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TOPIC: Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY?

RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 13:33 #16

  • Martin Kenny
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Jason Maki wrote:
Martin,
If you had not worked with the legends you have, pursued and acheived your CJF and went on from there would you be the farrier you are today?
If a read between the lines in your posts, the AFA, or atleasts many of its founding fathers, were integral to your becoming the farrier you are today. If it is not relevant to you today, I think its patently obvious by your credentials and the folks who you learned from it was important in your past.
I think it is as important to remember where we came from as it is to know where we are going. You obviously came from a blue AFA "family". Why do you claim these experiences and people are not relevant now? Why would you discourage people from following the path that lead to your success?
Jason


Jason, First off I want to congratulate you on your new position down there in Texas. From what I hear, you will be a real asset there.

Now for your response above, Tom Bloomer hit it on the head, about the AFA then and the AFA now. So I won't get into that, as he did a great job already. Thanks Tom

But to specifically answer your question, Jason;
1.As Tom stated, back then we did not have an openness that new farriers enjoy today. I will grant that the AFA was germane in turning that around, but one can not live on past accomplishments in order to survive in the present world. (look at the big 3 auto makers for proof of that)
2. You assume that the relationships I spoke of were provided mainly because of the AFA. Some where, others weren't. Back then farriers would to see me coming, because they knew I would be bugging them to join the AFA. We did not develop our relationships because of the AFA. I helped to build the AFA because of the relationships I had made in my own practices. Let me give you an example. Hank Highfield (recent AFA Team member from Indiana) and I became acquainted, because I had been flying to Indiana for a few years (yes we did that back in the late 70's too, its not a new phenomenon) to shoe 2 horses there. We kept trying to find someone that would desire to learn what I had to teach them about how to shoe these horses. We tried many farriers but for one reason or another the goal was never met. Then a young man named Hank, took an interest and was able to learn what I was offering. You see, he was fresh out of shoeing school and still had an open mind and was very eager to learn. So after working with him for a while, when I came to shoe my client's horses, the client and I recognized that he had great potential. MY Client then put up the air fare to fly him to spend a spell working with me in PA. He and I spent long days shoeing horses, then back in the shop, I taught him to make shoes that had some semblance of quality and artistry to them. And as they say, "The rest is history" for Mr. Heighfield. The point here is this, none of this opportunity for Hank to learn, had anything to do with the AFA. In fact, one part of our agreement (which was my rule with everyone back then) was that he then apply for AFA membership. The AFA did not grow Mr. Highfield, Mr. Highfield helped to grow the AFA, by honoring my condition for helping him. His advantage came from my personal efforts and the generosity of my client. (who, by the way, I still shoe for, after more than 26 years)
3. "My success" had little to do with the AFA. In fact I have openly said that the AFA has hindered my personal growth to some degree. Let me explain that. Most of you have no earthly idea who Martin Kenny is, and I understand that, because I made a personal decision to remove myself from the farrier "society" back in 1996. I was frustrated with how bad my horses feet were looking, and was even thinking of changing professions. (even studied and I am now certificated in an arm of the finance world) But my love was not finance, but horses. So I took a long hard look at myself and the work I was performing, along with the results of what I was doing. I saw that the better I got at mastering the AFA standards, the worse my horses feet looked when I came back the next month. I have to agree, they looked great when I left, but when I came back; well, that was another story. (Sound familiar to any one else out there? I know it does, because many have shared that with me, and I see it every day.)
Anyhow, I then delved into deep research, at a cost of over a half million dollars in actual outlay and income loss, over about 10 years. What I learned was alarming to me. I learned that the methodology that the AFA and others was incorrect, and actually creating many of the things you all deal with on a daily basis. Those methodologies were actually creating a need for many of the high tech stuff many of you find in your rigs today. (Sole packing stuff, hoof rebuilding stuff, special shoes, etc...)
I am going out on a limb here, but the fact is, the Bare Foot crowd, actually had a point. The way I was (and many of you are) shoeing horses is destroying feet. Please understand that I stick up for you every time I am brought into a case. I tell each new client. "The problem is not that this farrier has done it wrong, the problem is that this farrier has done it exactly like he was taught to do it. The problem is that the he has been following is incorrect!
You can prove this to yourself... simply look at authors of old shoeing books, (Lugwitsz, Holmes, etc.) and you will see, that they were dealing with the same issues of today. (think white line is new, It used to be called "loose wall disease" Look at how often Seedy Toe is written about back then too. They dealt with flares and crumbling walls every day just like you do today!) So if we still have the same problems (which are not an issue to me any more), and we are shoeing like they did back then (which I do not) then something is terribly wrong. I owe a debt to the Bare Foot crowd, as they helped to open my eyes and see that I needed to learn how to use shoes in a manner that helped the foot, instead of destroying it.
The point being made here is this.... The AFA had and has its good points, (I am still member #178) but the fact that it has never promoted honest research by its members, makes the AFA's true intrinsic value questionable. In the midst of my heavy research days, I requested if there was any AFA money to assist in underwriting equipment. My request was never even answered. So I moved on and took care of 100% of the $$$ myself. At the same time, the AFA has funneled a relatively small amount of $$ to research done at the academia level. So it would seem to me that the relevance of research for the AFA is not directly with the farriers, but with academia.
To sum it up, I personally feel that the AFA kept me from learning faster than I did, as "Big Brother" was telling me (through unproven standards) that all I had to do was follow the pattern and all would be fine. It was only after I shed those ideals that I grew like crazy.

So I stand by my earlier statement... along with a clarification. I do not feel the AFA is relevant to the working farrier of 2009. (to the working farrier of 2009.... being the clarification here.)
If you feel shoeing horses is best served by how well you can work in the forge, you are missing the point!

It is how well you shoe a horse, so he performs at his best advantage, IN SPITE of his personal issues. Forge work is simply a tool that MAY be...
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 14:14 #17

  • JimBondra
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 14:44 #18

  • tbloomer
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Jim,
How did you get your web cam to display in this forum? :confused:
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 22:24 #19

  • JimBondra
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Tom,
Actually that's Jason's webcam.:D
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 22:41 #20

Martin,
thank you. this is the best thing I've ever done.
I never saw the AFA test/competition standard as the "be all end all" but an attempt to make objective judgements on a subjective matter. The practical skills required to pass the cjf test are burned into your muscle memory; if you can meet that standard in the time limit you should be able to accomplish any standard well. The AFA and the cert program attempt to create some standard of education and skill for the farrier industry... something I think is lacking.
I have a different story. My apprenticeship with a two time team member and running down the letters taught me the rudiments of how to shoe horses, how to gauge normal, and how to move metal to make up for what is lacking. This created a solid foundation upon which to build, expand, explore and create individual protocols for individual horses or even singular feet. I think the skills and knowledge base provided by the AFA cert program gave me a compass and a rudder as I foray into the great sea of farriery. I'm fairley certain I can shoe a horse and do no harm. That frees me to think about how to make it better, and how to re establish the fundamentals of HPA, M/L balance and removal of distortion while maintaining what is healthy within the foot and or digit. Without the basic skills I would not be where I am today. Those basic skills flow from two generations of CJF AFT members.
The AFA is very relevant to me and who I am. We, as a trade or as practitioners can not outgrow the fundamentals. Every time I've tried to ignore a basic principle, I've lost chunks of my buttocks. We can build space ships and nail em on, but the basics of farriery will still apply.
Thats why the AFA is relevant to me.
Jason
"Always listen to the experts. They tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it." Robert Heinlien
Jason Maki CJF, RJF
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 22:52 #21

  • tbloomer
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Jason,

That ought to be printed on the front page of the AFA web site. Maybe some horse owners would see it.

Thanks for shareing.
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 22:54 #22

  • tbloomer
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JimBondra wrote:
Tom,
Actually that's Jason's webcam.:D
No it is not! There is no dog in his lap. :p
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 03 Feb 2009 22:55 #23

  • JimBondra
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Ah Jason,
Just leave out the losing chunks of your buttocks part, OK.
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 04 Feb 2009 00:27 #24

  • Martin Kenny
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Jason Maki wrote:
Martin,
thank you. this is the best thing I've ever done.
I never saw the AFA test/competition standard as the "be all end all" but an attempt to make objective judgements on a subjective matter. The practical skills required to pass the cjf test are burned into your muscle memory; if you can meet that standard in the time limit you should be able to accomplish any standard well. The AFA and the cert program attempt to create some standard of education and skill for the farrier industry... something I think is lacking.
I have a different story. My apprenticeship with a two time team member and running down the letters taught me the rudiments of how to shoe horses, how to gauge normal, and how to move metal to make up for what is lacking. This created a solid foundation upon which to build, expand, explore and create individual protocols for individual horses or even singular feet. I think the skills and knowledge base provided by the AFA cert program gave me a compass and a rudder as I foray into the great sea of farriery. I'm fairley certain I can shoe a horse and do no harm. That frees me to think about how to make it better, and how to re establish the fundamentals of HPA, M/L balance and removal of distortion while maintaining what is healthy within the foot and or digit. Without the basic skills I would not be where I am today. Those basic skills flow from two generations of CJF AFT members.
The AFA is very relevant to me and who I am. We, as a trade or as practitioners can not outgrow the fundamentals. Every time I've tried to ignore a basic principle, I've lost chunks of my buttocks. We can build space ships and nail em on, but the basics of farriery will still apply.
Thats why the AFA is relevant to me.
Jason

Jason, that is certainly a great testimony and as such I can see how you feel the way you do!
In the beginning (early 1980's) though, the AFA testing was perceived as the "standard" not simply a "test" of skills. Maybe of late that has changed, and if so that is great, but then the AFA has to get the word out, that this is the case, because the owners, vets, and dare I say many farriers, don't see it as a simply a test. Especially the non AFA farriers, and by the way, we need to have the AFA perceived correctly or else it never will get out of its present quandary.
The AFA can be relevant to the masses, but it has a lot of work ahead to do that.
If you feel shoeing horses is best served by how well you can work in the forge, you are missing the point!

It is how well you shoe a horse, so he performs at his best advantage, IN SPITE of his personal issues. Forge work is simply a tool that MAY be...
The topic has been locked.

RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 04 Feb 2009 01:15 #25

  • Jaye Perry
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Martin Kenny.... Especially the non AFA farriers, and by the way, we need to have the AFA perceived correctly or else it never will get out of its present quandary.
..

When it, the AFA, becomes more modern in it's approaches to farriery, the relevance can be questioned. With any indenty there are basic principles, those who have been around long enough know that identities build on basic principles and further their organizations; not tought antiquty!:rolleyes:
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 04 Feb 2009 03:23 #26

  • IRNWKR_2
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Jason Maki wrote:
I'm fairley certain I can shoe a horse and do no harm.Jason

Me Too Jason Maki wrote:
We can build space ships and nail em on, but the basics of farriery will still apply.
Jason
I think that statement would make a great T-shirt or I may have it tattooed to my forehead
Jason Gilliland
"whether you think you can or think you caint your usually right" Henry Ford

"Im not as good as I once was, but Im just as good once as I ever was" My Grandad

"a wink is as good as a nod, to a blind mule" Barney Fyffe
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 04 Feb 2009 03:31 #27

  • beslagsmed
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And when the horse industry and rest of the farriers understand that the AFA testing standard is just testing a person on a preset way of doing things, and that every horse doesn't necessarly need to be shod that way - then the thinking that every horse needs to be shod as the test will be behind us. They will also understand that the farrier is just meeting a preset standard and that he/she should be able to shoe any horse to any standard.
Mikel Dawson, RJF

(Denmark)
What part of "NO" don't you understand!!

Caution: Watch for hoof in mouth disease!!!
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 04 Feb 2009 03:40 #28

I think that, the fact these threads were even started states pretty plainly that the AFA is relevant. :rolleyes:
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBimQu6Pxxs
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 04 Feb 2009 05:16 #29

  • Clint Burrell
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Dave Purves RJF wrote:
I think that, the fact these threads were even started states pretty plainly that the AFA is relevant. :rolleyes:

I was thinking the same thing the other day.
Clint Burrell

"You say your from collage,
but you don't seem to bright.
You just brought a swichblade
to a pistol fight"
Move On by Chris Knight
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RE:Is the AFA relevant to the FARRIER INDUSTRY? 04 Feb 2009 11:22 #30

  • tbloomer
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Everything is relative. What I am seeing in these forums is dissapointment in the "relivance of the AFA."

I am dissapointed that the certification program is not perceived as relivant by every one.

I am dissapointed that the market we serve does not value my certification.

I am dissapointed that my certification is viewed with contempt by some of my "peers."

However, is it fair to blame the horse owner, the industry, and the overwealming majority of farriers for their indifference toward the AFA?
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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