Who are they and what do they do? The blacksmith shapes objects and pieces of various metals, such as different tools, hooks, chains, farm equipment, ornamental ironwork, steel doors. The farrier uses a blacksmith's skills and tools to work with horses, making and fitting horseshoes.
What are the activities of the job? The blacksmith chooses the appropriate metal, s/he cuts it, heats it in the forge, places it on the anvil, and while striking on it with a hammer, drills, doubles, trims or welds it, in order to give it the desired shape. S/he handles a hammer, mechanical presses and carries out other tasks related to the blacksmith's work, such as repairing metal tools and equipment and artistic ironwork, such as railings, balconies, balusters, and metal stairways. The farrier assesses what the horse needs and the condition of its hooves, and may cut unwanted hoof growth to make a good fit and balance. S/he then selects a shoe and adapts it as necessary with a hammer and anvil. The farrier holds the horse's leg between his/her knees, and hammers nails through the shoe to fix it, and files the shoe down as required.
Where is it done and under what conditions? In a blacksmith's workshop, where there are very high temperatures, strong smells, an atmosphere which can be thick with smoke and a high risk of industrial accidents due to the use of heavy tools.
What tools/equipment do they use? Hammers, saws, hydraulic presses, drills, heavy machinery and big pieces of metal that s/he must constantly move in order to shape them.
What do you need to succeed? You need a vocational training. Progress comes from experience and acquiring greater skill through experience and practice. Career development depends mainly on specialisation through specific courses on welding, boiler making, laying out of technical drawings, and computer-assisted design programs that may allow him/her to undertake wider-ranging programmes. His/her promotion can be completed with a higher course of vocational training. Farriers, on the other hand may be self-employed, and their progress is linked to farming and the development of horse riding, especially in rural communities, though a few are employed by specialist units of mounted police or army cavalry units, where they may also be initially trained.