Farriery is so much more than just fitting and putting on a shoe

Hippocrates Blogging

Here we blog about happenings in the equestrian world

Farriery is so much more than just fitting and putting on a shoe

April 26th, 2022 | By: Joakim Krassman

Alexander Nilson became fascinated with farriery at the age of 10, when he was allowed to sit on a stool and watch the farrier visit his horse. Now a farrier himself for eight years, he continues to be enthralled by the craft.  

Alexander is now entering his eighth year as a farrier. Being around horses has always come naturally to Alexander, who started riding at the age of four. But despite this, working in an equine-related profession was not an obvious choice.

Alexander describes his family as a "family of academics" and explains that his first choice after high school was to go to university. Before becoming a farrier, he also had time to train and work as a carpenter for a few years.

From the time Alexander got his own horse at the age of 10 and met his first farrier, he has been fascinated by the profession. In those days, he sat on a stool in the stable and made sure his horse was well looked after. A few years later, Alexander started working on a farm outside Linköping and met a farrier called Inge Överlien who made Alexander realise what farriers actually do.

"Inge made me understand that it is so much more than just beating a shoe, that it is actually a craft".

A couple of years later, Alexander's aunt got in touch by chance and told him that there was a shortage of farriers in Örebro and that's the way it is. Alexander began his farrier training at Strömsholm and continued his third year at Vången. He explains that he made the switch because he wanted to get his approval from the Swedish Board of Agriculture as soon as possible and because he felt that Vången had a set-up that suited him better. Instead of being away every third weekend, Alexander was able to attend the training every six weeks.

Alexander has been competing and training Icelandic horses since he was very young. He and his partner have 9 Icelandic horses between them and breed about one foal a year. Alexander says that he is going to make a new competition effort in the next few years. One of the reasons for the break in racing is that Alexander and his partner have had a new addition to the family. The goal is for both Alexander and his partner to start competing in two seasons and to take turns competing and taking care of the baby.

Alexander himself experienced during his years as a rider that it was difficult to find farriers who understood and could give the horse the best conditions to go at the best pace. Therefore, Alexander travelled 1.5 hours with his horses to his old farrier Inge to get the best possible help. These details have become something that Alexander himself places great importance on as a farrier.

He shoes all kinds of horses, which go in almost all kinds of disciplines. Alexander explains that there are no particular differences really.

"I have thoughts and ideas on how to balance a horse and how to get the best out of the horse without it being harmful."

Alexander explains that it's the details that make the difference.

"As a horse owner, you might not see differences like millimetres on a length of toes or a tract, but thanks to such details, the horse can have big changes in movement. For example, you can get a big-running horse to stay a little closer to the ground and become more energy efficient to cope with all the jumps. Or a dressage horse to have more front leg movement to get that extra percentage."

Alexander explains that the recipe for success if you want to be a good farrier is to dare to ask and take help. He says he has several teachers and role models who have helped him on his way from student, to apprentice, to finished farrier. Inge Överlien who sparked his interest, Magnus Smederöd who was a teacher during his training period, Jamie Skinner who was a teacher at Strömsholm and Lars Andersson who was a great inspiration, are just some of those who played a major role in Alexander's profession as a farrier.

Alexander is a user of the Hippocrates Blacksmith business system for farriers

"I started using the Blacksmith business system as soon as I became a farrier to keep records and it has really helped me"

Alexander's favourite features of the system are:

  • The calendar that sends messages to customers the day before a visit.
  • The handy journal.
  • The financial overview.
  • The ability to easily create and send invoices.
  • The overview.
  • The new function with pictures of hooves. Where I am able to mark a specific part with for example a damage on a hoof and be able to go back afterwards to get a clear picture of how it looked last time.


Feel free to share this!

We provide horse entrepreneurs with powerful systems.


Copyright © 2022 Hippocrates. All rights reserved.