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TOPIC: MCHA & the AFA

RE:MCHA & the AFA 29 Nov 2011 01:37 #31

  • Travis Reed
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Sorryguys I was not looking to drag up old history or well plowed ground..was doing researcxh on a issue and happen across this abd my question was to phil..I see where his thinking has chabged on the subject of the afa..phil has bever been one to just roll with the flow no matter how much hell he may catch..I respect that so my question was what made phil change his mind on the matter...
Travis Reed.....


www.sporthorsefarrier.com to direct link..
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 29 Nov 2011 02:40 #32

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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anvilsteve in gray

I left my shop at noon today because I was not feeling well. After a rest I logged on and had to answer this post.

Here we go again, about the AFA: I realize that joining any national organization is not for everyone and there is always internal politics within any group of more then


I hope you get to feeling better. For me, being even a lowly committee member in a national farriery organization was somewhere between a root canal and a social disease, but not nearly as much fun.

2. We have heard those complaints plenty of times. The more important items of education and horseowner awareness are being addressed pretty well, the problem there is the horse owning public is quite vast and dynamic and we are a small group in comparison.

Balderdash! The problem is the AFA's focus. The AFA could be promoting its certification program to the horseowning public, but is apparently still enamored with promoting meaningless shoeing contests and a shoeing team.

One way to do better here is for there to be more members which equals more income and volunteers. That being said I will add 2 things to this discussion:
1. Specifically, what would you want the AFA to do, to improve and entice any you or other farriers to become members.


Specifically, the AFA could promote certification instead of meaningless contests! The horseowning public doesn't give a damn about who makes the prettiest roadster shoe, they do care about who can help Precious win a blue, a race, stay sound, etc.

2. Personally, I think I have had a successful career, way beyond my original expectations. There are many reasons for that and I would list my participation in the AFA on the top part of that list. It worked for me.

I've been fairly successful myself in my little niche and I count many AFA members among my friends, but the organization sucks goobers because its focus is fatally flawed. In the early 1980s, the AFA had a chance to elevate the quality of farriery in this country by promoting its certification program to the public; instead, it chose to promote meaningless shoeing/forging contests. It still does.

In the real world, the public doesn't give a damn about pretty shoes, they care about performance - and optimum performance does not require a pretty shoe, it requires the correct shoe for the horse and the job and the correct shoe in not necessarily a hand forged shoe.
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 30 Nov 2011 02:07 #33

  • anvilsteve
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Tom-

Thank you for your reply, I always like your sage advice and I do partially agree with your sentiment. However, at this time the AFA has been doing more promoting to the horse industry then it ever has, but can only do so much with available resources. The forging competition is a great tradition and only occupies a small part of our focus and serves a good purpose in context with the profession.

I feel much better today and I thank you again. Take care of yourself, I really want to get down to visit with you and share some ribs!

Steve Kraus, CJF
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 03:40 #34

  • George Geist
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anvilsteve wrote:

The forging competition is a great tradition and only occupies a small part of our focus and serves a good purpose in context with the profession.
He's been told this many times but for some reason thinks it's as it was 25 years ago.

The way things have been going the last few years I think I'd like to see some more "damnable emphasis on meaningless contests":p
George
For another fun place to play........
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 14:01 #35

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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George Geist in gray

Re: "The forging competition is a great tradition and only occupies a small part of our focus and serves a good purpose in context with the profession..." ~SK

He's been told this many times but for some reason thinks it's as it was 25 years ago.

With all due respect, BS repeated many times is still just BS. Take a look at the AFA's website, then let this forum know if the AFA's primary focus is on certification or contests. Certification is allegedly one of the five tenets of the AFA, but the website doesn't even bother to list the qualifications for certifying at any level on their website. On the other hand, the website is full of contest stuff.

You're right, it's not like it was 25 years ago, it's worse.

The way things have been going the last few years I think I'd like to see some more "damnable emphasis on meaningless contests":p

As long as the AFA remains more concerned with pretty shoes than with performance, nothing will change - but I suspect the public cares more about win pictures, blues and sound horses than roadster shoes and French bars. :)
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 14:22 #36

  • tbloomer
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Mr. Tom, with all due respect, without the contest how are we supposed to know whose a s s we're expected to kiss? :confused: :cool:
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 14:35 #37

  • George Geist
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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
As long as the AFA remains more concerned with pretty shoes than with performance, nothing will change - but I suspect the public cares more about win pictures, blues and sound horses than roadster shoes and French bars. :)
LMAO! I knew that'd get a rise out of you:)

Many folks have said around here, including yourself, that certification is not an ending point but a beginning or some such thing.

If that's the case then shouldn't competition be the logical progression for a more advanced level of workman?

I for one am quite impressed at the improvement in a short time of Nick Young, Ben Sturman and a few others. Seems the competing and/or hanging around competitors did a world of good for those guys.
George
For another fun place to play........
www.horseshoersforum.invisionzone.com
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 16:17 #38

  • Rick Burten
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George Geist wrote:
I for one am quite impressed at the improvement in a short time of Nick Young, Ben Sturman and a few others. Seems the competing and/or hanging around competitors did a world of good for those guys.
George
One might wonder if that is due more to the inception and rise of the WCB than it is due to the AFA.

I wonder how much of the AFA's limited resources is committed to the competition and support of the AFA Team. A cynic might wonder if though resources might not be better spent in other ways especially considering that there is now an entity that can fulfill the competetive wants, needs and desires of a targeted group. Might it not be a mutually rewarding symbiosis to have the WCB act as the 'competition arm' while the AFA does a better job of showcasing its certification and other programs to the public? I don't know the status of the WCB as an AFA chapter, but at one time, it was. I know that the WCB pitched the idea of taking over the management and operation of the AFA competition and that proposal was soundly [and IMO st-upidly]defeated by the AFA EC/BOD. I thought it was a good idea then and I think it remains a good idea. But as was true then and remains, from my vantage point, true today, politics, turf protection and egos are the rule of the day and so long as that 'culture' persists in the AFA, it will continue to flounder, lose ground and prestige and remain a 'club' rather than a national organization that can truly represent farriers. YMMV
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
."


Je pense donc je suis
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 16:55 #39

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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George Geist in gray

LMAO! I knew that'd get a rise out of you:)

You got me.:)

Many folks have said around here, including yourself, that certification is not an ending point but a beginning or some such thing.

Nobody ever successfully stands for the AFA's tests without becoming a better farrier in the process, a fact that strongly suggests the AFA is doing the industry a disservice by promoting contests and a shoeing team instead of promoting its certification programs. And, you're quite correct, the AFA's tests are starting points, not end points.

If that's the case then shouldn't competition be the logical progression for a more advanced level of workman?

Continuing education is the logical progression for any farrier wanting to better himself, beginner or advanced, so most likely the digression into pragmatic farriery that sometimes takes place at contest clinics is infinitely more valuable than the contest itself.

I for one am quite impressed at the improvement in a short time of Nick Young, Ben Sturman and a few others. Seems the competing and/or hanging around competitors did a world of good for those guys.

The salient point is that continuing education in the relevant anatomy and physics; exposure to different theories, modalities and protocols; problem solving and learning to think out of the box, not contests, are more likely responsible for the improvement. Contrary to one of the five tenets that allegedly comprise its foundation - education, certification, communication, research, and innovation - the AFA has chosen to promote forging/shoeing contests instead of its certification program, a fact that begs the question: Which is more important to the industry? If, as Steve has implied, the AFA's resources are finite, why are those resources being utilized for contests and a shoeing team, which are aspects of farriery that benefit only a relative few, instead of the promotion of its certification program, which benefits many more farriers, as well as the horse owing public?

Logically, it would make a helluva lot more sense if the AFA concentrated on complying with its five tenets and turned over the national contest and choosing a shoeing team to the WCB. This would create a win/win situation - except for those folks who are apparently more interested in maintaining the status quo than with giving up a little power and doing something beneficial to every faction of the industry.
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 17:18 #40

  • cyber steve
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Not that anyone cares what I think but it makes a lot of sense from a business perspective, especially in a very small industry. Have the AFA "specialize" in a mission of certification and standard setting, the WCB "specialize" in competitions, and Horseshoes.com "specialize" in bringing hoofcare information to the public (farriers and horse owners). Allows room for all to grow and prosper.
Steve Turpin

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Herman Melville[/color]
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 17:46 #41

Cyber Steve wrote:
Not that anyone cares what I think but it makes a lot of sense from a business perspective, especially in a very small industry. Have the AFA "specialize" in a mission of certification and standard setting, the WCB "specialize" in competitions, and Horseshoes.com "specialize" in bringing hoofcare information to the public (farriers and horse owners). Allows room for all to grow and prosper.


LOL, most of us don't care much about what ANYBODY thinks, but here I must agree with you Steve ( and Tom and Rick ).

Regards
Rick Shepherd

Although we know what we believe, we may only believe what we know. Dr William Moyers
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 03 Dec 2011 19:17 #42

  • Gary Hill
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Western Hill Forge wrote:
LOL, most of us don't care much about what ANYBODY thinks, but here I must agree with you Steve ( and Tom and Rick ).

Regards

Another need for a LIKE button on this site!!:D
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 04 Dec 2011 05:08 #43

  • Mark_Gough
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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:

Nobody ever successfully stands for the AFA's tests without becoming a better farrier in the process, a fact that strongly suggests the AFA is doing the industry a disservice by promoting contests and a shoeing team instead of promoting its certification programs. And, you're quite correct, the AFA's tests are starting points, not end points.

Tom, while I admire and often find your logic nearly irrefutable I would take exception, at least in part, to your position.

It is incorrect to assert that the AFA promotes contests and a shoeing team instead of promoting it's certification program. The AFA does, in fact, actively promote certification. Certification clinics and exams are held frequently throughout the year at various locations around the United States.

In addition, the AFA team members are actively and personally engaged in that process, participating and assisting farriers in developing the skills necessary to stand for the exams. In the last few years I've attended and the been the beneficiary of such assistance. At no time did any of these clinics/workshops include any serious competition. The clinics were focused on teaching, testing and the exam process.

While it may be splitting the proverbial hair, I also disagree with the generalized characterization of the AFA exams as "starting points". I cannot imagine any farrier, lacking in rudimentary skills or knowledge, who could challenge and successfully navigate even the lowest level of AFA testing.

The exams would be better characterized as a sequence of milestones in an educational process. While completion of any one certification could be viewed as the "starting point" to the next level, each certification level stands on it's own merit as a milestone of specific achievement.

I do applaud those involved in competition, whether WCB or AFA. Competition can be motivational and educational, both for the participant and the spectator. AFA sponsorship of a competitive team provides opportunity for an international awareness of the association and it's members. At the local level, competition can be an entertaining aspect of the industry. There's certainly nothing wrong with putting some fun into our work.

The AFA's greatest failure really isn't the AFA's failure at all. It is the failure of the majority of working farriers to recognize the value in a national association. Increased membership would facilitate better funding of the AFA mission and five tenets. An increase in active participation by members would almost certainly elevate the general quality of farriery.

Frankly, given the small percentage of working farriers that are AFA members, it's a wonder the association accomplishes as much as they do.


Cheers,
Mark
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 04 Dec 2011 12:49 #44

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Mark i love the way you text stuff
you are very easy to understand and on the button

most every time you reply.

as for your farrier work i would like to coment on it.
its on the up and up with each post
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:MCHA & the AFA 04 Dec 2011 14:09 #45

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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Mark_Gough in gray, stuff deleted

It is incorrect to assert that the AFA promotes contests and a shoeing team instead of promoting it's certification program.

Nossir, my assertion is demonstrably correct, as evidenced by the AFA's website. That website offers the public a window through which to view the AFA and its reason for existence, hence the prominent positioning of the mission statement and five tenets. The AFA thinks so much of its certification programs that it doesn't even state the qualifications for certification anywhere on its website, but it offers public viewers a great deal of information about its contests on the first page of the website.

The AFA does, in fact, actively promote certification. Certification clinics and exams are held frequently throughout the year at various locations around the United States.

The AFA, in conjunction with state and regional chapters, promotes certification to farriers, not to the industry. Furthermore, the arcane rules requiring AFA membership or a substantial cost penalty in order for a non-member to certify insure that AFA certification is viewed by many as a ploy to gain members instead of a service to the industry.

In addition, the AFA team members are actively and personally engaged in that process, participating and assisting farriers in developing the skills necessary to stand for the exams. In the last few years I've attended and the been the beneficiary of such assistance. At no time did any of these clinics/workshops include any serious competition. The clinics were focused on teaching, testing and the exam process.

In my experience, AFA Journeymen, examiners and testers at the local, state, and regional level, have always been the backbone of the testing program.

While it may be splitting the proverbial hair, I also disagree with the generalized characterization of the AFA exams as "starting points". I cannot imagine any farrier, lacking in rudimentary skills or knowledge, who could challenge and successfully navigate even the lowest level of AFA testing.

Split away. I've always considered the AFA's tests to be starting points to the next level, mile markers on a never-ending journey.

The exams would be better characterized as a sequence of milestones in an educational process. While completion of any one certification could be viewed as the "starting point" to the next level, each certification level stands on it's own merit as a milestone of specific achievement.


Fair enough.

I do applaud those involved in competition, whether WCB or AFA. Competition can be motivational and educational, both for the participant and the spectator. AFA sponsorship of a competitive team provides opportunity for an international awareness of the association and it's members.

So what? The AFA's mission statement implies a dedication of service to the industry, not the seeking of publicity within the farrier community.

At the local level, competition can be an entertaining aspect of the industry. There's certainly nothing wrong with putting some fun into our work.


State and regional organizations, often in concert with the WCB, do a great job of promoting contests. On the other hand, the AFA's resources are finite and sponsoring a national contest and a shoeing team is not within the AFA's purview as delineated by the five tenets.

The AFA's greatest failure really isn't the AFA's failure at all. It is the failure of the majority of working farriers to recognize the value in a national association.


I beg to differ. The AFA's greatest failure is its failure to recognize that it is NOT a good ol' boy club dedicated to promoting contests among farriers! According to its mission statement, the AFA exists as a service to the industry, "To further the professional development of farriers, To provide leadership and resources for the benefit of the farrier industry, And to continue farrier education.”

Increased membership would facilitate better funding of the AFA mission and five tenets. An increase in active participation by members would almost certainly elevate the general quality of farriery.

If the AFA is to increase its membership, it must first increase its credibility within the industry. Living up to its mission statement of service to the industry would be a helluva start.

The AFA could immediately increase its credibility within the industry by not imposing a fiscal hardship on non-members testing any level - making certification truly open to the world - while simultaneously launching a media campaign to increase public awareness of the benefits of its certification program.

Given that its resources are finite, the AFA could best demonstrate its dedication of service to the industry by concentrating on fulfilling the obligation imposed by the five tenets and its mission statement and turning over the contest and choosing a shoeing team to the WCB, thereby creating a win/win situation - except for the folks in the AFA who are intent on maintaining the status quo. Unfortunately, maintaining the status quo means that the AFA is steadily losing ground to other farriery organizations and the various barefoot outfits.

Frankly, given the small percentage of working farriers that are AFA members, it's a wonder the association accomplishes as much as they do.


In my view, the AFA's failure to live up to its mission statement and the five tenets is the reason it has accomplished very little worthy of note within the industry it allegedly serves.
Tom Stovall, CJF
"The only foolish question is the one left unasked."
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