Welcome to the
Minnesota School of Horseshoeing

"Where your success begins
with a professional education"

The Minnesota School of Horseshoeing is committed to providing you with a professional approach to horseshoeing. You will learn the technical, practical, and business skills you will need to serve our growing horse industry. We are dedicated to advancing the farrier profession by providing you with a solid basis to build your reputation and success. The Minnesota School of Horseshoeing is a forge based program with an emphasis on balancing horses, or corrective shoeing, and therapeutic shoeing.


MSH is a private school offering you the highest standard in farrier education. Horseshoeing is evolving into a professional occupation and, our farrier program is designed to provide the future generation of farriers with an alternative to the outdated mechanical trade concept of shoeing horses. Our purpose is to prepare you with the technical and business skills you will need to serve our growing horse industry. It has been clearly demonstrated that the early development and success of the beginning farrier is significantly influenced by his or her initial educational experience. Most importantly to you, the professional orientation of MSH assures you of practical knowledge, skills and values you can effectively use to build your reputation as a respected farrier, and a contributing member of our horse community. Along with your interest and motivation, we can achieve that worthwhile objective. Insist on the best for yourself!


We have earned a reputation for educational excellence; we have the credentials and experience. You will be presented with the highest quality learning experience available today.

Unlike the traditional, from top-down teaching approach, our educational philosophy is a learning partnership, people helping people learn. It is really effective because as an active partner, you are in control of your own learning.

You'll graduate with a solid educational background to build your reputation and success. In celebrating more than 34 years of professional excellence, we are committed to your success. Your education is important, and we take you seriously.

The course of study has been designed and developed to help you maximize the critical learning you will use in your daily practice to benefit horses. Education is our business, and we can help you become what you are capable of being without limiting your aspirations and potential.

You will have an opportunity to benefit from the perspective and insights of Richard Duggan's more than thirty years experience, and who is a respected and progressive farrier instructor. Richard is a certified journeyman farrier, American Farriers Association, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in post-secondary vocational education. That is the perfect combination to help you become a successful farrier. And limited enrollment assures you of ample one-to-one, individualized instruction that is thorough and professional.


You will have an unlimited number of good horses to work with. All trimming and shoeing is done for practical purposes on live horses. We do not simulate anything, providing you with real world skills you will benefit from upon graduation.


Our practical emphasis and hands-on approach to your skills development are unique to this school. You'll learn, and apply, the fundamental techniques at the forge, and at the horse, to give you the versatility and flexibility you need to help you maximize your shoeing options.

This course of study will prepare you to take the first level examination offererd by the American Farrier's Association. We strongly encourage our students to become certified at all levels through the AFA. We encourage students to participate in shoeing clinics and competitions, which definitely contributes to your professional development.

As a student of this school, we are genuinely interested in your success, so you can expect a safe environment with a zero tolerance for any discrimination or gender harassment.

As you search for the school that is best for you, perhaps you may bear in mind that the American model of farrier education is the most efficient and effective model in the world. American farriers are among the most professional and progressive farriers in the world. And they are graduates of American farrier schools. So with a little research, you should be able to choose the school that can give you a good start in this fascinating and rewarding occupation. Our thirty four years as a leader in farrier education, and the recognized success of our graduates strongly suggests you can feel comfortable and confident choosing MSH.


There are a number of differing views on just what horseshoeing is all about, and some ascribe some rather fantastical powers to the occupation. Having said that, however, it may be said there is a bit of myth, mystery and majesty about horses, which makes this an even more intriguing and fulfilling occupation. Perhaps a brief description of the occupation may be helpful to you. Like many other occupations, horseshoeing is an individualized developmental art which requires time, study, and thoughtful practice to develop proficiency. Good horseshoeing demands an accurate diagnosis, or statement of the problem, based upon a careful collection of information. A statement of measurable treatment; a prognosis; and an assessment of actual outcome. Myth, magic, and unsubstantiated opinion abound in the horse industry, as well as horseshoeing, and that simply isn't good enough. For example, terms like intensive learning, advanced theory, complex forging and basic balance/advanced balance are common euphemisms used to impress, rather than inform. Horseshoeing is an honest, viable lifelong occupation, rather than a complicated, elitist, competitive activity.

At MSH, you will learn the occupation based on a body of knowledge, and technology that exists, is valid, and most importantly, is measurable. Rather than impressive rhetoric that resists measurement, you will be presented with well grounded information that will yield measurable results, and give you the edge.


As stated earlier, horseshoeing is a developmental art, rather than a science. And it may be said, schools are the impetus for that development. We have long been in the forefront as a leader in the evolving professionalism and accountability that is occurring. As an indication of that evolving professionalism, farrier programs have become longer. Currently, eight to twelve weeks is the established norm, which is not the least possible length of time to learn the art of horseshoeing, but rather, it is the most reasonable and practical length of time to learn entry level skills of this occupation. Your time is important, and we have a felt responsibility to use your time effectively. Quality of time rather than length of time is really what matters in your learning. The practical, bottom line knowledge and skills you learn at MSH will yield positive results in your daily horseshoeing practice.

We understand your time is valuable, and in 1989, we changed from a twelve week program to the current ten week program by increasing the daily hours to equal our original twelve weeks. After all, learning doesn't stop upon graduation. In fact, it may be said, real learning begins when you enter the world of work, and begin to earn an income. And that just makes good sense.

Let's look at program length from the perspective of real time, people and experience. Richard Duggan began his teaching career at the Anoka Technical College, where he taught a 10 month farrier program, 1971 - 1976. Having made a commitment to teaching, Richard founded MSH as a twelve week program in 1976.

Our more than 35 years experience clearly shows there is little evidence a longer program is a significant factor influencing ones success in the occupation. The truth of the matter is, quality of time rather than length of time, is what really matters. Also, students with little or no horse background are successful in school as well as the occupation. It is your values and appreciation toward the work and horses that makes the difference.


Over the years we have been fortunate to have decent men and women attend MSH, and we are proud of our graduates who include a past president of the American Farrier Association, state, national and international competitors, officers and participating members of state farrier associations, and hundreds of competent, successful farriers throughout the world. Graduates who are honest enough to practice what they learn at MSH are successful, and they deserve the credit.

Lastly, today's farrier graduates are incredibly fortunate because the American Farrier's Association has created an unprecedented mentoring environment throughout the United States to support and encourage your professional development. In addition, horseshoeing clinics, workshops, and competitions are very much a vital part of the ongoing evolution of horseshoeing, and they are available and open to everyone.

We are pleased to offer a 24 week program. If you are interested in a longer program, please call for more information. In either case, you can have every confidence in making the right decision by attending the Minnesota School of Horseshoeing. This is America's sensible farrier school, dedicated to your success.

Horse owners and trainers demand competent horseshoeing. Join our graduates from around the world, men and women, who are proving a sound education from the Minnesota School of Horseshoeing does make the difference; you'll be in demand.

Classes are limited and fill quickly. Register today for the session of your choice. You'll enjoy learning with us in a small class setting of men and women with the same interest as yours.

We invite you to carefully read the rest of our Web Site. Feel free to contact us, using the information below, if you have any questions. We look forward to starting you on your career as a farrier.

Contact information:
Minnesota School of Horseshoeing
Richard T. Duggan, Owner
6250 Riverdale Drive, N.W.
Ramsey, Minnesota 55303 USA
Phone: (763) 427-5850
Phone: (800) 257-5850
FAX: (763) 427-3395
Direct E-mail