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TOPIC: going to school

going to school 26 Dec 2006 05:24 #1

the school I'm going to has a tool list.I was wondering of the tools i'm going to need what tools can be generic.My tack dealer quoted me $675 for all diamond tools.I'm going to need all the tools a farrier should have.
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RE:going to school 26 Dec 2006 05:45 #2

I went through that same scenario when i went to The Kentucky Horseshoeing school. I chose to show up with my own tools rather than what every student has. That particular school actually does a good job at supplying students with efficient tools. I apprenticed a couple years before i went to a school so i had a somewhat grasp of what i liked. Theres nothing wrong with mixing and matching your tools by brands.

Let me know if you need any help or advice on tools. Don't be afraid to call different dealers as well. Alot of places will give you a discount if your a first time customer, or even student prices.

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RE:going to school 26 Dec 2006 05:56 #3

  • Rick Burten
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hezahottass wrote:
the school I'm going to has a tool list.I was wondering of the tools i'm going to need what tools can be generic.My tack dealer quoted me $675 for all diamond tools.I'm going to need all the tools a farrier should have.
What brand(s) of tools does your school suggest?

I would suggest that you go with GE tools(clinchers, nippers, pulloffs,. They are more expensive than Diamond, but you get what you pay for. I like the Simmonds Black Master Finish Rasp, the Heller Legend Rasp(though it may be a bit too aggressive for someone just starting out) or the Simmonds or Bellota Rasps, The Knife by Anvil Brand. Driving hammers and rounding hammers are a matter of choice. I like the Jim Poor and the James Blurton driving hammers and use a Flatland Forge rounding/shaping hammer. These are expensive, and you should start with something a little less pricey.

I wear the C&M shoeing apron and really like it. Its relatively light weight and easier on my back than wearing half a cow side.

While you are at it, get yourself a pair of steel toed boots to wear. Better yet, get yourself a pair of steel toed, metatarsal protection boots. I wear the Nautilus boots that are available at In addition to a great everyday price, they will give you a 10% discount if your order is Over $50.00 and you put in the coupon code "Horse Sense" at checkout time.

You might also want to check out all the merchandise available through the MarketPlace right here on

Have fun at school.

Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."

Je pense donc je suis
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RE:going to school 26 Dec 2006 07:20 #4

  • beslagsmed
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There is nothing wrong with Diamond tools. When I started I had mostly Diamond tools. I still use the Diamond pulloffs every day. Kind of depends on how much money you got to spend on tools. Like Rick said - you get what you pay for. My Diamond nippers worked well for a good while for me. Now I use GE nippers, half rounds, clincher. Got Mustad forging hammer, and use Save Edge files. Get some safety shoes like Rick said, also make sure you got safety glasses. You only got two eyes, so take care of them. When I am working around the forge I like to use a glove(leather) on my right hand, as I use my right to pull out of the fire.

Best to check around and get some prices on your own as well. I also know many times schools have deals with tool companies to promote their products and many times they have a student discount in them. You got the internet, do some homework now.

Mikel Dawson, RJF

What part of "NO" don't you understand!!

Caution: Watch for hoof in mouth disease!!!
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RE:going to school 26 Dec 2006 13:10 #5

  • tbloomer
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When I went to school I bought all of the tools on the tool list from my local farrier supply. They guy made me a really good deal because he wanted my future business. The deal I got was that he sold me all of my startup tools at HIS COST + $50. That included my first anvil. So I bought GE and St. Croix instead of Diamond. To this day, I still purchase my tools from this guy, and he still gives me a better deal that I could find just about anywhere else.

Point is this: Sooner or later you're going to be setup in business and you will want to deal with your local supplyer. Your local supplier want's loyal customers and repeat business. So go there and make yourself a deal. It could be the start of a great business relationship.

Nuther thing. Buy the best tools, especially GE nippers. Even if you have to borrow the money and pay interest on it, the INVESTMENT is always worth it. If later you decide not to be a farrier, you will be able to sell your good tools and recover some of your investment. BUT nobody will be interested in buying your cheap tools - may as well throw them on the s**** pile. You can still get $100 for a set of (sharp) USED GE nippers. But you can't get anything for your $40 Diamond nippers. May as well spend the extra $40 on GE. It's good business math.:)
Tom Bloomer

Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:going to school 26 Dec 2006 17:48 #6

  • Bill Adams
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Welcome to the boards.
When I came up, A fellow told me that I was going to have to buy the best tools. It was only a question of wether I would waist money on cheap ones first. Avoid MFC tools and any with prices too good to be true.
What's your name, what school are you going to and when? Try to get some time with a Farrier and read your text books before you get there.
Have a ball,

A rightous man regardeth the life of his beast. Proverbs 12:10
I don't give a damn for a man who can only spell a word one way. Mark Twain
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RE:going to school 27 Dec 2006 02:49 #7

  • Bo Terry
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I recommend spending less on things like rounding hammers, tongs, etc... because you won't know how to really use them anyway for a couple of years ( the Diamond 36oz rounding hammer is a good start.) Once you learn to forge correctly, then you should spend the money on these things. I use Jim Keith tongs(they are REALLY sturdy) and a 2lb Justin rounding hammer. Regarding nippers, clinchers, driving hammers, etc...don't waste money on cheap stuff, I made this mistake. Spend the extra dollars up front (G.E.) I like Sta-Sharp long handled knives and Hall loop knives.

Good Luck!

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RE:going to school 27 Dec 2006 03:16 #8

  • e decker
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I would not recomend getting the G.E. nippers at first. You dont want to accidently misuse and break an expensive tool like that. Even if you are really careful, in school, someone is always borrowing stuff "for a sec" (even without permission) and may nip into a hidden nail and break them... $160, gone.

Another reason to go for the generic, every class has a thief. Let me repeat, EVERY CLASS HAS A THIEF. My spouse sees this every day. If you do want the G.E.'s leave 'em home and rasp. It is a bad idea to take them to school.

The Mustad nippers are nice and you can forgo buying nail nippers, use your pulloffs at school. When get done, go and buy the G.E.'s and have your mustad's converted to nail nippers.

That's my advice

e decker
E Decker CF
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RE:going to school 27 Dec 2006 03:57 #9

  • calshoer
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Our college sells a farrier kit for the students through the bookstore. it was already set up last year, a pretty nice kit but the students struggled with the hammers and 15" nippers so I made changes for this year. I find that the bigger nippers and driving hammers are just harder for them to use so I changed them.And the claws on the hammers we had last year were so badly built that they didnt wring OR bend nails very well. It was actually kind of dangerous.
This year this is what they can get for about $760. The nice thing about them getting it at the school is the college has student financing programs.

Wooden farrier box.
nice Cordura/ leather apron
two heller rasps
two handles
The knife' hoof knife
GE 14" nippers (changed from Mustad 15" nippers last year)
Mustad pull offs
diamond clinch block
diamond pritchell (that they will modify some in class)
calgary 12 oz driving hammer (last year they were Mustads, which totally sucked)
Diamond rounding hammer
mustad clinchers

If you have to have all your forging tools as well add a pair of tongs set up for 5/16" stock, and a ball pein or cross pein for making clips and ask if you will be making your own forepunches and pritchells, if not you'll have to buy those too. The thing about those is you must make them to match the nail head types, so you might as well learn to make them or at last be prepared to learn how to modify them a littleunless you buy several. Most schools have a supply of forging tools those however.
Patty Stiller CNBF,CLS
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RE:going to school 29 Dec 2006 04:00 #10

  • redd2001
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Hey Mike,
What are the pros and cons with Ky Horse school?
It is a few hours from where I live. It looks on their website that is a pretty good school. I have been with my mentor for about three years with the calendar, but actual time is probably a year and half i work wioth him 2-3 days a week . Planning on leaving my main job and heading for schooll this next winter. I wish I could get a 16 week leave from my job to attend school, but I don't think they would like that to much!
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RE:going to school 29 Dec 2006 04:37 #11

Here's my two cents:

I have some MFC tools and frankly, they stink. The school I went to owned that tool company and that was what they sold us. My nippers broke mid-nip one day and I had had them about six months. The little shoeing box on wheels is a really nice idea and I like it, but it would work better if I was shoeing kittens. It seems like any time that thing gets too close to a horse, another piece of it breaks. So far, none of the rest of the tools have broke. *fingers crossed*

And just a side note, tools do walk away in school. I think it would be a fantastic idea to buy some tools that are NOT the same as everyone else's (in other words, not the ones the sell at that school). And don't just put a piece of tape with your name on them, tape is removable. Some guys ground their initials into their tools, I painted mine with hot pink fingernail polish. I figured none of the guys would have polish remover. :) Just a word to the wise; be careful and try not to borrow things to people, even "just for a second".

If you can try other people's toys before you buy them, that is always nice too. I tried out a friends loop knife because I thought it looked so great, and I am glad I didn't waste the $40 on it. I also bought a hammer from a guy who didn't like it, and it is my all time favorite hammer for hand-making and shaping shoes.

And buy good tools, they are worth it in the long run.

And... just kidding, no more "and then".
Julie Mills
Complete Equine Farrier Services

Phillipians 4:13
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RE:going to school 29 Dec 2006 05:26 #12

Redd in green

Hey Mike,
What are the pros and cons with Ky Horse school?


Firstly they offer student loans for prospective students. I personally didn't use a loan but 2 in my class did. Its a good opportunity for people in your situation. I used my g.i. bill benefits which was $1075/mo.

Secondly in my opinion it has an excellent format. Depending on your experience you'll spend the first 6-8 weeks just trimming horses. Most of the horses are located at UK, and the horses are well mannered and allow students to work on their trim only. During the first 6-8 weeks you'll be doing forging excercises at night to include making punches, front and hind patterns, and welding to name a few. You'll have lectures and a test every friday as well. Another thing i like is the use and opportunity of cadaver legs. There is a freezer of 500 cadaver legs available to students to use for: trimming, eagle eyes, and dissections. I dissected quite a few legs while i was their which helped me with anatomy etc. The final 8 weeks you'll be shoeing live horses. At night you'll get a demonstration on a particular shoe, followed by work due in the morning. At this time you'll be working on your shoe board- which is the same requirement for AFA Cf.

Finally you'll get good in the forge. Everybody's different and it depends on your personal motivation, but you'll be around an aura of good blacksmiths. The instructors are always there working or getting ready for competitions. My particular class was small ( 6 people ) and three of us stayed up until 1 in the morning almost every night- a friendly competition.


Firstly it depends what time of year you go. I suggest going in the summer when theres a smaller class. Most people go in the winter which makes for a larger class.

Secondly people have the misconception they'll be ready to make a living after school. I think it gets you on the right track, but be prepared to apprentice for awhile afterward as well. Like i said before people go to shoeing school with different skill levels. It does however give you an opportunity to work on your weaknesses.

Lastly be prepared to spend alot of money. Take into account the money spent on food, fuel, bills, and tools.

In conlusion this is just my opinion of the school. It happened to be a good fit for me. I got along well with Mitch, and the other instructors at the school. I found it was run professionally with a mission to accomplish. I found that my goals were accomplished as well.


...Also a good friend of mine is an instructor at the school. Let me know if you'd like his number to talk to him about the school. He lived in Va., so maybe he can help you out somehow as well.
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RE:going to school 31 Dec 2006 01:32 #13

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Dear Redd,
I agree with Mike, it is one of the best schools in the country. It is professionly run, well organized, and very well staffed. The emphasis in being prepared for the CF is great too. Most students have passed at least some portion of the exam prior to leaving, although the ones that pass the practical have prior experience (like you say you have).

You really should look into at least the 16 week program, if not the 22 that I would recomend.

Good luck,
e decker CF
E Decker CF
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