Brooke West Africa welcomes first students to Farriery School

On Thursday 25 February 2021, Brooke West Africa, in partnership with the Government of Senegal and the Vocational Education Center, welcomed the first cohort of students to begin their accredited certification in farriery, paving the way for better hoof care for hard-working animals and providing stronger livelihoods to those joining the trade.

Farriery in Senegal – previously unknown, unrecognised and unregulated

The creation of the certification in late 2019 marked a significant milestone in professionalising an industry that had previously been largely unknown, unrecognised and unregulated in Senegal.

For more than two years, Brooke worked closely with the Ministry of Employment, Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Integration, and more specifically the Directorate of Apprenticeship, to develop a farriery curriculum which was unique to sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking at the time, Emmanuel Sarr, Brooke West Africa Regional Representative, said: “This is a historic moment for farriery in Senegal. A few years ago, farriery was considered as ‘low work’ and thanks to Brooke, it’s now becoming a full profession. I believe this will have a greatly positive effect on the lives of working equines in this country and create jobs for years to come.”

Making history

Despite public perceptions of the profession, Brooke West Africa has long championed the importance of farriery within communities, with a focus on providing training and mentorship. Now, a history-making group of students will include some of these people who have received previous training from Brooke, as well as some who have trained elsewhere. Diverse in both age and gender, the students are expected to attend 808 hours of training over a period of approximately six months, involving modules in anatomy and pathology, equine management, and, of course, hoof trimming, forging and shoeing. At the end of the course, the students will take part in a two-week work experience placement.

Brooke's Global Farriery Project

Senegal’s accredited certification is a huge step in providing people with official routes to gaining qualifications within the trade and it is hoped that other countries will follow suit.

Brooke’s Global Farriery Project aims to raise the profile of farriery in low and middle income countries where a lack of training and tools are causing horses to suffer problems such as lameness, arthritis and increased vulnerability to infections and disease. This global approach enables Brooke to provide expert mentorship and training for community-based farriers, who will themselves become skilled trainers and equine welfare advocates.

Global Farriery Project