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TOPIC: Why is AFA membership so low?

RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 30 Apr 2007 13:39 #136

  • Gary_Miller
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Dick Fanguy wrote:
Gary,

Take your own advice and move this over to the members only section of the AFA web sight. How can you be effective on a committee if you get eveyone mad at you before you start.
Done.
Dick Fanguy wrote:
You are one member of the committee and not the whole committee. You have the right to your thoughts just as John has the rights to his. Discuss them in the proper place.
You are correct. I have moved all this discussion to the members web site, and plan on contacting John and Tom sometime to day by e-mail so we can discuss as a committee and get thing rolling it the right direction.
Dick Fanguy wrote:
If you are using Ron as a role model, take a look at where it got him. I have no problem with Ron's ideas and suggestions, it's his delivery that gets him in trouble. Take a deep breath and punt the ball.
First off I'm my own person and have my own thoughts. I have already warned you that I'm very agressive and will not settle for ideal talk. I promise you that you will always know where I stand on an issue. As for my delivery if you want the watered down version there is none. Straight forward and to the point is what you will get form me. If thats not what you want then I'll appologize now because thats what your going to get. If your offended the put on your "big girl pants" and suck it up.
Dick Fanguy wrote:
We need a real budget that we can work with As a member of the finance committe, it is your job to help us dedicate the funds we need to get our work done.
See my remarks on the AFA members only board.
Gary Miller, PF

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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 30 Apr 2007 13:48 #137

  • Gary Hill
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I wish someone would teach the public or common horse owner on how to buy a sound horse? One that is free of the hoof problems, the first owner who pawned the horse off on ,couldn't deal with? When I set up my rig and pull out my forge swing, some will right off say "I don't want to pay for hot shoes!" I tell them the charge is the same, the hot fit and shaping is for Me! All the info and education I learn is for Me ,to do a better job on the horse I am working on. Even using Laymans terms, I am so far over alot of their heads, they only understand a couple of things. How much is it going to cost them, are the shoes going to stay on and will their horse win because of what we do! Horse mags are full of new ways to do things and the suckers eat it up! They want certain angles because their trainer has more pull than the Farrier does with the owners. We only come along every 6 weeks or so, the trainer has them daily or at least more communication during that time to mold their minds because of "their=trainers" inability to actually "Train" the beast! This thread has been so hammered it looks like the first time I tried to forge weld a horseshoe, it wasn't pretty.
"As I see it, winners get the money - while losers talk of "individual goals" and similar stuff." Tom Stovall
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 30 Apr 2007 15:45 #138

Gary Hill wrote:
I wish someone would teach the public or common horse owner on how to buy a sound horse? One that is free of the hoof problems, the first owner who pawned the horse off on ,couldn't deal with? When I set up my rig and pull out my forge swing, some will right off say "I don't want to pay for hot shoes!" I tell them the charge is the same, the hot fit and shaping is for Me! All the info and education I learn is for Me ,to do a better job on the horse I am working on. Even using Laymans terms, I am so far over alot of their heads, they only understand a couple of things. How much is it going to cost them, are the shoes going to stay on and will their horse win because of what we do! Horse mags are full of new ways to do things and the suckers eat it up! They want certain angles because their trainer has more pull than the Farrier does with the owners. We only come along every 6 weeks or so, the trainer has them daily or at least more communication during that time to mold their minds because of "their=trainers" inability to actually "Train" the beast! This thread has been so hammered it looks like the first time I tried to forge weld a horseshoe, it wasn't pretty.

Amen, Brother. Lets throw out the shoe and start a new one. :D
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:Why is AFA membership so low? 30 Apr 2007 19:42 #139

  • TRIP HAMMER
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Ronald E. Kramedjian wrote:
What tripe. .
Ron,
If you're that unhappy you should run for office!
John
"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet"
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 30 Apr 2007 22:09 #140

  • tbloomer
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Tom Stovall, CJF wrote:
What plan? Until the recent elections, there was no plan in existence; at present, a plan to inform the public of the benefits of AFA certification is being formulated and it will be put into effect as soon as feasible.
Awwww shucks. Now I've got to renew my membership. ;)
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 01 May 2007 01:37 #141

  • Mike Ferrara
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My old suff - grey, Tom S. - red My reply-black

In all honesty, certification is not about the farrier, it's about giving the horse owner the ability to find a competent farrier without wading through a bunch of hacks.



Back to the question of why more farriers aren't AFA members or certified...speaking for myself, it's because of a fundamental disagreement in regard to just about everything. If this new push takes place it would be the perfect example. I have enough work so I don't need the AFA to help me in that regard. Even if pushing certification is of real benefit to horse owners (which I don't believe), it still isn't what I want to pay the AFA to do. Is the AFA a farriers organization or a farriers organization. I don't care about firgeing contests either.

LMAO! Certification ain't about helping you, it's about helping the public.

Laugh all you want but you're making the AFA sound like anything but a farriers organization.

Since there isn't anything the AFA can do that I need done, the only way I would become a member again is if they took away or severely limited my choice.

Nobody is out to limit anyone's choices, the AFA is about making the public aware that they have choices.


I think some real market research might well show that the lack of interest in the AFA by many farriers as well as many horse owners is due to similar reasons.

As I see it, creating public demand for AFA certification will be the first step in improving the overall qualitry of farriery in this country.


It's getting prety clear here that the AFA isn't interested in providing services to farriers. Maybe a new name is in order...something like "The American Horse Owning Public Association".
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 01 May 2007 03:01 #142

  • BS-Horseshoeing
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Mike, I have not interrupted you and Tom and Tom because it has been very interesting reading. But I have to put in my two cents here before this thing ends or goes crazy.

You seem to have the idea that the AFA has no place or little place in the farrier industry. Your statements come across as if the AFA can not help any farrier in any way. I may be putting that a little extreme, but that's how it's reading.

Well, I would like to tell you a little about my journey in this business and how the AFA has helped me. I've said some negative things and have been asking some tough questions lately, but all in all, I have to say the AFA has been good to me, especially as of late.

Unlike you I did not have a mentor, nor do an apprenticeship. None of this was available. I went to a 12 week school and got to help the owner shoe on weekends for awhile afterward, but it was not the great farrier learning experience it sounds like you had. I did have enough equine background and skills to make the transfer into this job very easy, but the skills and knowledge of farrier work had to be learned. I got to this point on my own. That's one dang hard way to get into this business and stay there for eight years as of now. I caught a few breaks as the owner of the school gave me some work through referrals (some dang tough broncs, but at the time I would shoe anything that whinnied and had four hooves) and then a female farrier called and asked for help as she would be taking a leave of absence due to pregnancy. From these two people I got referrals from there people just cause I showed up on time or early and the shoes stayed on for as long as they needed. Some days I think I should go find those horses and appologise but that's a different story.

After a time I found horsehsoes.com and I was so happy I couldn't believe it. I have learned more here than any place else or from any one else. That's very hard also since all I can do is read it and then go see if I can do it and get it right. Trial and error is also not a good thing for the horses.

All this time I only new how to cold shoe and hot fit, not any good at hot shaping, no one ever showed me how or even offered to. So along comes the AFA and I thought why not, maybe this will help me find some help. At first it was a bust, no one in Tucson was even interested in the AFA or me, I was just another guy trying to take their business. So I let my membership drop because it was doing nothing for me, but I was also doing nothing with it, which I discovered later.

After comming back to the AFA I met some people in the state, actually thanks to Dave Ferguson and even found one young gung ho guy here in town and began talking and working with them, especially on my forging skills. With some pushing and talking from these guys I decided to go for the CF test and began the study and practice journey to get there. I read more than I thought was available before, practiced in the forge more than I had in seven years, and learned so much about forging, anatomy, physiology, and shoeing than I thought I ever would. It wasn't enough, I still choked when test time came. I went to a pre cert clinic and did the work good enough to pass, but come crunch time when people in the know were watching, I peed it down my leg. I know I can pass this test, I do it every day, maybe not to there standard exactly, but to the owners and horses standards. Which is great, but I want to do it under the pressure of the test and show I have the ability to do it then. As Tom S. says, that's my choice. But because of that choice I have become a better farrier, because of the AFA certification process I have become a better farrier. Knowledge, skills in all aspects, and confidence have been upped in my life and business. My customers have noticed and appreciate what I have done, so the AFA can help some of us out here that don't get all the right breaks.

That's just part of my story, but it does show that the AFA can help some of us. Even with out them I have been covered up for over seven years, but now the horses get better work done on them because I am better because of the choice I made. Maybe your skills are at the point you don't need this and never will, but there are many more like me that need some help and can't find it by ourselves, not from lack of effort, but from lack of giving by the local farriers. I have many invites from the state chapter members I have met to come work with them and learn more now, guys I never would have met without the AFA. I'm going to continue to get better because of the AFA and my own drive. I'm going to pass that D*A*M*N test, and be a better farrier because of the journey. I study more and practice more and pay more attention when I'm working, so yes the AFA can help some farriers, maybe not all, but more than some think.

Just my two cents for the evening. :)
Ben Sturman
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 01 May 2007 04:38 #143

  • Mike Ferrara
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BS-Horseshoeing wrote:
... My customers have noticed and appreciate what I have done, so the AFA can help some of us out here that don't get all the right breaks.

That's just part of my story, but it does show that the AFA can help some of us. Even with out them I have been covered up for over seven years, but now the horses get better work done on them because I am better because of the choice I made. Maybe your skills are at the point you don't need this and never will, but there are many more like me that need some help and can't find it by ourselves, not from lack of effort, but from lack of giving by the local farriers. I have many invites from the state chapter members I have met to come work with them and learn more now, guys I never would have met without the AFA. I'm going to continue to get better because of the AFA and my own drive. I'm going to pass that D*A*M*N test, and be a better farrier because of the journey. I study more and practice more and pay more attention when I'm working, so yes the AFA can help some farriers, maybe not all, but more than some think.

Just my two cents for the evening. :)

Thanks Ben, that was a good read.

I didn't really mean to imply that the AFA doesn't have anything for any farrier. I don't think I'm on board with what appears to be their mission, so I don't think it's for me. It certainly is NOT because I think I'm such a great farrier that I have nothing to learn. Since I don't seem to care much for the AFA, I just have to do my learning someplace else. I spend a lot of time and energy learning and getting out of school is the beginning, not the end.

I did get a heck of a break, though, at the time, I'm not sure that I really appreciated it or took full advantage of it. I was young. My original teacher is still a mentor and he's still better than I am...he just keeps getting better so it's hard to catch up. LOL

I can relate to what you say about local farriers not being willing to help. That isn't anything new and, of course, they aren't obligated. Some people want to help others and some don't regardless of whether or not they are AFA members. I can see how an arganization like the AFA can widen your netwerk. Of course there are other ways to do that too but, in either case, being able to locate and identify resources is another useful skill.


On another note, I also know what it's like to choke on a test. I may not have taken any AFA tests but I've taken LOTS of tests. For some of us, taking tests is a learned skill in itself (some folks don't have any problem). I would venture to guess that there are quite a few AFA testees who fail one or more times just because they need to practice taking the test even though they know the material and have the skills. You'll get it.
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 01 May 2007 11:56 #144

  • Tom Stovall CJF
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Mike Ferrara in gray, my old stuff in brown, deletia

As I see it, creating public demand for AFA certification will be the first step in improving the overall qualitry of farriery in this country.

It's getting prety clear here that the AFA isn't interested in providing services to farriers. Maybe a new name is in order...something like "The American Horse Owning Public Association".

The greatest service the AFA can render the industry as a whole and its members in particular is the creation of public demand for AFA certified farriers. AFA certification requires study and practice, factors that unarguably make any farrier of any skill level a better farrier - and better farriers make for better farriery.
Tom Stovall, CJF
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 01 May 2007 13:52 #145

  • Steve Swain
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When I first started shoeing for the public back in 1983 I had no idea what the AFA was. My first exposure to the AFA was not pleasant. I had a few horse at a barn that I did, a new horse showed up from Michigan in the middle of July in Yuma Arizona. Quite a climate change to say the least. Anyway I started doing this horse, shoes in front, bare behind. The horse would stock up behind, turns out the girl would come out in the late afternoon, ride the bejeezus out of the horse and throw it back in the pen without hosing it down or cooling her out. I showed up to do the horse one day and there was someone else working on her. I talked to the guy and he said he drove through the barn and happened to see the mare and the girls parents. So he told them that the job was all jacked up but he could fix the mare. He went at it and put everything but the kitchen sink on the mares feet and gave them a $220.00 bill. The going rate at this time was $35.00 for a flat shoe. Anyway, he was a card carrying member of the AFA and a former member of the "shoeing team" He was an arrogant, egotistical bastid that was after the almighty dollar only. He did do beautiful work at the forge but his ethics were non-existant. My thought was if this is what the AFA does then I want no part of it. I haven't met another AFA member since, taht I know of, there have been a few BWFA's blow through here, but they didn't survive long. If the AFA wants the horse owning public to use certified farriers, they would need to have some kind of grievance committee to handle cases that the owner felt screwed. And the mare that I talked about, well she still stocked up and they quit the guy and started using his son. Who was and still is a friend and good guy, not a member either.
I stink, therefore I am.............a farrier.
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 01 May 2007 17:00 #146

  • Rick Burten
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TRIP HAMMER wrote:
Dave and I flew to Lexington to meet with the other two.
Where was the rest of the EC? Why were they too not at these meetings?

How is it that for over one year the EC was unable to act to hire a new ED and then in the space of a few months post-convention, miraculously find and hire a new ED?
We now have the best office team and infrastructure we have ever had at the Horse Park. We plan to keep that team and hope everyone will take the time to get to know all the players.
All things considered, I think that that is a rather bold, if not disingenuous statement.
The so called "joke" budget passed at the Albuquerque Convention was an attempt to put together a realistic budget, based on the best information available.
No it wasn't. I was there, remember? The BoD abrogated its responsibility and without much comment, passed the pap that was presented. Even when serious questions about the budget and the accounting were raised(IIRC, Michael Joshua and I, between us had 40+ questions about the budget that were not answered or even explored), the board sat on its collective ass and rubber stamped the garbage they were presented with. And presented with, might I add, on very short notice. Now you can do all the hemming and hawing you want, and make all the excuses you want, but nothing excuses the fact that come 01July2007, the AFA has a non-budget that addresses none of the needs or issues attendant to operating the AFA.
It does not become useful until July 1st.
John, that piece of Fantasy/fiction will never be useful.
A budget is a guideline to use so we realize the greatest potential from our revenue.
If you honestly believe this, then you have no business occupying the position of the Chief Financial Officer of the AFA or any other organization.

And while I am thinking about it, John, you alluded to the concept that you and Tom Parris were co-Chairs of the Finance committee. This is not possible under the bylaws. The Bylaws specifically state that the (AFA)Treasurer shall be the Chairman of the Finance Committee. That change took place at the end of the convention/BoD/Members meeting, 2007.

So, while Tom may be a member of the committee, he is not chairman, "co" or otherwise. A small detail perhaps, but as we know, "The devil is in the details...."
We knew as did everyone else that there would be unexpected expenses such as the posibility of a new Board that would have new costs. Also there was the possibility of a new hire in the form of an Executive Director.
Possibility of a new Executive Director??? John, the EC was under a board mandate to hire a new ED. Possibility?? I think not.
There was also the possibility of a lower total membership with all that went on last year. With that in mind we built in a 100,000.00 surplus for unexpected new expenses and that fact was brought out at the meeting.
SPUCATUM TAURI !!!

What was brought out at the meeting was that there was , unaccountably, $100,000.00 more in the bank than was shown on the AFA ledgers. And as of yet, no one in a position of authority has told the membership how this accounting error occurred and went un-noticed by everyone including the CPA hired by the AFA.
There may be some budget amendments now that the Board has to fund the new election process and the hiring of an Executive Director along with an Employee Benefit Package for the Office staff.
May be some budget amendments? ROTFLMAO! Don't you mean, "will have to be"? When is this all going to occur? You planning on waiting until the mid-year meeting or what?
With membership at record levels there will no doubt be a larger than expected surplus of membership revenue.
What "record levels"? by the information provided, our membership numbers are somewhat down, rather than at 'record levels'.
Our finances are stable and the Association is in great shape!
That may play well in the press, the the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and thus far, there is a bit of a sour taste to the whole thing.
After the Mid-Year meeting we will be asking for budgets for 08/09 from the various committees. It will be imperative that they submit budget requests in a timely manner as no money will be budgeted for their committees without that request.
Lets be specific here. By what date in 2007, will committee chairs have to submit a budget request in order to be considered for the FY2008/09 budget? Will you have a budget proposal ready and disseminated to the BOD representatives at least 60 days in advance of the BOD meeting in 2008? If not, why not?

Rick
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 02 May 2007 00:05 #147

  • Jaye Perry
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Have read alot of "wind" in this thread. It would be hard to "stack" some BBs.:rolleyes:
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 02 May 2007 03:01 #148

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Rick,

For the good of the order, please ask your questions on the AFA web sight. I make no judgment on your questions, but I think that they should be addressed in the proper place.
Dick Fanguy, CJF
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 02 May 2007 03:10 #149

  • TRIP HAMMER
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John Blombach wrote:
A budget is a guideline to use so we realize the greatest potential from our revenue.
Rick Burten wrote:
John, that piece of Fantasy/fiction will never be useful. If you honestly believe this, then you have no business occupying the position of the Chief Financial Officer of the AFA or any other organization.

And while I am thinking about it, John, you alluded to the concept that you and Tom Parris were co-Chairs of the Finance committee. Rick

Rick,
You were on the finance committee and should know that a budget is a list of expected revenues and probable expenses. Good faith estimates, based on available information.

I appoint those whom I feel are knowledgeable and have the best interest of the Association in mind.
John
"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet"
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RE:Why is AFA membership so low? 02 May 2007 12:00 #150

  • Rick Burten
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Dick Fanguy wrote:
Rick,

For the good of the order, please ask your questions on the AFA web sight. I make no judgment on your questions, but I think that they should be addressed in the proper place.
Dick,

Considering that practically no one bothers to read anything on the AFA web site, until such time as it can be shown that that place is a viable one for good discourse, I will continue to ask questions in a venue that is widely read and responded on. IOW, horseshoes.com.

Anything anyone has to say over at the members-only section of the AFA website should be able to be said right here.

JMNTBCHO

Rick
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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