While many programs focus on high volume shoeing, or working strictly with steel shoes, Mission provides a more holistic hoof care approach. An approach that puts the needs and soundness of the horse first. That may mean traditional nail on steel shoes, poly or composite, casting, glue, natural barefoot trimming, or perhaps a unique solution. We give you the tools and understanding of good foot function so you can craft the best solution for the horse. In short, we train problem solvers. As the first school to incorporate "Natural Balance" philosophy into our program, we rely on the feral horse (mustang) model of good foot function. A horse at liberty in an ideal environment has many advantages over a horse kept inside. By mimicking certain aspects of this model foot in our hoof care we can help horses reach the best possible level of soundness.
"A FIRST RATE FARRIER EDUCATION"
Our hope is to show the serious prospective student why Mission Farrier School should be their choice of farrier schools. This page is not meant to disparage any other school. In that spirit, we intend to set forth our positive attributes without pointing out other horseshoeing schools shortcomings. Any comparisons to be made will have to be made by the prospective student hopefully in a spirit of searching for the best fit of horseshoeing schools for the student. Of course we believe that we teach the best horseshoeing school/professional farrier education program in the country, and we have a pretty darn good track record to prove it. Mark has been teaching modern, updated and relevant farrier science longer than anyone. And being a third generation horseshoer and former rodeo cowboy, Mark has lived it and taught it from both sides, so he understands the issues better than most.
We've heard it said, "what's wrong with the way we've always done it"? Well, the "way we've always done it" is part of the reason we have navicular horses at age 7. The "way we've always done it" has lead to long toes and low heels. And the "way we've always done it" isn't really the way we've always done it. Before the advent of keg shoes in the early 1900's, back when horseshoers were blacksmiths, horses didn't have distorted long pointy toes and under run heels, because blacksmiths hand forged shoes to a healthy foot that had more overall mass behind center and less overall mass in front of center. Due to unsound shoeing practices, many of today's horses have just the opposite. The health of the foot is in the back of the foot.
Your Horse shoeing school education will cost you time and money - Let us set you up for success by giving you the best farrier science and horse shoeing education available. If you know what you are getting into, if you are looking to become a professional farrier, if you will commit to working hard, then we hope you will choose Mission Farrier School. We're looking for a few serious Farrier, Pre-vet, Veterinary and Equine Animal Science students who want to make a difference.
As a veterinarian and a graduate of Mission Farrier School, I occasionally present talks to local horse owners. My favorite topic is "hoof balance" and how to evaluate a foot. People always want to know how they can tell if their horses feet are getting better or worse. Most suspect things aren't going as well as they should be but talking to their farrier. doesn't often provide much clarity. So I teach them exactly what you learn in day 1 at Mission Farrier School, how to map the sole of a foot, how to find the internal structures of the foot from that process, and how to do a trim balanced around those structures.
After my last "hoof talk" my phone was ringing off the hook with owners wanting hoof consults from me ($150) and wanting to know where they could find a farrier to give their horse what I described as a balanced trim.
Sadly, though I live in a county with one of the densest and wealthiest horse communities in the nation, there is not a single farrier I can recommend who has the basic knowledge to do what is needed. What Mission Farrier School teaches is scientifically and anatomically-based farrier work. You not only get that, but you get tons of rehab experience, making rehabilitation decisions based on sound anatomical and biomechanical knowledge using the most modern materials and approaches. And that is on top of learning the traditional skills to shape shoes or forge them from raw stock.
The point of all of this is to say that no matter how saturated an area is with farriers, no matter how prestigious and expensive the horses, there is an incredible need out there for the type of knowledgeable graduates Mission Farrier produces. Because we specialize in sports medicine, we can't do our job effectively without a farrier who understands their work from a modern anatomically-based perspective. The need is so great that my clinic is planning to send our own person to train at Mission Farrier School. We are confident we can keep that person busy full time just off our current veterinary clients.
So, if you are shopping farrier schools, ask yourself what sort of farrier you want to be. If you truly want to help horses who are struggling and if working with veterinarians on tough cases sounds like a career goal, then I don't think there is any place BUT Mission Farrier School to receive your foundation education. No matter how "saturated" an area is with farriers, there is always a place for a Mission Farrier graduate and the unique knowledge they bring.
Sincerely, Tim Rogers DVM
The Mission Legacy
Mission Farrier School was founded by Mark Plumlee from a desire to see traditional craftsmanship combine with updated hoof science and natural horsemanship. He was privileged to travel with Gene Ovnicek back in the early 1990's as Natural Balance farrier science first emerged. Mark is an educator and contributing member of ELPO, the Equine Lameness Prevention Organization. He has been a pioneer in changing the hoof care industry by mainstreaming Natural Balance concepts for over 25 years.
Having taught initially at the community college level, Mark began teaching horseshoeing school from the traditional perspective. With the knowledge he gained from Gene Ovnicek, Scott Simpson, and many others as well as his own extensive experience he has been successful in "bridging the gap" in new and old styles of hoof care. This integrated thinking strives to take the best practices from each approach.
Marks legacy continues today through his graduates, and through his protege Teddy Franke who is now leading the program. In addition to being a career riding instructor, trainer, and equine educator, Teddy is also an excellent farrier. Mission students enjoy a unique opportunity to have a more holistic option over other horseshoeing schools learning from both Mark and Teddy.