Whether formally educated at a farrier school or through hands-on experience, farriers are hoof and foot experts who can affect the way a horse performs, help prevent lameness and correct minor anatomical problems. A farrier -- also called a horseshoer -- trims horses’ feet, fits or shapes horseshoes and nails them to the hoof wall. Farriers’ earnings vary according to experience, training, location and demand.
Although more than 9 million horses lived in the United States in 2012, few horse owners took on the task of hoof trimming or shoeing, according to the “American Farriers Journal 2012 Media Information and Marketing Guide.” Instead, owners turned to farriers, who often travel from one location to another in an area, serving multiple horse owners, farms and ranches. Farriers earned an average annual salary of $102,290 in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to a September 2012 article in “American Farriers Journal.” Most farriers are self-employed, and their income depends on their hourly charge, which the “American Farriers Journal” reports averaged $115.21 for a trim and application of four horseshoes in 2011.