Le maréchal-ferrant est un artisan dont le métier consiste à ferrer les pieds des chevaux et autres équidés et à s'occuper de leur parage. Le ferrage des bovins de trait est aujourd'hui rarement pratiqué. Il existe environ 1600 maréchaux-ferrants en France. Métier vieux de plus de 3000 ans, le terme de maréchal provient de l'ancien français Marhskalk qui désignait un domestique qui soignait les chevaux. Le mot maréchal a ensuite pris deux sens différents : celui désignant l'artisan chargé de ferrer les chevaux et l'autre qui désigne l'officier préposé aux soins des chevaux. Le mot maréchal-ferrant a été ensuite créé pour distinguer ces deux métiers.
A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves, if necessary. A farrier combines some blacksmith's skills (fabricating, adapting, and adjusting metal shoes) with some veterinarian's skills (knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the lower limb) to care for horses' feet. Historically, the jobs of farrier and blacksmith were practically synonymous, shown by the etymology of the word: farrier comes from Middle French: ferrier (blacksmith), from the Latin word ferrum (iron). A farrier's work in colonial America or pre-Industrial Revolution Europe would have included horseshoeing, as well as the fabrication and repair of tools, the forging of architectural pieces, etc. Modern day farriers usually specialize in horseshoeing, focusing their time and effort on the care of the horse's hoof. For this reason, farriers and blacksmiths are considered to be in separate, albeit related, trades. In the British Army, the Household Cavalry have farriers who march in parade in ceremonial dress, carrying their historical axes with spikes. They are a familiar sight at the annual Trooping the Colour. There is also a farrier on call "round the clock, twenty-four hours a day, at Hyde Park Barracks." In the United Kingdom, the Worshipful Company of Farriers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Farriers, or horseshoe makers, organised in 1356. It received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1674. Over the years, the Company has evolved from a trade association for horseshoe makers into an organisation for those devoted to equine welfare, including veterinary surgeons.