Difference Between Blacksmith & Farrier

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Q: Is there a difference between a blacksmith and a farrier?



A: Yes, there is a difference between a blacksmith and a farrier.

A blacksmith is one who makes and repairs things made of iron or steel. The blacksmith was commonly thought of as the village blacksmith who made and repaired all the items necessary for farming and daily living such as plows, axes, shovels, lighting devices, door hinges, logging chains, harness hardware, iron tires for wagons and the hardware necessary to build wagons, homes and barns. The blacksmith was also in days gone by, required to shoe horses and oxen.

A farrier is one who shoes horses, mules, donkeys and occasionally oxen and is not necessarily skilled in other iron work done by the blacksmith. 

To further complicate things, in some parts of the world the farrier is often referred to as the blacksmith. This is true in Florida where I lived for many years. The farrier was always called the blacksmith there. On most racetracks throughout the country the farrier is referred to as the blacksmith.

Farrier science is the study of shoeing of horses. There are some farriers like myself who are both blacksmiths (iron workers) and horseshoers.

I hope I have made this distinction clear. Thank you for this interesting question.

Respectfully yours,

Geronimo Bayard
The American Blacksmith
Oakland, Oregon

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This entire web site is copyright protected.  1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard,  2001-2008 Mary Fitzpatrick
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