The 30-year-old farrier Elin Bäcklund's goal was to become Sweden's first female master farrier, and she did -

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The 30-year-old farrier Elin Bäcklund's goal was to become Sweden's first female master farrier, and she did

February 3rd, 2022 | By: Joakim Krassman


The 30-year-old farrier Elin Bäcklund's goal was to become Sweden's first female master farrier, and she did

The profession of farrier attracted her after she had been in the stables with friends and had her first contact with farriers. She watched attentively as horses were shoed and her interest was piqued. What Elin likes most about her chosen profession is the craftsmanship of being a farrier and the opportunity to create something that actually serves a purpose. Using her hands to create something that makes the horse function at its best.

It is now ten years since she started her training at Lerum's farrier school, where she was lucky enough to have a good tutor, Simon Bodner and Jimmy Wendt.

Today, there are as many female as male farriers in the field. Inside the schools in training, women dominate with 70%.

Elin is hot shoeing because she feels it is so much more gentle on her body, and because it makes it easier to align and fit shoes. She also feels that she can do so much more with a warm shoe.
"I was taught to hot shoe as an apprentice, so it was a natural choice."

Elin earned her journeyman's certificate in 2015 after 4,800 hours of work and passing the final exam.

Elin's next goal was to become a master farrier. This is a unique recognition of a farrier's professional skills. The master's certificate becomes a guarantee of quality and provides the customer with an indication of the farrier's professional competence.
The following is required to pass a master's exam:
- At least six years' experience in the profession.
- you have passed a continuing education examination
- you have demonstrated your professional competence by means of a work test - mastery test.
- The applicant must hold a journeyman's certificate in the profession in accordance with the rules laid down by the Swedish Farrier Council in cooperation with the industry.
- The applicant must be an Agricultural Board-approved farrier and have a Swedish Farrier's Association-approved continuing education diploma.

Two examiners from the Swedish Association of Farriers must examine the examination.
During Elin's 2019 exam, farriers John Forbord and Filip Wiebe were on hand.
A successful exam meant that Elin could call herself the first female master farrier in Sweden!

How did you prepare for the exam?
I practised with my own clientele and also took help from colleagues who showed me and gave me feedback and of course practised many hours myself at home in the forge.

Do you have any new goals?
Yes, I am aiming for an "English diploma" within hopefully a year. This means that the exam will be done in English including various training elements. I have to make shoes that look a certain way and also shoe a horse. There is also a theoretical exam. Only when I'm there will I know which horses to shoe.

Do you have any tips for feeling good physically as a farrier?
To keep you obviously need to train and keep after their body. Back, knees and shoulders are vulnerable.
It is also important to plan your work. My goal is to shoe four horses a day.

As Elin is an approved farrier with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, she now uses Hippocrates Blacksmith for her daily journal keeping.

"As an approved farrier with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, you are also required to keep a journal for every shoeing.
This means that you must keep a journal in direct connection with the consultation or visit. You must also keep a record of routine treatments such as a normal shoeing. The journal also includes x-rays, referrals, referral answers, laboratory analysis data and the like, as well as other documents or data files that have a medical connection with the animal."

Link to the Swedish Association of Farriers:

Welcome to the Swedish Farriers Association!

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