I would like to know if there is anywhere one can learn to become a
farrier/blacksmith in Louisiana? I like animals and the idea of metal
working going hand in hand for the benefit and health of the animal
seem quite satisfying.
If you are willing to travel, there are a couple decent courses for
learning to be a farrier.
It's a lot different from being a blacksmith, with a very few of the
skills crossing over. Mostly, as a Farrier, you will be dealing with
trimming hooves, remove, install or resetting shoes, and occasionally
doing hotwork, adjusting shoes, or hot installs, and very rarely,
building custom shoes. Then there are the speciality
Dunno about your area, but around here the farriers get booked far in
advance, and are paid pretty well. They also have a pretty high burn-out
rate, between their backs going to hell, and getting tired of dealing
with phsyco horse chicks.
If you are really interested in the "Horse" side, you could do worse
things than to start learning all you can about horse conformation, gait
and the physiology of horse locomotion. You are going to have to know
the stuff inside out and backwards to be able to do such things as
correcting a horses gait, via trimming and shoeing, as well as other
corrective actions for repairing damage done by poorly done shoeing or
You pretty much have to know what a vet knows about the horses feet
and legs, with additional knowledge being a bonus.
IIRC, the farriers my wife has been using, got their qualifications
through a College in Montana. I am sure that there are others around.
Check the Colleges in your area, or check around online.
For Blacksmithing, I second the ABANA recommendation. Find a Chapter
of the club near you, and make contact. Almost every Smith I have ever
met was happy to share what they know.
Some Blacksmiths shoe horses, and some Farriers do some blacksmithing,
but there is a BIG difference between the two skills!
There's a Farrier training school in Ramsy MN, a suburb of Minneapolis.
It is the Minnesota School of Horseshoeing.
But that's not Louisiana. IIRC, they run a 6 week course several times
the Louisiana Metalsmiths Association to begin
with. I'm sure you can get all the info you need from them.