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TOPIC: Improvement Clinics held for all organizations

RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 29 Mar 2009 14:40 #136

  • Mike Ferrara
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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
Rick Burten

So Tom, one might imply from your stated position, that you, because you did not take the state boards to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, plumber, electrician, etc ad naseum, have failed, correct?

Incorrect. I'm not qualified by either education or experience to take any of the aforementioned tests.

You failed to qualify for the tests but that still leaves the tests undone so you failed to take them.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 29 Mar 2009 15:03 #137

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Mike Ferrara in gray

The AFA apparently aims to base the evaluation on the physical properties of the object and the clock. If the parametrics are adequately specified and reliably measured, it could be objective...but it isn't.


The parameters of the AFA's tests are standardized, published and clearly delineated. Each testee's adherence to the stated parameters is quantified as objectively as humanly possible according to rigid evaluation criteria; furthermore, the testing criteria for every test at every level are exactly alike. Fair for one, fair for all.

Further, in order to be useful, the test must flag failure modes that of concerned to those who are intended to make use of the test results.


Nonsense. While you can decry their usefulness, apparently on the basis of your lack of personal experience, the tests are extremely useful as an indicator of one's ability to shoe to a standard. No one is required to take the tests, they're strictly voluntary; thus, in order to make the tests useful to the industry, the AFA has only make owners aware that they have a choice between a farrier who has passed a standardized test, a farrier who has failed a standardized test, and someone who has, for whatever reason, failed to take a standardized test.

For reasons that should be apparent, it kinda tickles me that anyone would take umbrage at the AFA's making the industry aware of these possibilities.

This might explain why most farriers and horse owners don't care.

LMAO! Your insularity is showing again. While I haven't canvassed most farriers - and you haven't either - I can state without fear of contradiction that most horse owners are blissfully unaware of either the AFA and its testing procedures.

Since their judgment is not highly sought after, the AFA should at least consider the possibility that they are not viewed as expert.


The view of folks with an ax to grind is prone to be a bit jaundiced, but you might want to check the creds of folks within the industry who hold the AFA's testing procedures in fairly high regard. :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 29 Mar 2009 15:18 #138

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Mike Ferrara

You failed to qualify for the tests but that still leaves the tests undone so you failed to take them.

Congratulations, you finally got it!

If, for any reason, I fail to meet the qualifications for taking a farrier test (Too old, too young, too fat, too whatever), my lack of qualifications preclude my taking the test and I can truthfully say, "I failed to take the test." :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 29 Mar 2009 16:20 #139

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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
Mike Ferrara in gray

The AFA apparently aims to base the evaluation on the physical properties of the object and the clock. If the parametrics are adequately specified and reliably measured, it could be objective...but it isn't.


The parameters of the AFA's tests are standardized, published and clearly delineated. Each testee's adherence to the stated parameters is quantified as objectively as humanly possible according to rigid evaluation criteria; furthermore, the testing criteria for every test at every level are exactly alike. Fair for one, fair for all.

No. The parameters (at least some of them) are not clearly specified and hence, cannot be repeatably and reliably measured.

In matters of specification, test and measurement, the AFA would save themselves a lot of headaches by consulting with someone who knows something about this stuff.

Further, in order to be useful, the test must flag failure modes that of concerned to those who are intended to make use of the test results.


Nonsense. While you can decry their usefulness, apparently on the basis of your lack of personal experience, the tests are extremely useful as an indicator of one's ability to shoe to a standard.

No. My point is that horse owners don't care about the standard. They need the horse to perform. If the horse performs to their expectations, they will put up with a crooked nail line, a non-smooth clinch, a non-perfectly flat shoe or foot and so on. The AFA isn't measuring what the owner is interested in. The shoeing can meet AFA "standards" yet fail to give the horse what it needs. Thus, the failure modes of most concern to the owner have not been tested for.

There's nothing wrong with testing the criteria they test but it's not enough to interest very many farriers or owners.

Farriers on the other hand can just look at the shoe, foot, finish ect and judge for themselves (or choose someone to look or hire someone to look ect)whether it's flat enough, smooth enough, fit as they intended ect. No help from the AFA is required.

For reasons that should be apparent, it kinda tickles me that anyone would take umbrage at the AFA's making the industry aware of these possibilities.

I don't take unbrage at the AFA doing anything they want to do. I'm just not going to pay them to do it.

This might explain why most farriers and horse owners don't care.

LMAO! Your insularity is showing again. While I haven't canvassed most farriers - and you haven't either - I can state without fear of contradiction that most horse owners are blissfully unaware of either the AFA and its testing procedures.

No, I haven't canvassed most farriers or owners but we know that most farriers are not AFA members or AFA certified and that most owners aren't using AFA certified farriers.

As to most owners being unaware, I haven't seen any evidence of that. I can tell you that I know many who are aware of it and don't care...including those who have replaced certified farriers with non-certified farriers.

Since their judgment is not highly sought after, the AFA should at least consider the possibility that they are not viewed as expert.


The view of folks with an ax to grind is prone to be a bit jaundiced, but you might want to check the creds of folks within the industry who hold the AFA's testing procedures in fairly high regard. :)

Well, those on both the pro and con sides may have an exe to grind. You sure sound like you have one. We can also check the creds of those who don't hold the AFA in very high regard.

Regardless of what you want to attribute it to, niether the AFA or it's certification program have gone over very well. I don't see any evidence that they are doing anything about it so I wouldn't expect it to go any differently in the future.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 29 Mar 2009 16:23 #140

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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
Mike Ferrara

You failed to qualify for the tests but that still leaves the tests undone so you failed to take them.

Congratulations, you finally got it!

LOL, I "got it" all along. It's just that it's goofy word usage...evidence of the axe you're grinding maybe.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 29 Mar 2009 20:58 #141

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Mike Ferrara in gray

LOL, I "got it" all along.

You certainly had me fooled! For a while there, I thought you didn't know the difference between transitive and intransitive.

It's just that it's goofy word usage...


Tsk! I suppose it promising that you've made the leap from disingenuous to goofy, but it appears you still have a way to go.

evidence of the axe you're grinding maybe.

The ax I'm grinding has to do with prodding the AFA into letting folks know they have a choice. Can you guess what that choice might be? :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 30 Mar 2009 16:47 #142

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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
The ax I'm grinding has to do with prodding the AFA into letting folks know they have a choice.
Thus far everyone in the AFA who has been in a "position of power" where they could impliment "letting folks know they have a choice," has FAILED to do so. This includes some who have "promised" to do so, announced their intentions to do so, and then once (supposedly) given the power/opportunity, failed to deliver.

With all the promises and announced intentions failing on delivery, there must be some obstacle or recurring circumstantial concidence or higher, more urgent (or relevant:confused:) priority which allows the AFA to fail to let folks know they have a choice.
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 30 Mar 2009 17:29 #143

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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
The salient point is that unless the criteria for a test are the same, no matter how subjective or objective its evaluation, some testees get the gold mine, while others get the shaft.

Unless every testee is required to run the same distance, jump the same height, shoe to the same standard, poot the same chorus of Flight of the Bumblebee, etc., a test is pretty much meaningless in terms of evaluating performance because the results are inherently inconclusive.
Agreed. Especially considering that they do not all shoe the same horse. They can refuse a horse, but the next one could be worse. Thus some testees get the gold mine, while others get the shaft. The horse will have an effect on the score - it always does, and anything done to account for the horse's affect on the score is a subjective judgement call including blood drawn by a candidate (Chapter 7, Rule 24).

Use of power tools is at examiner's discretion (Rule 25). Gold mine or shaft? It is a timed exam. Power tools provide a significant advantage on the clock and on cosmetic finish scores.

All scoreing . . . 8,6,4 varying degrees of errors which could be corrected without causing harm . . . totally subjective.

Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.

Pass or fail, gold mine or shaft, fair or not, you will learn something because nobody ever gets a perfect score and everybody ALWAYS has room to improve. :cool:
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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