Legal requirements for practising as a farrier

What is the law that applies to farriers?

The practice of farriery is governed by the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975. The main purpose of the Act is to prevent and avoid suffering by and cruelty to horses arising from the shoeing of horses by unskilled persons.

What is a farrier?

A farrier is defined, under the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975, as a person who works in connection with the preparation or treatment of the foot of a horse for the immediate reception of a shoe thereon, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot or the finishing off of such work to the foot.

The requirement for registration

The Farriers Registration Council (often known as the FRC) was established by the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975.

The Farriers Registration Council keeps and maintains a register of farriers and it is a legal requirement that all farriers register with the Farriers Registration Council. A fee is payable by the farrier upon making an application for registration.

Can anyone register?

The Farriers Registration Council will only register those who they are satisfied have adequate experience and expertise in farriery.

What amounts to adequate experience and expertise in farriery?

Registration is open to the following people:

  • Those who were registered in the Register of Farriers kept by the Worshipful Company of Farriers as at 1 January 1976;
  • Those who have completed an apprenticeship or training programme approved by the Farriers Registration Council and who have passed an examination approved by the Farriers Registration Council;
  • Those you have completed a training course as a farrier in the Army and have passed a prescribed examination;
  • Those who are or have been registered in Part II or Part IV of the register (i.e. someone who was registered before 2000 on the basis of their experience and didn’t hold a formal qualification in farriery at that time) and have passed a prescribed examination;
  • Those who hold a qualification granted by a non-European state (i.e. a state which is not an EEA state or Switzerland) and which is accepted by the Farriers Registration Council and who has, during any 2 year period subsequent to obtaining the qualification, been regularly and gainfully engaged in the shoeing of horses;
  • Those who are entitled to be recognised as a farrier pursuant to the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007 and have satisfied any procedural requirements required by such regulations;
  • Those who are or have been registered in Part II or Part IV of the register (i.e. someone who was registered before 2000 on the basis of their experience and didn’t hold a formal qualification in farriery at that time) and have obtained experience in shoeing horses in the United Kingdom as set out in the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007.

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For more information on:

  • Once a person has been registered are they entitled to carry out all farrier work?
  • What are the consequences of not registering?
  • What powers do the Farriers Registration Council have in relation to persons registered with them?
  • What is the Worshipful Company of Farriers and what is their role?