About Matt

Matt’s interest in horses began at an early age and he was an avid rider through his teenage years enjoying trail riding, local stock work and pony club events.

An aptitude for hard riding soon steered him in the direction of One Day Eventing and Endurance riding. The shoeing of these performance horses is critical to their success and Matt soon developed a keen interest in the biomechanics of corrective shoeing. The quest to be a complete horseman and care for his animals in every aspect led him to pursue the art of horseshoeing. This involved working on various horse studs in northern NSW and southern QLD where he did time under a number of local farriers. During this time he became passionate about the Aussie sport of campdrafting and competed at many local competitions.

Although learning the trade “cold”, Matt would recall an older farrier who used to shoe his horses “hot”. These shoeing jobs seemed to last longer and generate a better fit. In the quest to further his knowledge he worked under a Welsh farrier Tim Bowles who did his trade in a 300yr old blacksmith shop.

Together they shod many “heavy” horses making their shoes from scratch from straight bar. This blacksmithing experience Matt believes helped him to become a more complete farrier.On returning to Victoria, Matt’s prowess at forging handmade shoes for Clydesdales was noticed by prominent Cranbourne farrier Peter Strafford who encouraged him to do the trade accreditation tests at Glenormiston College and gain VRC accreditation. This was duly completed in 1985 with a high score of 98% and the head farrier at the time Ron King offered Matt a teaching position at the college.

With distance being a problem on the teaching offer Matt developed an extensive book of diverse clients from dressage people to the western riders, specializing in hand made sliders for the Reining mob. For over 10 years he also shod the working Clydesdales on the Dalmore asparagus fields one of the last facets of farming that still used the working horse in production.

Over the years, a desire to be the best tradesman he could be, has lead Matt to refine his skills. Each horse is as important as the next, whether it is a $500 hack or a racehorse worth $500,000. To make a difference and assist the comfort and working life of his equine clients, remains the major goal of Matt the Farrier as he is known to hundreds of horse owners.