, and Large Animal Internal Medicine services by practitioners in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and West Virginia comprise the remaining caseload.
- Completion of the VA-MD Vet Med Farrier Certificate Program online application
- Completion of a 6-week farrier course (minimum) or an equivalent experience in a private farrier practice
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be able to lift 110 pounds, and be in reasonable physical condition
- Possess a high school diploma or equivalent
- Possess a full set of farrier tools
- Provide proof of current health and accident insurance that meets minimum VA-MD Vet Med requirements
- Acquire farrier insurance with specified coverage levels
- Acquire rabies vaccination in accordance with VA-MD Vet Med requirements
- Agree to comply with the Farrier Certificate Program Code of Conduct