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TOPIC: Improvement Clinics held for all organizations

RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 26 Mar 2009 19:44 #61

Both!!! Gary. It's very troubling too!
Of the 40+ some farriers in the area that I personally know of, only 6 or 7 have any type of AFA CF [or equivalance] that I'm aware of; and that is including myself of my test for the track. Very sad. Linda
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 26 Mar 2009 19:47 #62

  • Mike Ferrara
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ladyblacksmith wrote:
Most of the horseshoer's I know, don't care, won't be tested by AFA or anyone else for that matter!
People here at Horseshoes and at the clinics around the country are in the minority; not the majority of shoer's.

The farriers you know sound very different from the farriers that I know.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 26 Mar 2009 19:50 #63

Mike Ferrara wrote:
The farriers you know sound very different from the farriers that I know.

Very true dear, so very true.

Good news is that I am running into a better bunch of farriers now, and they help me out when I needed the most!! Special thanks, Linda.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 26 Mar 2009 19:52 #64

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ladyblacksmith wrote:
Both!!! Gary. It's very troubling too!
Of the 40+ some farriers in the area that I personally know of, only 6 or 7 have any type of AFA CF [or equivalance] that I'm aware of; and that is including myself of my test for the track. Very sad. Linda

Why is that sad? Well, it might be sad for the AFA but everybody else seems to be doing ok.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 26 Mar 2009 20:02 #65

Mike Ferrara wrote:
Why is that sad? Well, it might be sad for the AFA but everybody else seems to be doing ok.

Except for the horse:eek:
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 26 Mar 2009 20:30 #66

  • Mike Ferrara
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ladyblacksmith wrote:
Except for the horse:eek:

No, I was including the horse in that statement.

IMO, anybody who wants to claim that certified farriers are doing measurably better for the horse than non-certified farriers should present some data. You'd think the market would just flock to that crowd of farriers who were producing noticeably and measurably better results wouldn't you?

Oh silly me, I forgot that certification is being kept secret by the AFA.:D
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 26 Mar 2009 21:12 #67

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I agree with Mike on this. All the clients I have, hired me based on my work not based on a certification or price but solely based on the work that I do. Every time I step into a barn I am taking a test with two judges, the horse and the owner. 75% of the horses I shoe wear a 4x0 kerck, so does that disqualify me from shoeing a horse that wears a #2 . IMO, their is no relevance of the AFA to 99% of horse owners.

Justin
Justin Decker

"As I see it, good enough is never good enough, it's just an excuse for mediocrity. If every shoeing ain't worth your best shot, you're just going through the motions." Tom Stovall, CJF
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 02:22 #68

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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Mike Ferrara in gray, stuff deleted

Yes, my experience varies. Speaking for myself, while the ability to shoe a foot waver was key in getting most of my accounts, shod up show horses don't represent anywhere near the majority of the horses on my book.

Hence the term "insular." The majority of long footed show farriers of my acquaintence tend to shoe ASBs (NSH, Hackneys, Morgans, etc.) to the exclusion of other disciplines.

AFA certification doesn't imply that ability to service any specialty well either.

On the other hand, AFA certification guarantees the credential holder knows which way to turn a nail and that is miles ahead of whatever is running second.

Where in the AFA test does the farrier demonstrate his ability to give the horse what it needs?

The AFA's written tests cover the general determination of needs and how best they are met - and before one can give a horse what it needs one must first be able to determine those needs.

Casually? It's sure a good excersize for the farrier who thinks he/she is pretty good at basics like fitting and nailing. LOL


A roadster shoe is a great forging exercise, but it doesn't have much of a relationship to the real world farriery; similarly, fitting two pads and a wedge to a front foot of a long footed horse has little relationship to real world farriery. Personally, I always figured a humongous toe clip at the same angle as the dorsal hoof made it fairly simple.

You keep saying this but I don't see it in evidence. The feed store boards probably aren't the place to find the best farrier but they're damn sure the place to find the worst clients.

You might want to check out the Morris Animal Foundation survey on which group comprises the largest group of horse owners. (Hint: it ain't ASBs)

You don't really believe that do you?

You really ought to get out more. There ain't much to shoeing sound, talented, horses in any discipline, but assessing and addressing the needs of the less talented and cripples requires a little know-how. So, yessir, sometimes the hardest part of farriery is simply keeping some geriatric puke pain free as he goes from feed to water to shelter, moving some no-talent puke from whites to reds, or moving a $1,000 claimer to $1,250. Does your vast experience vary?

AFA certification isn't a secret.


LMAO! You're kidding right?

However, In the 30 years or so that it's been in existence, it has failed to distinguish itself and a reliable indicator that the client and horse are going to get what they need.

The AFA practicals are not designed to test one's ability to assess and address needs (that's covered on the written portion), the practical is designed to objectively quantify one's ability to shoe to an arbitrary standard.

It is disputable. Study and practice do not require the AFA but better in what way?

Nossir, the fact that anyone who has passed the AFA's certification tests has become a better farrier in the process is not disputable other than by the terminally recalcitrant. Ask any successful testee.

In a way that would actually make a difference to horse owners, the horse or a farriers business?

It makes a difference to every farrier who wants to improve his work. AFA certification is not the only way to get better, but the study and practice necessary to pass the AFA's tests will make a better farrier out of anyone - even you.

Heck, a good portion of the test is dependant on things that almost nobody does in their real work unless they are practicing for certification or a contest. [sarcasm] yes, there are several times a day when a farrier needs to make four plain stamped even weight shoes and get them on in two hours![/sarcasm]

True, one can buy just about anything necessary to meet horses' needs, but occasionally one runs across a horse with needs that require rudimentary forging skills. As I see it, the AFA's tests involve rudimentary forging skills, nothing esoteric, and certainly nothing particularly difficult for any competent farrier.

You apparently don't think much of contests but without them, the AFA would be even less relevant than it is.


Not so! Had the AFA devoted it resources to the creation of a demand for AFA certified farriers over the last 30 years by letting folks know they have a choice between someone who has voluntarily taken several difficult tests that cover both knowledge and motor skills and someone who has either failed those tests or failed to take those tests, I think the public would be inclined to choose AFA certified farriers instead of looking on the feed store bulletin board, or it's digital equivalent, COTH.

The AFA needs the contests.

The AFA needs contests like Custer needed more Native Americans. :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 02:34 #69

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cuttinshoer in gray

I agree with Mike on this. All the clients I have, hired me based on my work not based on a certification or price but solely based on the work that I do. Every time I step into a barn I am taking a test with two judges, the horse and the owner. 75% of the horses I shoe wear a 4x0 kerck, so does that disqualify me from shoeing a horse that wears a #2 . IMO, their is no relevance of the AFA to 99% of horse owners.

I have no doubt you're entirely correct in your assessment of both the AFA and your particular circumstances. On the other hand, whatever your knowledge and skill level, the study and practice necessary to pass the AFA's tests will make you a better farrier. For conformation, you have only to ask anyone who has successfully undergone the process. :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 02:49 #70

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Tom, I agree with you on all points regarding the AFA. I enjoy reading your posts, some of them are pretty funny. Keep it up.
Rick Talbert
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 03:04 #71

Watch it Tom or you will not be allowed to discuss certification either. :D
Phil Armitage, CF
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"Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it." Albert Schweitzer
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 04:40 #72

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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
cuttinshoer in gray

I agree with Mike on this. All the clients I have, hired me based on my work not based on a certification or price but solely based on the work that I do. Every time I step into a barn I am taking a test with two judges, the horse and the owner. 75% of the horses I shoe wear a 4x0 kerck, so does that disqualify me from shoeing a horse that wears a #2 . IMO, their is no relevance of the AFA to 99% of horse owners.

I have no doubt you're entirely correct in your assessment of both the AFA and your particular circumstances. On the other hand, whatever your knowledge and skill level, the study and practice necessary to pass the AFA's tests will make you a better farrier. For conformation, you have only to ask anyone who has successfully undergone the process. :)

Of course working for the Guild test or the NB test will also make you a better farrier. In fact, practicing and studying will make you better if you don't want to take any test.
I don't mean this to be offensive, but if it is all about the journey and learning, why did you stop at CJF? In fact, since there are only 350 CJFs out there (someone please check my numbers) why do most AFA members stop at CF? Why not take the WCF test Tom?
P
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 04:53 #73

reillyshoe wrote:
Of course working for the Guild test or the NB test will also make you a better farrier. In fact, practicing and studying will make you better if you don't want to take any test.
I don't mean this to be offensive, but if it is all about the journey and learning, why did you stop at CJF? In fact, since there are only 350 CJFs out there (someone please check my numbers) why do most AFA members stop at CF? Why not take the WCF test Tom?
Great - Post , Pat!!, That's nicely said, Why stop learning?????
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 10:16 #74

  • Mike Ferrara
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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
Mike Ferrara in gray, stuff deleted


You keep saying this but I don't see it in evidence. The feed store boards probably aren't the place to find the best farrier but they're damn sure the place to find the worst clients.

You might want to check out the Morris Animal Foundation survey on which group comprises the largest group of horse owners. (Hint: it ain't ASBs)

Those numbers might not tell us what we need to know. Where I live, there are horses everywhere...nobody is spending any money on them but they're there. When they have to get a farrier, they may go to the Amish or the feed store.

You don't really believe that do you?

You really ought to get out more. There ain't much to shoeing sound, talented, horses in any discipline, but assessing and addressing the needs of the less talented and cripples requires a little know-how. So, yessir, sometimes the hardest part of farriery is simply keeping some geriatric puke pain free as he goes from feed to water to shelter, moving some no-talent puke from whites to reds, or moving a $1,000 claimer to $1,250. Does your vast experience vary?

Yes, in my experience most people aren't going to spend any money getting some geriatric puke pain free as he goes from feed to water to shelter. It might be hard but there's no money in it.


AFA certification isn't a secret.


LMAO! You're kidding right?

No, I'm not kidding. The folks I referenced above know about certification but they don't care unless they can get that certified farrier to shoe for $35.

However, In the 30 years or so that it's been in existence, it has failed to distinguish itself and a reliable indicator that the client and horse are going to get what they need.

The AFA practicals are not designed to test one's ability to assess and address needs (that's covered on the written portion), the practical is designed to objectively quantify one's ability to shoe to an arbitrary standard.

Great but that's not what a potential client wants to know. The test is answering a question that nobody is asking.
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RE:Improvement Clinics held for all organizations 27 Mar 2009 11:21 #75

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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reillyshoe in gray

Of course working for the Guild test or the NB test will also make you a better farrier. In fact, practicing and studying will make you better if you don't want to take any test.

If one wishes to use a test to measure one's progress in the trade, then unless a test is standardized with the criteria clearly delineated, and the results quantified as objectively as humanly possible - and unless every testee takes the SAME test - the test's value as a standard is considerably diminished. As you know, I'm not a big fan of subjectivity.

I don't mean this to be offensive, but if it is all about the journey and learning, why did you stop at CJF?

No offense taken. I stopped with the AFA CJF because it is the only standardized test of a farrier's knowledge and motor skills available to farriers in the US - and unless everyone takes the same test, its value is questionable at best. At one time, I considered the TE, but I now have certain physical limitations that preclude my doing so.

In fact, since there are only 350 CJFs out there (someone please check my numbers) why do most AFA members stop at CF?

Clairvoyance is not one of my talents. :)

Why not take the WCF test Tom?

Twenty years ago, I probably would have. I certainly think it would be a worthwhile endeavor.
Tom Stovall, CJF
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