End of First Level (includes foundation training period)

Recommended to be taken upon completion of farrier school or first year of apprenticeship.

  1. Portfolio- Must be approved by registrar to continue to exam registration and participation.
  • Documentation of one fore and one hind trimmed hoof from two different horses to be prepared prior to exam and submitted to examiners at the time of exam registration.
  • Can be presented as a PowerPoint, Word document, PDF or an email with photos with their appropriate descriptions
  • Images must be clear, well-lit and on a clean flat floor
  • Portfolio must have a title which includes the name and email address of the candidate
  • Must be approved to ensure one is registering for the appropriate exam level
  • Submit to aftcregistrar@gmail.com
  1. Written Exam – 80% to pass

Theory exam based on Gregory’s Textbook on Horseshoeing, C. Gregory.

  •  Horsemanship
  • General whole horse anatomy
  • Anatomy of the leg
  • Anatomical terms
  • Physiology
  • Safety
  • Basic conformation and common faults
  • General horse health
  • Disease and lameness of the hoof

Online practice quizzes and test available https://farriered.gnomio.com/login/index.php Log in as guest or email glaverty97@gmail.com to purchase full access to practice material.

Practical Exams – 70% to pass

Horse management, working position and safety will all factor into scoring of practical exams. Required PPE, Safety glasses, steel toe boots, are all mandatory to participate in an exam. Hearing protection is recommended.


  • Practical test 1- Tool Safety Inspection
  • Safety inspection of a complete set of shoeing and forging tools, including an apron that is in good condition
  • Practical test 2– Horse Assessment & Trimming
  • Horse assessment, trimming plan – 10 min.
  • Remove two shoes
  • Trim two hooves for barefoot conditions
  • Use toe rule and hoof gauge, record measurements
  • Time allowed 10 min
  • Practical test 3- Shoeing
  • Clinch and finish 1 front 1 hind, shoes will be fit and nailed up by a farrier approved by examiners no fit score
  • Time allowed 10 min
  • Practical test 4- Forging 
  • Front keg shoe shaped to a hind pattern
  • Hind keg shoe shaped to a front pattern
  • One shoe to have pad applied and finished as if on a foot, secured by any means and appropriately boxed
  • One shoe to be punched and tapped for stud holes
  • Time allowed 50 min.

Oral Exam- 70% pass

  • Time 15 – 20 mins
  • Discussion with AFTC approved veterinarian examiner.

A first level apprentice should have a thorough understanding of. . .

  • Parts of the horse using common terms. For example: Poll, withers, gaskin, croup, stifle, hock, parts of the hoof, wall, sole, white line frog.
  • Proper anatomical terms. For example: Cranial/caudal, dorsal/palmar/plantar, collateral, extensor, flexor.
  • Limb anatomy. For example: Location of extensor or flexor tendons, suspensory ligament.
  • Basis physiology. For example: Loading of limbs, gaits, simple hoof function.
  • General conformation. For example: Simple/common faults, breed.
  • General horse health. For example: Body condition, approximate age, sex.
  • Hoof disease. For example: Location of common disease or evidence of, thrush, white line, hoof cracks.