Roger Vilarrasa Sañé, Official Farrier of Seva, Catalunya.

In my home we have always had horses and donkeys. At the age of 6 I began to ride horses and I have always had a very close relationship with these animals.

After learning the basics of the blacksmith’s trade with different farriers for a couple of years, luckily I was accepted as a student in ECAE (Escola de Capacitació Agrària Eqüestre), a specialist school for farriers. With the three year course I obtained the official European title of farrier, EFFA (European Federation of Farriers Associations).

During the course I was trained by different farriers, I am still doing it and I will do it in the future attending congresses, talks, courses and meetings around Europe and in other continents.

In this job if someone says that they know everything………. bad!

My aim is to continue learning to shoe horses better and better consequently to observe an improvement in the every day work and of course in life of horses.

Remember that without feet there is no horse!



Member of the “Associació de Ferradors de Catalunya”

with the title of E.F.F.A

(European Federation of Farriers Associations)

When horses became tame, approximately 5.500 years ago, it was discovered that protecting hooves gave very good results. It was reflected in long crossings, in field work and even in war. Actually, in nature, the probability of escaping from predators is higher when horses have healthy and strong hooves.

In the course of history, not only nowadays, horses have been submitted to excessive efforts for the constitution of their hooves. For this reason it is necessary to reinforce them. Moreover, new breeds created by humans have more fragile hooves, such as English thoroughbred or Quarter Mile horses, that have thin walls and small hooves in comparison to their size and weight.

Apart from shoeing horses it is very important to control horses from birth in order to detect different trim pathologies than could appear and save them in order to avoid future problems.

Recently, an important new archaeological discovery has been made. It proves that the origin of domestication is older than it was thought. According to this study it seems that around 5.500 years ago the Botai tribe – between the current Russian Federation and Kazakhstan – began to tame horses.

The first horseshoes were from Asia made with leather and plants. Later, the Greeks and the Romans made up “hippo sandals”, made with leather and metal, to protect hooves.

Horseshoes with nail holes didn’t appear until the period of the Celts and the Gaels. In the 6th century when Romans conquered these people they had been shoeing their horses for a long time.

At the beginning nails had a flat head shape, while now the shape of the nail’s head is square or rectangular.

Around the 10th century horseshoes with nail holes spread throughout Europe. However, hot-shoeing was not common until the 16th century.

Current techniques used by farriers date from the 19th century and they have developed very little since then, at least in their basics.


Why do we

shoe horses?

A little bit

of history