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TOPIC: Transparency

Transparency 16 Nov 2006 06:31 #1

Ron,

I’ve read your proposed policy on the AFA Candidate’s Forum. I agree with you that rumors, unsubstantiated allegations, and so forth have and do cause problems for the AFA. And I think that many of the points you make concerning transparency and communications are valid.

Nevertheless, I think there’s a certain amount of naivety and idealism in your proposal, and that you should consider tempering it with a bit of realism.

When I came on as Secretary of the AFA, I was horrified by the fact that my predecessors had kept minutes in such a shoddy manner. They were often incomplete and occasionally non-existent. I think I did a good job of getting things done in a timely and efficient manner, but…

My first BoD meeting as Secretary lasted for 17.5 hours. I came home from a week at convention, had a ton of horses to get caught up, family matters to tend to, bills to pay, etc. Finding the time to go through 17.5 hours of tape, fight through lousy audio, transcribe, double-check, and complete minutes was not easy, and I began to understand how my predecessors could have dropped the ball.

We all know it’s best for us to have formal committee meetings, but more often than not, committees meet as a whole once a year at convention, and the rest gets done on the cell phone in between horses. Life/Work/Family/Sanity intrudes.

So, yeah, it needs to be improved, but we are dealing with a volunteer work force, and those volunteers are trying to shoe horses and maintain lives. Furthermore, we’re dealing with fiercely independent folks here. They tend to bust their but*ts for a pat on the back and an "attaboy," but they don't take too well to "you will." In fact, if you come at most of us with a “you-will-do this-or-lose-your-job approach,” we'll most likely tell you where you can shove your job. Probably how most of us ended up as horseshoers to begin with :)

You pointed out elsewhere that you had “29 years of working in environments that were filled with people that tried to obfuscate every fact, who regularly told half truths or lies to win arguments, who refused to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions and who constantly pointed their fingers at others to avoid the blame for their actions.” I think the approach you’re taking with this proposed policy would be a good one for dealing with those sorts of people, but I question its validity for a group of well-meaning but bungling volunteers who would likely benefit more from guidance and support rather than rigid demands and policy.

Policy can be good, but it can be dangerous as well.... (Note that policy and police share a common etymology.) Bob Lewis, a noted corporate consultant, writes often about the dangers of policy, about how policy tends to promote and grow bureacracy, about how it tends to stifle productivity rather than promote it, and about how it tends to promote disgruntlement. He recommends that policies be kept to a minimum and that they tend to focus on compliance issues such as insider trading, ***ual harrassment, rights to privacy, etc.
~~Danvers

Danvers Child, CJF

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RE:Transparency 16 Nov 2006 11:00 #2

Danvers,

Hmmm. Instead of deprecating the idea of a transparency policy, would it be possible for you to work with us to find ways to make such a policy work within the organization that we have. While I will plead guilty to a bit of idealism, which I have never and will never believe is a bad thing, I don’t think there is a bit of naiveté in what has been proposed. But then I am not making an assumption about the method of implementation and I am not trying to slam the idea or the person that has presented it. The realism that you want me to inject comes from finding ways overcome the challenges presented by the implementation of such a policy, not from just throwing my hands up in the air crying out “it will never work.”

You are absolutely correct that this policy will be difficult to implement and that it will take work on everyone’s part to implement. Danvers here is a challenge for you. It is an exercise that I had given to me a long time ago when I said to one of my supervisors, “It will never work, it just isn’t practical.” Before you write to me about one more reason the proposed policy won’t work because it is impractical, naive or idealistic write me with 10 ideas for how to make it work. It is very easy to through up road blocks to any idea that may introduce change, show us all how good you are at actually helping us make change happen by first looking for ways to make the idea work.

Now to address some of the points you are trying to make in your post.

danverschild] My first BoD meeting as Secretary lasted for 17.5 hours. I came home from a week at convention, had a ton of horses to get caught up, family matters to tend to, bills to pay, etc. Finding the time to go through 17.5 hours of tape, fight through lousy audio, transcribe, double-check, and complete minutes was not easy, and I began to understand how my predecessors could have dropped the ball.[/quote]I can see how this could be a problem so let me ask you, could there have been other ways to deal with this. We do employee professional staff to manage all forms of the associations business, is there anything that says we can not employee someone to professionally produce the minutes of a meeting? The duties of the secretary are defined as follows in the bylaws wrote:
The Secretary shall (1) keep the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee in one or more books provided for that purpose; (2) see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these Bylaws or as required by law; (3) be custodian of the corporate records and of the seal, if any, of the Association; (4) be responsible for authenticating records of the Association; (5) keep a register of the mailing address of each Member of the Association, which shall be furnished to the Secretary by each Member; (6) in general, perform all the duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as may be assigned by the President or the Board of Directors; and (7) maintain a Corporate Actions Book which will be categorized by subject and include each action approved or disapproved by the Board of Directors, and each item shall have a cross-reference as to where it may be found in the minutes. The minutes will be included in a separate section in the Corporate Actions Book.
In (1) it says “keep the minutes,” not take the minutes. In (4) it says “be responsible for authenticating records,” not creating authentic records. So to me given that there is no prescription that the secretary take the minutes or proscription preventing the association from hiring someone to do this job in a timely and professional manner wouldn't hiring a professional to fill this function relieve your concerns about the demands of time on as you put it “well-meaning but bungling volunteers?”
danverschild wrote:
We all know it’s best for us to have formal committee meetings, but more often than not, committees meet as a whole once a year at convention, and the rest gets done on the cell phone in between horses.
Just because this is the way its always been done does not mean that this is the best way for the AFA to handle its business. Again, with the properly managed help of the AFA’s office staff it should be possible to have staff do the majority of the leg work involved in the needs of most of the committees which will leave committee members more time to decided what needs to be researched by staff, review what staff finds for the committee, and for the committee to make policy recommendations to the BoD for Board action.
danverschild wrote:
So, yeah, it needs to be improved, but we are dealing with a volunteer work force, and those volunteers are trying to shoe horses and maintain lives. Furthermore, we’re dealing with fiercely independent folks here. They tend to bust their but*ts for a pat on the back and an "attaboy," but they don't take too well to "you will." In fact, if you come at most of us with a “you-will-do this-or-lose-your-job approach,” we'll most likely tell you where you can shove your job. Probably how most of us ended up as horseshoers to begin with :)
Sorry Danvers, I’m not willing to buy in on this. After talking to as many guys as I have talked to I believe that they will welcome, even thirst for, guidelines. It should be clearly noted that the policy/guidelines tells them how to conduct the business of the AFA not what business to conduct or not to conduct. The policy simply creates a framework for how to conduct the business of the association in a manner that helps to protect the association from further damage and insures that the membership is informed and have the opportunity to participate. Given that not one of the people I have talked to is happy about where things are right now it would seem to me that everyone will recognize that the way we were going at managing our business isn’t working and it is time to do something else.

Danvers you are a smart guy. Show us all that you can help to find ten more ways to overcome the challenges presented by the creation of a transparency policy that addresses the problems that the AFA faces and that is workable for the intelligent and dedicated volunteers that try to administer this organizations service to its membership.
Ronald E. Kramedjian, RJF

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RE:Transparency 16 Nov 2006 11:25 #3

I find this fascinateing. The differences in people is very interesting. I think Doug Butler talks about this in his book "Shoeing in your Right Mind". Right brained and left brained. We need each other not always a smooth relationship but we do need each other. I am married to a very left brained corporate minded person. Once in awhile we drive each other crazy, however it has lasted for 25 years.

As Danvers said I probably ended up as a farrier because of my attitude. I like the option of telling someone I do not like to shove it. I like the option that I can walk any time if I see a situation that is unsafe, unprofessional or unethical. It is a freedom I value a lot. Hope I never have to go back and work for someone else ever. Being self employed is great.
Phil Armitage, CF
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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 02:06 #4

Ronald E. Kramedjian]Hmmm. Instead of deprecating the idea of a transparency policy, would it be possible for you to work with us to find ways to make such a policy work within the organization that we have.[/quote]
Wait wrote:
While I will plead guilty to a bit of idealism, which I have never and will never believe is a bad thing, I don’t think there is a bit of naiveté in what has been proposed.
I’m not knocking idealism; I certainly don’t discourage or disparage it, and I hope that you, me, and the rest of the farrier community never abandon it. But idealism, not tempered by realism, is naivety.

You are absolutely correct that this policy will be difficult to implement and that it will take work on everyone’s part to implement.
You’re assuming that I agree with your solution. We can agree that there’s a problem, but that doesn’t mean I agree that “laying down the law” will solve the problem. Again, I will point out that policy and police have the same etymology.
Danvers here is a challenge for you. It is an exercise that I had given to me a long time ago when I said to one of my supervisors, “It will never work, it just isn’t practical.” Before you write to me about one more reason the proposed policy won’t work because it is impractical, naive or idealistic write me with 10 ideas for how to make it work. It is very easy to through up road blocks to any idea that may introduce change, show us all how good you are at actually helping us make change happen by first looking for ways to make the idea work.
As Phil indicated in his response to this thread, we’re very different—you and I—so it’s difficult at times. I read implicature and patronizing tones in this, whether they were intentional or not. In any case, I believe you can survey everyone I’ve ever worked with in this association and this profession and find a damned strong concensus that I’ve got a history of building roads rather than putting up roadblocks.

So don’t imply that my questioning your solution equates to me being against “any idea that may introduce change” or that I’m not willing to help “us make change happen.”

What I am against is making change without anticipating what may result from that change—both beneficial and detrimental.
We do employee professional staff to manage all forms of the associations business, is there anything that says we can not employee someone to professionally produce the minutes of a meeting?
The only thing I can see would be BoD approval for hiring the staff.
Just because this is the way its always been done does not mean that this is the best way for the AFA to handle its business. Again, with the properly managed help of the AFA’s office staff it should be possible to have staff do the majority of the leg work involved in the needs of most of the committees which will leave committee members more time to decided what needs to be researched by staff, review what staff finds for the committee, and for the committee to make policy recommendations to the BoD for Board action.
Actually the way it’s being done is not “the way its always been done.” It’s been done every which way from Sunday. The way you describe above is one of the better ways it’s been done. When Lisa Knipp was Acting ED, she set things up so that each staff member was a liaison to a particular committee. That staff members was responsible for providing regular updates, taking minutes, etc. It was off to a great start, and in my opinion, it was a good as we’ve had.

But, when Brian Quinsey came on board as ED, he didn’t care for the system and dismantled it. The EC had him put it back in place, but there was so much staff turnover that it never got back on track.
Sorry Danvers, I’m not willing to buy in on this. After talking to as many guys as I have talked to I believe that they will welcome, even thirst for, guidelines.
WHOA! Now we’re talking about guidelines, and I’m not so willing to run backwards. Guidelines and policies are two very different things.
It should be clearly noted that the policy/guidelines tells them how to conduct the business of the AFA not what business to conduct or not to conduct. The policy simply creates a framework for how to conduct the business of the association in a manner that helps to protect the association from further damage and insures that the membership is informed and have the opportunity to participate.
Now you’re equating policy and guidelines again. Yes, we should have policies concerning some of the things you address (e.g., compliance issues, such as privacy statements). But your do***ent extends beyond those and sets down rigid timetables and specifications for our volunteers. While they may be viable for dealing with employees, they are likely to chase away volunteers.
Given that not one of the people I have talked to is happy about where things are right now it would seem to me that everyone will recognize that the way we were going at managing our business isn’t working and it is time to do something else.
Absolutely, but not just anything else and not just the first thing that comes along. We have a history of changing things without anticipating the repercussions that may result from the change. Mom refers to it as “out of the frying pan into the fire.” I’m simply saying that we need to be careful that any changes we institute are for the better.
Danvers you are a smart guy. Show us all that you can help to find ten more ways to overcome the challenges presented by the creation of a transparency policy that addresses the problems that the AFA faces and that is workable for the intelligent and dedicated volunteers that try to administer this organizations service to its membership.

There you go with that patronizing tone again….

Since I agree with the general ideas you forward concerning transparency, but don’t agree with the idea of developing this particular policy statement, I’ll complete your exercise by tossing out ten things I think would be useful.

1. Distinguish between policy and guidelines.
2. Provide policy for compliance issues only.
3. Provide guidelines to facilitate productivity and efficiency.
4. Build forms and templates that committee chairs and others can use to facilitate their record keeping and do***entation.
5. Hire office staff to coordinate with and work with volunteer staff.
6. Update the Book of Motions (Corporate Actions Book) so that people have an idea of where we’ve been, what’s worked, and what hasn’t.
7. Provide an orientation for new BoD members so they have a clue what they’re dealing with.
8. Build a five-year and a ten-year plan for the association.
9. Survey the membership to find out who they are, what they value, and what they want from their organization.
10. Downsize the BoD so that we have a chance at being more functional.
~~Danvers

Danvers Child, CJF

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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 12:00 #5

In my opinion this makes my original point to Ron that officers need have more experience as a farrier. With more experience he would have a better understanding of what Danvers is trying to say and this would help him be a better leader. Even though Ron has many years experience in the corporate world he lacks experience as a farrier and true understanding of the trade. It is not an understanding of the AFA that is needed, it is understanding the people in the trade.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"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:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 14:24 #6

  • Rick Burten
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Dannvers has made some interesting suggestions to really tighten up the proposed guidlelines and/or policy statement. I get the feeling that he feels that the proposal will inhibit participation/volunteerism, whatever. I don't think that's true. I think that without a strong, clear set of policies on this subject, the AFA is in very real danger of ceasing to exist as a viable entity.

For many years we have had real first hand examples of what happens when leadership operates in a vacuum with little to no accountability and when accountable its always after the fact. I have felt, ever since my tenure on the board, that a more clear concise policy was needed. Hell Danvers, you and I went at this at a board meeting when almost the whole session was about better communications and how to achieve them. We never did establish a clear policy and that failure is part of the reason we are where we are today.

You know what? Its my observation that as fiercely independent as we farriers are, we like to have order. We do things creatitively and sometimes intuititively, but we like orderly processes. We function well when the goal is defined. And, we know how to follow a prescription. And that's what a policy is, a prescription.

For the past year I have discussed my feelings and concerns with Ron. First because he is my friend and collegue and second because I, early on, realized that he has a great insight and grasp of the very kinds of things that are needed to help the AFA reverse what has become a seemingly downward spiral in an atmosphere of distrust, accusation, attempts at power grabbing and disgust.

And you are right Danvers, policy and police do have the same etymology. Is that such a bad thing? Now you said that we did have much of what Ron is suggesting when Lisa was the ED and it seemed to be working. Then it got lost in the shuffle. So what's the problem? Was she the same kind of naieve as you infer Ron is? Were her policies officially adopted or just temporary measures by a temporary ED? If the were temporary, and you liked them and feel they worked, then isn't it time they were codified?

You've said that the timelines suggested are a bad thing when volunteers are concerned. But demonstrably, the volunteers in the AFA already have timelines they have to meet in other areas and since this whole concept of transparency depends on timely disclosures, what's the problem? If people don't want to meet the deadlines then one of two things will happen. Either someone who will meet the deadlines steps up, or the project/committee, whatever ceases to exist. If that creates a conundrum then if the situation is important enough, since nature abhores a vacuum, there will be someone to fill the void.

Guidelines are a good thing too. The problem with guidelines is their lack of specificity. And in this instance, specifics are absolutely necessary.

So, if Ron has indeed mixed his metaphors, so what? The idea here was to present for discussion, by the candidates, a set of ideas that could be refined into a acceptable and viable proposal for Dick to present to the board for consideration at the Annual meeting in 2007. The reason Ron directly addressed this to Dick is not because Dick is a candidate for the same office as Ron, rather, politics aside, its because Dick is already a member of the BOD and is in a position to shepard this through the board process. Again, this is not about politics. What it is about is the survival of the AFA and the need to remove the 'shadows' that the muckrackers and manipulators have been using to create dissention within the membership. This is a case where the 'emperor' does indeed need to be nekkid and the house be one of backlit glass.

What successful corporation today, functions without policies?

Now, lets address Phil's ongoing contentions regarding experience as a farrier being some how overarching to being able to properly execute the job of AFA Vice President. The fact is that Ron has been shoeing horses for more than five years, of which, the last two and a half years have been full time. What you seem to be missing is that Ron has the maturity and experience and, dare I say, wisdom, to listen to what more experienced farriers are saying to him about what needs to be addressed and the skill to turn what is being said to him into actionable items. And to make things even more compelling, Ron has the dedication to the AFA to put aside any differences he may have with others so that the AFA can benefit from what has so often been lacking---cooperation and diplomacy.

Now, Phil, you say, "It is not an understanding of the AFA that is needed, it is understanding the people in the trade."

What this says to me is that it is you who lack understanding. For what is the AFA if not the people in the trade ,or as I prefer to call what I do, the profession?

Let me say this. I think Ron has presented, for the candidates to discuss, a really good start on something that is long overdue. And I am in full accord with the basic tennents of his proposal. Does it need some tweaking? Yes, indeed it does. But that's why he put it out there for us to discuss. And adhering to his own principles, he's doing it in public, for all to see. How much more transparent could it possibly get?

As for the 'leadership' question. Well, demonstrably, Ron is leading by example. And his example is a far better one than that of other "leaders" and wanna-be leaders to whom we have been subjected.

Rick
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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 15:14 #7

Rick it is very simple for me to reply to what you said regarding understanding the people in the trade. Craig Trnka used the analogy of a Train and the the AFA Train is moveing regardless of who wants to get on board or not. Well I have not seen that Train leave the depot yet. However there is another Train and it left a long time ago AFA or not. This is the understanding that the AFA, you and Ron are missing. If you want to be the conductor of a stalled Train that is your choice. Good day.
Phil Armitage, CF
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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 15:15 #8

Rick Burten wrote:
The idea here was to present for discussion, by the candidates....

I think Ron has presented, for the candidates to discuss (emphasis added)....

I get your point, but you know me well enough to know that I'm not any more likely to shut up than you would be.
~~Danvers

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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 15:37 #9

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danverschild wrote:
I get your point, but you know me well enough to know that I'm not any more likely to shut up than you would be.
I know that and I'd be disappointed if you did.. Like I said, I think you make some good points and for the most part, constructive ones. I just want to see us get out the self-destruct mode. I like having policies. Don't you have policies for your business(es)?

One thing for sure is that we, the candidates, need to take this discussion out of our candidate's thread(s) because we can't respond to one another over there. Ron is here, I'm here. We need Dick and Andrew to join us here or perhaps on some new thread Baron creates for us to interact on the subject.

When I get elected I hope you'll volunteer to be one of my umpires. Then when we argue, even though I might kick some dirt on those fancy home-plate umpire shoes you can get all red in the face but you can't kick me out of the game :D

Rick
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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 15:42 #10

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Phil Armitage wrote:
However there is another Train and it left a long time ago AFA or not. This is the understanding that the AFA, you and Ron are missing. If you want to be the conductor of a stalled Train that is your choice. Good day.
Which train might that be Phil?

The AFA isn't stalled, but right now its having some difficulty climbing the grade. That can be changed. But so long as people continue to suffer from intellectual constipation, its going to make the job more difficult. Perhaps a dose of intellectual Exlax rather than further doses of Immodium is in order. If you agree, then you should vote for me and Ron. If you prefer constipation, then you have other choices.

Rick
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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:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 16:08 #11

Rick Burten wrote:
Which train might that be Phil?

The AFA isn't stalled, but right now its having some difficulty climbing the grade. That can be changed. But so long as people continue to suffer from intellectual constipation, its going to make the job more difficult. Perhaps a dose of intellectual Exlax rather than further doses of Immodium is in order. If you agree, then you should vote for me and Ron. If you prefer constipation, then you have other choices.

Rick

At this point I am not sure who to vote for. I do believe you and Ron would be a good dose of intellectual Exlax and it is probably desperately needed. :)

The Train I am refering to is the Farrier Trade in a whole. Guys and Gals like you and I that continue to do our jobs regardless of politics, associations, clubs whatever. Continueing Edcuation is probably the most single important aspect of this trade. It is available from all kinds of recources. A question I keep asking myself about the AFA is the qaulity of there continueing education. How many times does a farrier need to hear back from the AFA that they are not receptive to new information, principles and shoeing protocals before we get it. The AFA is not interested in doing thing differently than what they currently do. As a matter of fact the AFA is protecting what they think is right when it comes to hoof care. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the message I get. I can learn what they want and should be able to accomplish the standard inorder to get certified. The only reason that I persue it is because the insistance by some that if you can't pass a simple test then you can't shoe horses. To me this is not continueing education it is filling a sqaure at best because this is the way daddy did it.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"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:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 16:18 #12

  • Gary_Miller
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Phil, the train left the depot in the 70's when the AFA was developed. However it is now derailed and not going anywhere except sinking in the soft dirt along the tracks.
What I see is Ron and Rick trying to get the train back on the track and rolling again. I have said it a millon times on this site. The AFA in my view is the organization that can and should be representing all farriers in the United States. However until the leadership and the BOD get their egos in check and start working togeather no matter what the diffrences are. The Train will stay derailed.

Danvers, an organization need policy's in place that dictate how buisness is to be conducted. If not the organization gets nothing done. We already have the staff in place to do the functions that have been talked about. The ED who is a non voting member of the organization should be the one responsable for taking minutes, typing them up and ensuring they are posted on the web site, once approved by the committee chair.

As of guidelines they are Ok in some situation where there is room for descretion. You see when you tell me its a guideline that means I have the choice to follow it or not to follow it.

Policys are firm and inmoveable.

Guideline are suggestions and movable.


Gary
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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 16:30 #13

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Phil me and you are the AFA. The AFA has never to my knowlede ever dictated to me how to do my buisness. What methods I should use when triming or shoeing. Or what new protocals should I use.

They (those guys with more experiance than me) have voiced their concerns as well as their pros on diffrent procedures, new information, principles and shoeing protocals. Never once has anyone ever told me not to do it that way only cautioned me to think about it first. And it a good thing they did before I really messed up and lamed a horse.

I recently went to a Jim Quick clinic. Even Jim will tell you the himself, Craig, shane and other though they are all good friends. Don't see eye to eye on how to shoe a horse, make a shoe, or correct problems. They all have thier own why of thinking and doing things. Thats what I like about the Farrier Profession we all can learn from each other.


Gary
Gary Miller, PF

Ride hard, shoot straight, and always speak the truth.
Gunfighter Motto

"Our level of quality is how well our eye can see it." (Eric Russell, Oct 2008, Horseshoes.com)

"Discover what it is that makes you passionate then grab a firm...
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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 16:32 #14

  • Rick Burten
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Phil Armitage wrote:
A question I keep asking myself about the AFA is the qaulity of there continueing education. How many times does a farrier need to hear back from the AFA that they are not receptive to new information, principles and shoeing protocals before we get it. The AFA is not interested in doing thing differently than what they currently do. As a matter of fact the AFA is protecting what they think is right when it comes to hoof care. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the message I get.
I think that you are wrong. And I say this in light of the fact that at Convention next year, Gene Ovnicek is going to be one of the main speakers. Now, you want to take bets on whether or not his lecture is well attended? Beyond that, I'm willing to bet that after the lecture is over, the line of guys and gals that want to talk to him will be huge.

The membership of the AFA is changing. Many of the 'old guard' are gone and those that remain appear to be in the ever growing minority. While the wind of change may not be blowing through the AFA at gale force, there is at least enough of a breeze to warrant attention. Now a prudent sailor does his/her best to catch that breeze and let it fill their sails. Question is, are you a prudent sailor?

Rick
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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."
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Je pense donc je suis
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RE:Transparency 17 Nov 2006 16:33 #15

Gary_Miller wrote:
Phil, the train left the depot in the 70's when the AFA was developed. However it is now derailed and not going anywhere except sinking in the soft dirt along the tracks.
What I see is Ron and Rick trying to get the train back on the track and rolling again. I have said it a millon times on this site. The AFA in my view is the organization that can and should be representing all farriers in the United States. However until the leadership and the BOD get their egos in check and start working togeather no matter what the diffrences are. The Train will stay derailed.

Danvers, an organization need policy's in place that dictate how buisness is to be conducted. If not the organization gets nothing done. We already have the staff in place to do the functions that have been talked about. The ED who is a non voting member of the organization should be the one responsable for taking minutes, typing them up and ensuring they are posted on the web site, once approved by the committee chair.

As of guidelines they are Ok in some situation where there is room for descretion. You see when you tell me its a guideline that means I have the choice to follow it or not to follow it.

Policys are firm and inmoveable.

Guideline are suggestions and movable.


Gary

I argree with some of the things you say, however strict guidelines does not seem logical in the buisness of hoofcare. The reason I am terming this as hoofcare not shoeing is because we also care for barefoot horses. I really do think the art and science of hoofcare has so many varialbles and the AFA would be doing the trade a great service if they would get past the idea of just forgeing shoes. I like the idea of situational managment, the trade is full of different situations and things like "It depends". The other issue is not all farriers and trimmers are created equal. People are at different levels, different locations and different horses. For example how farriers trim and shoe here in Wet muddy Maine presents different challenges than what farriers see in dry rocky Colorado. When we talk about NB priniciples some will come back with the argument that there is no one way to trim and shoe a horse. I actually see NB principles more flexable that deals with the individiual horse and foot. AFA standards are more along the line of a one way fits all. Sure the shoes are forged to parimeter of the foot and thie requires a lot of skill, however part of the job is finding the wooden indian, balance, trimming to conformation, determining what to remove or leave on the foot. I can't find anywhere in the AFA that teaches a farrier good trimming principles and this seems to me to be the most important part of the job.
Phil Armitage, CF
AFA member 7480

"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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