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TOPIC: Whats new with the AFA ??????

Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 05:04 #1

  • vthorseshoe
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Has anyone got the news on the money being spent on a system for the AFA web site ? $$$$$$$ for a new system ?

The AFA team were visiting and demonstrating and teaching farriers across the country.
Word is that Jim Foy has resigned from leadership... Any info of the why's and what for's ?

The AFA magazine seems a lot smaller with each issue... I wonder if the cost has also been reduced ?

I know same old issues.

Vermont Farriers Assoc. has put on 2 certifications now with huge attendances, and very good participation from our members and others from SNEFA.
The first time Andrew Elsbree did the examining and this time it was Danvers Child who did the honors.
Each person was outstanding in explaining and critiqueing each persons work.
They both fulfilled their jobs as the professionals they are.

With money being tight and a big move in the upcoming for me, I have not renewed my membership in the AFA.
I will do so once I am settled in down in northern Florida and have established a new business.
Even though I question a lot of what takes place in the Assoc., I am still a big advocate for the certification program.
This program creates a journey for farriers taking it to attain their certified or journeymans acalade. It is the journey that makes this farrier wiser and more skilled so it is a great thing.

If the members would get off their duffs and truly look into the goings on in their association and be in contact witrh their represenatives, Instead of letting them continue to be the voice of a muted membership then perhaps the officials would/could do the jobs they were voted in to do, instead of representing themselves.
Yes representing themselves, because if you aren't actively in contact with the represenatives of your area then they, the elected officials can only ASSUME they are doing what is expected of them.
By paying $150.00 a year membership dues, you are buying the RIGHT TO BE HEARD or THE RIGHT TO ASK QUESTIONS.
But history will prove, no one or only a very few will and activities will go on as usual.
Just off the top of your head does anyone know what the AFA magazine costs each month to be published and mailed to you ?

Does anyne know how much money is spent and HOW it is spent on the AFA Farrier team to go over seas and compete ? HOW many times has the AFA Farriers team ever won any of the competitions they travel to enter ?

Does any one know what is going on with the computer system or what ever it is that is needed to keep the web page going ?
Who updates it and how often it is done ?

These are just the usual questions folks ask me.
I tell them to contact the AFA office in Kentucky.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CALLED TO ASK ABOUT YOUR AFA Assoc. ???

just some thoughts.....
my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
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"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 14:39 #2

  • tbloomer
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Bruce, I'll tell you what's new with the AFA. In my area the Amish are not allowed to be members of any association. Since the AFA dropped the membership requirement for certification exams, the Amish in my area are showing up to our hammer-ins in droves to practice for the exams.

Years ago the DFA changed their bylaws specifically to allow non-members to pay dues and participate in all functions with full benefits. As a result we have about 65 regular non-member Amish participants, some of whom travel several hours (paying somebody to drive them by car) to get to our clinics. The quality of farriery in the Amish community AND among our non-Amish participants has improved substantially as a result. The DFA has held AFA certification prep clinics several times. We are not an AFA chapter or affiliated with any other organization.

This year will be our biggest turnout because the AFA changed the rules to allow non-members to take their certification exams.

Hey at $200 a pop, maybe enough Amish will take the certification exams to fund the magazine, the web site, and AFT! :cool:
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 14:44 #3

  • Mike Ferrara
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The Amish work around here is pretty good from what I've seen. They may be ridiculously cheap from my point of view but it seems that some of them can shoe a horse.
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 15:01 #4

  • smitty88
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They might even set the standards for the rest of your members
Smitty88
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 15:56 #5

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smitty88 wrote:
They might even set the standards for the rest of your members
They already have. :D I consider it an honor just to be able to share coffee and dough nuts, coal, and steel with these guys on a regular basis.
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 16:15 #6

  • Mike Ferrara
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smitty88 wrote:
They might even set the standards for the rest of your members

In some ways maybe. For the Amish, their work ethic is literally part of their religious beliefs.

Unfortunately, the Amish and the non-Amish are NOT on a level playing field. The Amish are exempt from some government regulation, taxation and they don't drive a truck or have a phone. It's pretty hard to make a valid comparison of price or service.

Here's my Amish story. I lost a long time client to an Amish farrier...first client I ever lost (you don't believe that do you?, LOL)

I was 200 miles away shoeing horses and the former client calls wanting me to come over to trim ONE horse and replace a lost shoe...a lost Amish shoe. I explained that I had to charge to replace the shoe. She asked how much. I said, well a horse has 4 feet so I'll charge you 1/4 of a shoeing. She said it was too much so I suggested that she call the guy who put it on or leave the shoe off. She complained that she couldn't get him out because he doesn't have a phone or truck. Damned, I'm sorry.

I explained that I couldn't get there until Saturday because I was out of town and wouldn't be back until then. She complained that her show was Saturday and she needed it done before then. I suggested she mail a letter or send smoke signals to the Amish farrier to inquire as to what he could do to help her.

As far as I'm concerned my job is to make sure that my clients horses are ready for their shows. That means that my job isn't necessarily done when I finish shoeing the horse. I emphasize "my clients" My clients pay for that and I feel no such obligation toward somebody else's clients who don't pay for it.

From what I hear that lady is still running around bad mouthing me but I didn't do it. LOL, I didn't shoe the horse, I didn't make the shoe come off and I had no obligation in the matter at all. Yet, the Amish fellow is a good guy because he shoes a horse for $35. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

No, the Amish aren't likely to set any standards for me. They don't in any way offer what I offer. They don't have my shop on wheels, they aren't "on call" and I see more highway miles in a week than they do in a decade in the interest of getting my clients horses through what they need to do.

I'm sure the Amish are just perfect for some horse owner and that's OK.
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 16:17 #7

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tbloomer wrote:
They already have. :D I consider it an honor just to be able to share coffee and dough nuts, coal, and steel with these guys on a regular basis.

Now you're making me a little queasy but to each their own.
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 16:56 #8

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I have shod horses with out a phone or a truck
if your good you will find they will come to you one way or the other
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 17:20 #9

  • Cyber Farrier
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vthorseshoe wrote:
Has anyone got the news on the money being spent on a system for the AFA web site ? $$$$$$$ for a new system?

I can't tell you how many times over the past 12 years I submitted proposals to develop and maintain the AFA site. But hey, what do I know....

Baron Tayler
“Suppose you were an ******. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
- Mark Twain

“There is no distinctly native American criminal class... save Congress.”
-Mark Twain

“No man's life, liberty, or property is safe...
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 17:24 #10

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Cyber Farrier wrote:
I can't tell you how many times over the past 12 years I submitted proposals to develop and maintain the AFA site. But hey, what do I know....

Baron Tayler

Baron why do you think they never gave you the green light?
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 17:34 #11

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My position as Manager of the F&HRC precludes me from discussing that. A public position of neutrality, and working with all parties, even direct competitors, with absolute even-handedness and discretion, are my Coin of the Realm. This allows me to work amiably with all parties when provided the opportunity. Who knows, perhaps the AFA may approach me in the future. I leave all doors open.

Baron Tayler
“Suppose you were an ******. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
- Mark Twain

“There is no distinctly native American criminal class... save Congress.”
-Mark Twain

“No man's life, liberty, or property is safe...
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 20:43 #12

  • Mike Ferrara
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smitty88 wrote:
I have shod horses with out a phone or a truck
if your good you will find they will come to you one way or the other

I have also shod horses without a phone or a truck but I did not provide the level of service that I do now.

I have an example from just the other day. I was shoeing horses in a barn that's about 120 miles from home getting them redy to leave for a show. I got a call from a client another 70 miles or so beyond that (almost 200 miles from home). This was Wednesday and they were leaving for a show on Friday. They had some last minute work they needed done. I got the message on my phone, was up at 4am, on the road in my truck by 5am and in their barn by 6 AM the next morning to get it done in time to make my scheduled appointments.

That's pretty tough to do without some kind of vehicle and, note, they called me rather than the Amish.

I covered an area last week that's probably bigger than your country. I left home on Monday and didn't get back home until Friday night. you don't do that without a vehicle.

Sometimes clients bring horses to me but I have them bring them to a barn where I'm working...or in one case a couple weeks back I met some out of town folks at the local state park. I don't have the facilities or the insurance to have clients and their horses at my home.

I get it though...I probably have to drive a truck and use a phone because I'm not so good at shoeing horses yet. Someday when I'm almost as good as you, I won't need trucks or even tools. The horses will come to me, the owners will grovel at my feet and I'll be able to shoe them with my bare hands. I'm working on that.
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 21:09 #13

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Keep at it you will get there some day
and you wont have to do all that driving
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 21:51 #14

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Tom; I have seen similar results in other area's.

Some good things have happened for the better.

my 2 cents worth ;)
"you may not like what I say" !
-but-
"you'll never have any doubts where I stand
quote Cindy Matthews 1948-2006


I thought my life had come to a close with Cindy's passing, but there is life after death Thankyou Sharon !

Bruce Matthews
Southeast...
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RE:Whats new with the AFA ?????? 11 Jul 2010 23:50 #15

  • Mike Ferrara
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smitty88 wrote:
Keep at it you will get there some day
and you wont have to do all that driving

You really think so? Maybe you don't quite grasp how spread out things are here? Didn't you say that most of your work was within 25 miles of home? To put things in perspective, I go further than that just to get to a department store or a well stocked hardware store. When I last had an engineering job it was 60 miles away and the dive shop I owned on the far side of town from there (a few miles further).

I travel for a couple of reasons. The first is the kind of work I like to do. Everybody who does it has to travel and some travel a lot more than I do. I know one guy, for example, who only gets home a couple days/month. You think he just needs practice? He's shoeing some of the best horses so if he isn't any good, somebody should know. LOL Are you kidding or are you really suggesting that distance traveled correlates inversely to skill?

The second is the nature of the horse population in the area where I live. There are a lot of horses here but not a lot of money in them.

The better work and pay is nearer the cities and the show horses are just very spread out. I'm a long way from any city. Most of my work is in the same area I started in almost 30 years ago and , in some cases, for the very same clients. I think that's pretty good "stay-power", no?
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