HouseHold Cavalry - Farrier

I am looking to join the Household cavalry with the ambition to eventually train as a farrier.
My local recruitment officer told me that this is a very hard trade to get into...Practically impossible! He also told me that the role of Farrier may be going out to contract due to the budget cuts.

Does anyone have any insight into this role in the army. Is it impossible to get into? Any comments or advice would be welcome.

As for cuts - No idea, But they'll need farriers on site perm due to the amount of work they do. A lot of the time lads go to HCMR first due to manpower. You need to do to at least 2 years mounted and probably get you Band 1 mounted as well, then they used to (10 years since I left) have 1 person per troop, makes 6 with LG & RHG/D, then they would be there for something like a week for the forge to see what they tought of them. Couple of my mates did it, then then spent a few weeks to months in there making their own toolds. Then 6 months or so course, 2 years as apprentice in the forge and a huge time bar. Mainly if you do get in the forge after 2 or 3 years, you'll be looking at doing your 12 minimum.

I do know the forge is a very good and close knit bunch. They really take care of each other and for that reason you have to be a "Good egg" and get on with everybody to get in there. Hard job to get, but good job and excellent guys in there.
I dont know anything about the soldier bits (I was only a pad brat and come on here as a gopping civi for the banter and shit jokes) but if you are
into forgework join BABA and go to some of their forge ins.. they are very open to students and do all sorts of blacksmithing.. if the position once
in the army is
competetive then time at an anvil shaping iron, drawing down, upsetting ,punching holes instead of drilling and the ability to sort out a good old
fashioned fire weld (when the iron is fluxed brought to white heat and hammered shut ) will only help, then they will know you are no novice.

if youve space build your own forge, or maybe get freindly with a tech college .. or one of the BABA guys.. they have contacts.
BABA is British Artist Blacksmith Association, NOT British ******** Bumming Assoc.
Forgot to say, out of the 6 they trial from the troops, only 2 at the most will get the role. They will also sack everybody off if they feel no-one is up to the role.
Thankyou for taking the time to answer my questions, you have all given good advice.

I really want to join the household cavalry but I need to know that I would have a chance of joining the forge if i work hard enough and from what Ex-donkey man has said this is not impossible.
I am 32 and have a gf, child and a job as an engineer which I really have no passion or interest in. Joining the household cavalry is a big gamble, but a dream of mine which I never pursued until now when it is my last chance (due to age) of getting in the army.

Jingo, What does your mate say about working as a farrier? Is the selection process still the same as when ex donkey man was in the Household cavalry?


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Pappi, thank you for being patient with my flippant reply it's a hobby of mine. Im no longer serving so cant comment on the process, but if its like most other aspects of The Regiment it wont have changed since 1660
He likes it but then he would as he is the boss. He did his time armoured unlike a lot of the column dodgers over there and then worked his way up. I've never been mounted so I don't really know much about the work and the only times I see him these days is when I'm pissed at the Association dinner but I do know they are a tight bunch.
Hi Pappi,

My brother in was attempting to become a farrier in the household cavalry three years ago and claims to have been fed less than accurate figures on how long he could expect to wait for a position as a farrier. It wasn't until he had started his entry that he was informed that the position was run as a 'dead mans shoes' sort of thing - whereby the only way to try get the position was for a current farrier to leave. He decided to drop out before he was commited for his 4 years of service and is now a pretty succesful private farrier earning himself a ridiculous amount of cash.

Due to the chances of farriers being outsourced and the low number of positions in comparison with applicants, I would say that you should ask yourself which you want to do more; would you rather be a farrier or a soldier? Being a farrier would require you to find someone to take you in as an apprentice and teach you everything from scratch whilst paying you very little, but once you've qualified you can make a lot of cash. Alternatively you can go in as a soldier and be happy to be a regular soldier with a slight chance of becoming a farrier.

PS - when I say a lot of money, my brother in law has only had his business 18months and he's pocketing around £45k a year after tax and expenses. More than a warrant officer makes if I remember correctly.


Farrier courses are well run at many agricultural colleges, you can do the farrier or the whole smithying route if horses arent your thing.
If I could get a course (free) I would give up work to take it!
its not about the money , although its a good trade, its about the lifestyle. I'm surprised that they dont keep the army farriers on past normal retirement age as they wouldnt be required to deploy and would free up a PID for a bayonet or toy tank task.
Ideally they could employ injured soldiers for the role!

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