Tom Smith AWCF – Master Farrier
Tom qualified as a farrier in 2006 following a four and a half year apprenticeship with Chris Powell FWCF in Mid-Wales. During this time Tom gained a great deal of experience shoeing many different horses. Once qualified Tom set up Tom Smith Farriers.
In 2013 Tom, by examination, became an Associate of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (AWCF). This exam, for candidates who already hold the DipWCF, concentrates on therapeutic and remedial farriery as required by the equine veterinary surgeon in everyday practice. A very high standard of technical competence is required, and the syllabus is detailed. Candidates are required to undertake a searching written test, make and fit a therapeutic shoe and to carry out advanced farriery procedures as required when working with a veterinary surgeon.
In February 2014 Tom was awarded the Varnam Trophy. This trophy is awarded to the candidate who achieves the highest grade in the practical module of the AWCF examination for a whole year. This was presented to him by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers.
In January 2016 Tom started studying at the Royal Veterinary College for the GradDipELR, a post-graduate course in Equine Locomotion. Tom is currently three modules in, so far achieving a distinction in each. The course ends in 2019 and will require a research paper to be written and published. Tom is researching the 3D imaging of horses feet, with a particular interest in quantifying how the shape of feet change a result of external forces.
Tom regularly competed for Wales and individually at international shoemaking and shoeing competitions with great success. The ability to make and fit remedial shoes gained from these competitions has allowed Tom to help many horse owners get back on track with their horses.
Tom believes working with other equine professionals is very important; to pool knowledge can only improve the outcome and performance of the horse. Tom enjoys remedial and therapeutic shoeing but believes that this is not possible without a good grounding in regular shoeing.
Tom is an Approved Training Farrier (ATF) and actively takes part in Continuing Personal Development (CPD). Tom runs courses for farriers wanting to become ATF’s, providing them with tools to enable them to be more effective trainers. Tom is also in partnership with a friend running a business providing services to farriers, from business planning to vehicle sourcing, stationary to insurances. www.farrierfinance.co.uk is becoming a real brand in the farriery world.
Taking part in regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is very important. Attending clinics and courses helps Tom keep up to date with new techniques and material. Farriery is not only a job to Tom, it is a passion and genuine interest.