How the Italians do it!
As an Italian vet working in the UK there are many similarities with how farriery works. In Italy a farrier is called a Maniscalco (which is derived from the words ‘mare’ as in horse and ‘shall’ meaning duty/responsibility). Incidentially, the English word ‘marshal’ derives from the German words ‘marah’ (horse) and schalh (servant) – meaning who is responsible for taking care of horses.
In Italy farriers can train at local level or train via military farrier colleges which are now open to the public rather than just military. It takes 2-3 years of both theory and practical work (apprenticeship) before an Italian farrier is qualified to European standards. However, there are other shorter courses for farriers in Italy but these do not give qualifications for working outside Italy. Unfortunately, there are also people who call themselves farriers, who have learnt the ‘skills’ from their fathers, ie family businesses carried down. Whilst they may have experience they have no recognised qualification.
Recently, in Italy barefoot farriery has become popular resulting in the craft of farriery gaining new impetus. Obviously, barefoot farriery requires learning new techniques and farriers have had to adapt and learn these new techniques.
As in the UK Italian farriers work closely with owners (who know the type of work the horse is required to do) and vets (who, for example, will ensure the appropriate measures are undertaken when a horse has joint problems, etc).
At equestrian sporting events in Italy a farrier would be present, along with vets and first aid personnel for people.