How Much Does a Horse Farrier Cost?

Written by: Staff

According to Wikipedia, a farrier is “a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of a horse’s hoof and the placing of shoes to the horse’s foot.”  Your horse’s feet should be trimmed and shoed regularly, and this can be done by a professional farrier.

The cost of a farrier will depend on how many horses need to be “trimmed,” the complexity of the job, the geographical location and the farrier performing the job.  It can also vary depending on the farrier’s skill.  Like other craftsmen, the more experienced and skilled they are, the more in demand they will be.

horses by willg, on Flickr
horses” (CC BY 2.0) by willg

How much does a horse farrier cost?

Overall, the services of a farrier will be between $50 and $150 per horse.  A trim can cost about $30 or so, while a full set of shoes can cost $90 to $150.  With an average of five services needed annually, horse owners may pay anywhere from $450 to $750.  Most farriers like to price their work by the hour and should be able to give a good estimate before the work starts.

According to a Farrier Business Practices survey conducted by the American Farriers Journal, the average price for trimming four hooves and applying keg shoes was $120.  The average charge for a trim and resetting is $113, while a trim only is $42.

Forum members on, members paid anywhere from $55 for a trim to around $125 for all four.

According to this survey, about 72% paid less than $100 and 16% said they would spend anywhere from $101 to $150 on $101 to $150 on hoof care.

What are the extra costs?

Traveling outside the farrier’s radius may include a fuel surcharge.  Most farriers try to limit their driving to 15 to 25 miles.

Plan on using this farrier every six to seven weeks.  Stick to this schedule because waiting too long may lead to hoof problems.  As the time goes on, the horses’ hooves grow and can wear out, and because of this, the farrier may have to dedicate more time to make the situation right.  Also, the more out of balance your horses’ hooves are, the more problems you could create such as muscular and skeletal problems.

A horse that requires sepcialized shoes, careful balancing, complex care or has a disease could lead to a higher price.

Tips to know says never skimp on horse shoeing.  Since they spend half their time standing or moving on their hooves, it could be equivalent to a bad pair of shoes.  Bad shoeing can lead to joint problems, back pain and even headaches.

The lowest priced farrier isn’t always going to be the best choice.  In fact, it could cost you more in the long run, especially if the trimming or shoeing was done in a poor way.   This could lead to a lot of unnecessary vet bills.  To find a reputable farrier in your area, talk with other horse owners or veterinarians in the area to see who they use.

If choosing a farrier, always listen to their advice, especially if you respect them.  As an expert in the field, they will be able to dinf problems before they get out of control.  If they do suggest a hoof care program, you won’t want to ignore the advice.

What a trimmed horse hoove looks like…

img_1243.jpg by TSayles, on Flickr
img_1243.jpg” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by TSayles

How to trim a horse hoof

How can I save money?

Discounts for farrier services can be available for more than two horses.   Be sure to ask ahead of time to see if discounts apply.

Look for farriers within your area so you’re not charged fuel surcharge fees.

Choose a farrier and stick with them.  Many will give loyalty discounts to preferred customers.

Some may be able to offer you a discount if you purchase multiple sessions in bulk.

Many horse owners allow their horse to go barefoot, saving them the shoeing fee.

Consider learning how to do it on your own, and you will only be responsible for materials such as gloves, nippers, a rasp, hoof knife and stand.

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