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TOPIC: Have to bring it up again

RE:Have to bring it up again 25 Jul 2005 10:34 #31

  • Mike Ferrara
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Rick Burten wrote:
>Be more specific please. What untruth? If I've lied expose me as a liar

The untruths are several, but I'll start with just two:

First the untruth regarding the wants and position of the AFA with regard to its role in registration/regulation/licensing of farriers.

from the "Presidents Letter" in the June issue of PF by Craig Trnka
I for one don't want any more government involvement in my life. Having said that, I would like to shoot for the stars and formulate a plan like the ADA and become self regulated.

Is that the official position of the AFA? I don't know but that's why I started this thread.

Second, the untruth regarding my position on the issue.

Rick

Your position reads much like his though I'm having such a hard time reading it for content and context that it's hard to tell.

As I said in my opening post I probably will write PF and/or the AFA but I wanted to bounce it around here first.
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RE:Have to bring it up again 25 Jul 2005 11:48 #32

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matryoshka wrote:
Hey Mike,

I find your arguments convincing, especially since you can draw on experiences in other industries. After all your recent hardships, I'm glad you can go someplace where the clients remember you and want you back. What's your engineering background? Mechanical?

Pam

No real hardships yet but plenty of changes. My educational background is in electronics and computer science. Somehow I ended up primarily designing and/or managing the design/implimentation of automated assembly and test equipment and associated processes. I've had lots of titles like manufacturing engineer, test engineer, automation engineer, software engineer ect. Dispite the many titles, I didn't job hop. With company reorganizations and companies being bought and sold the name changes even if the job stays the same. LOL The equipment and processes I developed were applied to a wide range of technologies from RF devices to gas flow and about everything inbetween.

Old clients...I'm very lucky and more than a little nervous. I head to the Chicago area tonight to meet up with the guy who originally got me started. He's an extremely successful farrier who does primarily saddlebreds...well he does lots of things but saddlebreds are his specialty. Tomarrow I'm working with him and Later in the week I have to stop and take care of an old account near Rochelle Il. I say nervous because he's not only good but he's fast and I've never seen him look tired. I had trouble keeping up with him when I was 20 and that was a long time ago. I don't know how much money I'll make this week but I'll be back in the thick of things anyway. I lucked out when I ran into him 25 years ago and that he needs (or wants) help now is too much to have even asked for.
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RE:Have to bring it up again 25 Jul 2005 15:11 #33

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The only way I know of for a license to be required is by law and that means government but let me describe a little about another "self regulated" industry that I have some experience with, The scuba industry. Most countries and most areas of this country have no laws regulating diving. You can strap on gear and dive to your hearts content. How is it regulated then? Before I start I'll briefly state my cridentials so you have an idea who's talking. I am a former PADI master scuba diver trainer and taught just about all the standard specialties except for a few that are impractical in the areas I've done most of my diving. I am an inactive IANTD advanced nitrox instructor, a TDI certified advanced trimix (mixed gas) diver and an NACD certified full cave diver. I'm also a former dive shop owner. All total I probably have 30 or more seperate certifications with 4 different agencies and teaching experience with 2 of them.

There are several large and many small certification agencies. Some came together and formed an organization called the WRSTC, world recreational scuba training council. I think I have that right. They positioned themselves to write ANSI specs concerning dive training. The problem is that since it's these large agencies that belong to the WRSTC they write their own rules and change them to make their current marketing stratagies legal. It's the fox guarding the chicken coup. Standards have steadily dropped over the years and I could literally write a book or a volume of books detailing how but I'll leave that alone unless some one askes.

The way they regulate is by enlisting dive shops and resorts as retail members. In order to be a member you agree to follow the standards of the agency which include things like refusing to sell breathing gas and somettimes equipment to non-certified divers. You can go to your local gas supplier and buy any gas mix you want and they don't care what you use it for but go to a dive shop and they will ask to see your card (or they should). As an example they usually won't rent you something like a dry suit unless you show them a dry suit certification. They may not take you on a chartered wreck dive without a "wreck certification". There are many more examples but you get the idea.

Why work through one of the agencies if there are no laws requireing it? The answer is that you won't get insurance if you don't. There are few underwritters who have insurance policies for dive businesses and most (or all) are aligned with one or more of the certification agencies. Being affiliated with a given agency will also limit your choice in insurance because not all insurance companies work with members of all agencies.

Also, standard practice in an industry can come to be the expected duty of care and considered what a "reasonably prudent dive instructor" would do. Fill in whatever job title you want there. So you teach a class. A former student gets himself hurt a year later and the family sues you claiming that you instruction was substandard. In court you are asked...what qualifies you to teach diving. What standards do you teach by. If they are your own you may have to defend their validity. Using standards of an agency (good or not) places the burden of defending them on the agency (in theory). It sounds safe doesn't it? In reality most of the legal risk management comes through the liability releases that are used always and for everything. Not using them is both an agency standards violation and will void whatever insurance policy you have and YES they have been upheld in court. You are required to maintain records for 7 years or whatever local law requires, which ever is longer. I almost need a warehouse to store records that I must still keep. What a mess.

In the beginning there was only one certification. Now there are dozens and probably hundreds. Almost each and every piece of equipment, breathing gas or environment has it's own certification. Before you make a nickel in the dive industry there is a long list of people you will have to pay. Does this protect the public? Some think so but I don't. You can obtain a dive certification in a couple days. IMO, they do not teach the very basics required for safety and I can detail MANY accident reports to backup that position. I can take you in the water to watch all the people who barely survave a class be awarded their shinny new certification. These are DEAD PEOPLE now that I'm talking about. The agencies are in the business of selling certifications so the standards continually change to improve sales and create new markets. You can become an instructor with so little experience and in so little a time that's it's hard to comprehend. We have new divers teaching diving and it's all within standards. There is no incentive to uphold the training standards because the money is in selling equipment and the training is often used as a loss leader to create an equipment market.

The public doesn't mind paying for poor training because what they are really buying is access. They need the card to get in and the cheaper and faster the better. I have long argued for the elimination of "cards". Then people would only purchase training if they saw real value in it. The lousy, cheap classes would go away because no one would pay for them. I dived for years BTW prior to any formal training and the training I did recieve from my cousin out in front of his marina was far superior to that I recieved from 9 out of 10 certified professionals that I trained with later on. It's a paper chase that costs a lot of money and nothing more. The self regulating arguement and the safety arguement sounds good and few question it but it doesn't work in practice. It just keeps the agencies fat and happy.

Transfer a similar scenario to farriery and what might you have? You wouldn't dare shoe a specialty horse without a certification that says you're qualified...or use a different shoe. In fact you wouldn't do anything without adhering to written standards because the legal risk would just be too great. You would absolutely not shoe anything but a flat shod horse if that's all you were tested/certified in. Yet the new kid on the block with NO experience is liable to have all the latest shinny certification cards 6 months after buying his first hoof knife. Agencies who make a living selling certifications don't make money by turning people away. Make it mandatory and see how enthusiastic an agency gets about certification. how would it be enforced? Maybe farrier supply houses would be association members and be foreced to agree not to sell tools without verification of certification. An agency affiliation would be required in order to get insurance. Exactly like in diving.

Do I know for a fact that self regulated farriery would go this way? No, of course not but I can sure picture it. Think it sounds far fetched? Wait and see. The regulation in diving was sold as a way to protect divers and businesses from a largely imaginary threat (government). The agencies were just locking in a market for themselves. Dive shops like it because it creates barriers to entry, limits competition and insures that people will be buying cards. It all looks so similar that it's scary. Guess what though. We are seeing new legislation in some areas concerning diving because of diver deaths. One Canadian province no longer recognizes the certifications of any of the agencies and it's just a start. The agencies are bringing about exactly what they claimed to be protecting every one from.

Ask yourself, what is the problem we are trying to solve? Then look at the mechanics of licensing and ask if it would really solve them. Would it make it more complex for the guy down the street to hang out a shingle? Maybe. Would it force him to be a better farrier when he does? I won't believe so until I see it. Does a drivers license or the training required to get one make you a good driver? They just make the test easy enough that every one can pass. The drivers get sorted out when it snows and all the lousy ones are dead or stuck in the ditch. Do you think the AFA or the guild can manage licensing better than the government? I don't think so. Will you have more say? I don't think so. I know I sure don't with he diving agencies and I tried for a good long time to change some things that would save the lives of people. Will things get better for horses or horse owners? Again, I don't think so. In diving there are lots of people making a living on it who don't teach diving and probably don't even dive. Some one has to pay them.

It's business and it's about money. Whenever some one makes a proposal take a look at who stands to make the most and you'll get an idea of what's really going on. In this case, if any farrier association or their certification is involved in licensing what does that mean for them? The first requirement for AFA certification is membership, isn't it? The first thing they have to gain is thousands of potential new members that will have no choice but to join. They'll sell thousands of certs, books, classes and who knows...the sky is the limit.

We'll see.
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RE:Have to bring it up again 25 Jul 2005 23:58 #34

Rick, how sad to hear you say everyone below the high end is nothing and that the farriers who service these horses are bottom feeders ( I resemble that and I am proud of it.). How dare you make that remark, who do you think you are?

There are two types of working smarter not harder philosophies.
1. You can choose to do less and charge more.
2. You can become a better horseman and improve your trimming and shoeing skills so that the work is easier, more efficient and charge a fair price.

I have chosen number 2. I think this is a better business plan, which can lead to a longer and better career.

The AFA has claimed that AFA certified farriers are better than other farriers. If there going to make such claims then they need to be prepared to receive different points of views. Who checked out the AFA’s methods of teaching and accredited them. The only thing the AFA has going is that there are few orginizations out there and thier certification test and practical is difficult. Just because it is difficult to achieve does not make it right. Any task can be made difficult for one to accomplish the task. The person in charge of the test can design any task or test to be as difficult as they want it to be. Testing should not be the goal, educating should be the primary goal. I understand it is no easy task to come up with a good test, however the test is based on principles. The principles that the AFA uses need to be reviewed and updated. After this is done a new test would have to be developed. Currently no organization can make the claim that there certified farriers are the best in the industry. Such claims are false and a slap in the face to the whole industry farriers, horse owners and Vets.

As far as horsemanship goes, it is like anything else you do in life, the proof is in the pudding and it is an accolade one can bestow upon ones self if they choose to. Being a good horseman is a way of life, it is how one lives there life. It is deep into ones mind, body and soul. It is an accolade I bestow upon myself it is also a life long journey. I want to be a good horseman, I am a good horseman and it is these very values that direct how I live my life, treat others, how much I charge and why, how it will affect horses, horse owners. I focus on putting the horse first; some folks do not like it but most end up respecting it. I do not consider new green horsemen, backyard horses, small barns, trail riders, pleasure rider, people who go to fun shows fools, bottom of the horse industry or anything less than any other part of the horse industry. There all horsemen and women, wanting a horse for various reasons. Some are accomplished horsemen and women, some in it for fun, for thier children or who knows why, maybe it is for peace of mind after a long buisy day in the rat race.

I have heard many Dressage trainers/instructors tell their students that after they teach them, please teach others. I love this attitude, it is a good one and very positive.

Teaching takes patience, courage and time. It also takes skills. Knowing when to apply pressure, when to back off, being respectfull and gain trust. The goal is to teach your student how to be confident, trusting and respectful so they can stand up on there own 2 feet. All great qaulitys to gain in life. I have heard many parents claim they deal with there family and children much better after learning how to properly work with horses. The horse bring many positive things to our culture and scociety. With so many things wrong these days, it is a blessing to have horses with us. I know people who simply have a horse in there back yard as a friend. This is not bottom feeding this is wonderfull.

We do not need to regulate and standardize, we need to teach and hope the student, horses, and horse owners can carry on and improve on it and make it better. So that there time with there equine friends is positive and safe.
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:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 01:37 #35

Mike and Phil, I have so appreciated your posts on this topic. They are some of the most passionate and intelligent posts I have read yet concerning this matter. I don't think I can add a thing. :)

Yikes Rick, your condescending attitude is ugly and not like your usual posts, I hope you're back to your "good" personality soon....did you forget your medication or what? :confused:

I think if this regulation thing goes through, we'll see fewer farriers that truly appreciate the horse, including what is above the knee and between the ears and more who can only see from the knee down.....and there are few enough of the former as it is. :(
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RE:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 01:43 #36

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Phil Armitage wrote:
>Rick, how sad to hear you say everyone below the high end is nothing and that the farriers who service these horses are bottom feeders ( I resemble that and I am proud of it.).


Phil, how sad it is that I find that you totally misread and misunderstood my remarks. They were directed towards a specificly defind sub group of farriers. If for whatever reason you looked in the mirror and saw yourself in that group, then that is for you to deal with. If you count yourself among the bottom feeders then I offer you no apologies for my remarks and opinions. If on the other hand it was merely a misunderstanding of what I wrote, and you do not consider yourself a bottom feeder, then while no apology from me should be necessary, I apologize nonetheless.

>How dare you make that remark, who do you think you are?

If by now, you have not figured that out, then there is little chance that my describing myself or my philosophy, attitude , personality, persona, whatever, will be of any import.

>There are two types of working smarter not harder philosophies.
1. You can choose to do less and charge more.
2. You can become a better horseman and improve your trimming and shoeing skills so that the work is easier, more efficient and charge a fair price.

The philosophies are co-terminus. I choose to do both.

>I have chosen number 2. I think this is a better business plan, which can lead to a longer and better career.

No one practices only #1 and survives long or well in this business. (JMNYBCHO, of course)

>The AFA has claimed that AFA certified farriers are better than other farriers.

Would you please provide me with the exact wording the AFA uses in making this alleged claim. In my dotage, I do not seem to be able to accurately recollect the AFA taking that position .

>If there going to make such claims then they need to be prepared to receive different points of views.

Why?

>Who checked out the AFA’s methods of teaching and accredited them.

I am not aware that the AFA is teaching any specific protocol, nor that any organization exists that could offer them accreditation if such a need arose.

Which in many ways leads us right to the heart and heat of the discussion at hand, doesn 't it?

>The only thing the AFA has going is that there are few orginizations out there and thier certification test and practical is difficult. Just because it is difficult to achieve does not make it right.

Nor does it make it wrong. And remember, it is a VOLUNTARY process.

>Any task can be made difficult for one to accomplish the task. The person in charge of the test can design any task or test to be as difficult as they want it to be.

In this instance the process has been standardized as much as possible(including requirements for regular Examiner and Tester updating)to eliminate the unlevel playing field you describe above.

>Testing should not be the goal, educating should be the primary goal. I understand it is no easy task to come up with a good test, however the test is based on principles.

I have yet to come across a successful candidate who does not feel that he/she has been improved practically and intellectually after standing for the exams. Even the ones who are unsuccessful, after they are able to digest that bitter pill, will admit that they have learned from the experience.

And , you are correct. The testing is not the goal. It is the measuring of what a candidate has learned.

>The principles that the AFA uses need to be reviewed and updated.

This is your opinion, and is not one shared by all.

After this is done a new test would have to be developed. Currently no organization can make the claim that there certified farriers are the best in the industry. Such claims are false and a slap in the face to the whole industry farriers, horse owners and Vets.

Well, thus far, no one has stepped up and offered a test of the system. Why you could hold an event. Invite the chosen(chosen by whom ever ) and put your theory regarding certain claims, to the (dare I say) test.

>As far as horsemanship goes, it is like anything else you do in life, the proof is in the pudding and it is an accolade one can bestow upon ones self if they choose to.

Bestowing that particular accolade on oneself is not only self-serving but self-aggrandization. The term horseman/woman has always been bestowed by others on someone(s) who in those eyes had earned it. One can call ones self just about anything one wants, but that does not make it either a fact or an accomplishment. Nor have I ever before heard a true horseman going around touting that fact. Generally speaking, in that particular instance, actions speak louder than words.

>Being a good horseman is a way of life, it is how one lives there life. It is deep into ones mind, body and soul. It is an accolade I bestow upon myself it is also a life long journey. I want to be a good horseman, I am a good horseman and it is these very values that direct how I live my life, treat others, how much I charge and why, how it will affect horses, horse owners. I focus on putting the horse first; some folks do not like it but most end up respecting it.

Ya' still cannot bestow that honorary on yourself and have it mean very much. You can think yourself a horseman but until you are recognized as such by others who have been acknowledged as horsemen/women, the title is as empty as Old Mother Hubbard's Pantry.

>I do not consider new green horsemen, backyard horses, small barns, trail riders, pleasure rider, people who go to fun shows fools, bottom of the horse industry or anything less than any other part of the horse industry. There all horsemen and women, wanting a horse for various reasons.

Wanting a horse does not make anyone a horseman/woman. Neither does owning one. Heck, I want a Farrari, but that doesn't make me a sports car. And, I own a truck, but that does not make me a truck, it makes me a truck owner. And, I take pretty fair care of my vehicles. Bath, feed, care for them. give them a place out of the weather to rest, call the auto doc when they are sick, keep them in good footwear, and try to responsibly dispose of them when their life has ended. Does that make me a Trucksman? A Carsman? A MotorVehiclesman? Nah. It makes me an owner. Nothing more, nothing less.

> Some are accomplished horsemen and women, some in it for fun, for thier children or who knows why, maybe it is for peace of mind after a long buisy day in the rat race.

>I have heard many Dressage trainers/instructors tell their students that after they teach them, please teach others. I love this attitude, it is a good one and very positive.

Some might opine that those who can, do and those who can't, teach. Not me, but some might. And, having been around this industry for as long as I have, I have seen the absolute wrecks that are created when some fluff bunny with some dressage/hunter/jumper/western/saddleseat/ad nasuem, lessons under his or her belt goes out and starts giving lessons. And we have all seen the same thing closer to home. Think not? How about all those new barefoot trimmers who went to some one or two or three day farce and now are out there not only providing services to others, but teaching others how to do what they do. And, lets not stop with the BUA. I'll wager that most of us know some two or three or four year in practice farrier/horseshoer/ironhanger/whatever, who is carrying an apprentice, or two. Does no one else see both the insanity and absurdity of this?

>Teaching takes patience, courage and time. It also takes skills. Knowing when to apply pressure, when to back off, being respectfull and gain trust. The goal is to teach your student how to be confident, trusting and respectful so they can stand up on there own 2 feet.

Whats you're point? Not everyone should be or can be a teacher and not everyone makes a good student. And no rookie farrier or whatever should be trying to teach anyone else anything. They need to concentrate on first learning themselves. Much as I hate to admit it, when Craig Trnka started his Loose Shoe magazine, his slogan really hit the mark. It went, IIRC, something like this......"Where you learn the trade before you learn the tricks of the trade..."

> I know people who simply have a horse in there back yard as a friend. This is not bottom feeding this is wonderfull.

Again, you missed my analogies and misapplied my words.

>We do not need to regulate and standardize, we need to teach and hope the student, horses, and horse owners can carry on and improve on it and make it better.

Well, if all you are going to do is hope, then you had better pray, and pray alot. 'Cause hope is wishful thinking and its not the axis around which I revolve. And neither is prayer. I leave that to those better suited to that particular brand of mysticism.

>So that there time with there equine friends is positive and safe.

Pray all you want. Those folks whose time with their equine friends is positive and safe have learned , one way or another, how to apply the correct amount of both positive and negative reinforcement , tangible or otherwise, to said equids.

Dress it up any way you want, call it what you will, write a book, make a movie, give seminars, whatever, but in the end, it all comes down to behavior modification through the judicious and appropriate application of negative and positive reinforcement.

Do it long enough, and correctly enough and successfully enough, throw in a dash of Equine Management and Stewardship, and someday, someone other than the man in the mirror, might just recognize you as a Horseman/woman. And that day my friend, will be one to long remember and forever cherish.

Everything else is just dust in the wind.

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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RE:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 02:12 #37

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EileenHughes wrote:

>Yikes Rick, your condescending attitude is ugly and not like your usual posts,

I suppose it depends on the issue . None the less, the message is no less true.

>I hope you're back to your "good" personality soon....did you forget your medication or what?

Nope, didn't forget the meds, just don't take them much anymore. I like my self better this way than with the "get 'em and keep' em on an even keel" stuff the docs like to throw down my throat.

>I think if this regulation thing goes through, we'll see fewer farriers that truly appreciate the horse, including what is above the knee and between the ears and more who can only see from the knee down.....and there are few enough of the former as it is.

I don't think it will be much different than it ever was or is today.

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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RE:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 04:00 #38

Thank you Eileen, I appreciate the kind words. I have enjoyed your posts on several occasions. As I gain a better understanding of horses, one thing that stands out the most is there response to kindness. The softness in thier eyes when your patiant with them, when you softly rub them over thier eyes. I am amazed at the response and the difference in behavior as I show them I am not a threat. I have learned a lot from from horses and my nephew the past couple of weeks. He is the typicle 15 year old. I tried setting him straight and getting more out of him by being firm, lost his smile and he was not haveing fun. I backed off and just let him be a 15 year old boy. Found things that he likes to talk about and things he likes to do and I make it a point to treat him with respect. His work has improved, not because I want him to, but because he wants to. I can be very opinionated, sarcastic and insulting when I loose my patience. It use to be the only way someone got along with me was to agree with me. I took a good look in the mirror and didnt like what I saw. I do not like people like this and the AFA and this trade is full of this type of personality. Agree with them and you can get along with them, well that is not a healthy enviroment for growth and change. Young farriers have ideas also and if we are going to hear them we need to be approachable. Very hard for a young person to open up and share ideas or listen when communications is shut down by intimidation. It is also very difficult for a horse to relax when the energy level from the farrier is intimidateing.
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:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 17:12 #39

  • matryoshka
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Hey Eileen,

I also enjoy reading Mike and Phil's posts. I find their philosophies to be similar to my own, and it is nice to know there are others out there with a similar outlook.

As for Rick missing his medication, I don't think there is a medicine for multiples (since that is what he jokes about being--unless I am misreading his many references to the disorder) that can keep one personality in control all the time. Therapy is the only help for that. I'm not aware of any medication that curbs arrogance, unless they have found a way to package humility in a pill. Bipolar disorder can promote arrogance in cycles, and there are definitely medications for that, but lots of bipolars hate the medicine and refuse to take it during the manic phase.

I'm thinking of petitioning some of my clients, horse employers, friends, and riding instructors to see whether I can call myself (or be called) a horsewoman. Then I'll have a plaque made up so I can look at it from time to time. Maybe it'll help me feel better after a day of trimming fractious horses in 90-degree heat and getting kicked and stomped on. My only way of gaging my horsemanship on those days is whether the horse gets better behaved as I work. Usually the answer is yes.

Phil, I've gotten the same impression from Rick's posts as you have. We must both be reading his writing wrong and not getting the "content within context." I'm a bottom feeder, too. It doesn't bother me one bit. I'm still going to try to do an excellent job. I'm still going to try to help owners learn how to work with their horses better, and I'm still going to train the fractious horses to stand better for me. Oh, and on a good note, I finally convinced a good farrier to let me ride with him one day a week. This is a relief, because I need to learn much, much, more. I don't have any desire to do bigger barns, because I think backyard horsemen need somebody who actually likes doing the work and is willing to ooh and aaah over their accomplishments and grieve over their failures. This niche is one of the reasons I decided to trim for others instead of just myself. I don't intend to do a shoddy job, though. They deserve the best hoof care I can give them. Learn, learn learn!

Mike, my husband is a mechanical engineer. I love the way his brain works. He's a manager now and doesn't like it. He worked on the Atlas rocket some years ago (has a patent, attended a couple of launches--way cool), but now he does vulnerabililty/survivability work for the military. I'm trying to talk him into giving up all that aggravation, going to farrier school, and becoming a farrier. He can do the shoeing, and I'll do the trimming. He'll probably be trying to invent better tools to improve efficiency. We'd make a good team, since I'm good at keeping his ego properly trimmed and he's good at making me laugh at myself.

Take care,
Pam-the-bottom-feeding-novice-trimmer
Crusader Rabbit Rides Again!
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RE:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 19:17 #40

Phil, my brother in law is quite the horseman, just last weekend he had a horse flip over on top of him and ended up with the saddle horn in his thigh. I'm not a trainer, I'm not a whisperer, I'm not an abuser I'm a farrier. I try very hard not to change the behaviour of the horses I work on as someone has usually spent many months, or years doing that and I don't want to ruin it. My job is to simply shoe the horse, improve gait imperfections, or lameness. I'm not there to teach someone to handle their horse, I don't have time. I don't have time to spend an hour trimming one horse. Nor do I have the patience. I REFUSE to catch horses. I'll get them from the stall but I WILL NOT GO INTO THE PASTURE OR PEN TO CATCH A HORSE!!!! I know too many farriers that have been injured that way. You will say they are not horseman, but they are, above and beyond horsman. Things happen, there was an article in the Journal a few years ago about a farrier that had been catching and trimming a particular horse for years, one day he showed up to catch the horse and as he did, something went wrong. The wind was blowing, his pasture buddy was running, the flies were bad, I don't know, but the farrier ended up getting kicked in the face, having all types of surgery to correct it and not to mention time off work and hospital bills. I'll wait till someone can have the horse in the barn. This job is inherently dangerous, why take anymore chances then you absolutely have to?
Maybe I'm just an arrogant prick, but all of this lovey dovey don't charge to much don't have a nice rig bs makes me want to puke. I for one will charge as much as I possibly can, if it's $200 for four normal shoes then great. I personally think you're just jealous of the guys that have nice trucks and charge $150. You keep repeating this horsmanship stuff over and over in almost every one of your posts. But you need both, you have to have horse handleing skills, people skills and shoeing skills. The most succesful farriers I've ever met had more people skills than any other skills. Does that make them bad? I don't think so. Part of the people skills is being able to handle yourself and the horse in any situation that may arise. If you've been in this trade for more than 3 years full time, and still have a fair amount of clients then I would guess you have the right amount of horse skills. I don't see why you wouldn't want to charge as much as you can. I for one would rather shoe 5 horses a day, and make more money than you shoeing 10. Less expense, and less work. Why should that be reserved for the old timers? In my neck of the woods it's the old timers that won't raise thier prices. I would venture to say that almost every practicing farrier does some backyard horses, there is nothing wrong with that, but the backyard horses that I do, pay the same as the horses in the big high dollar show barns.
You've found your niche, that's great, but don't hate me cause I have a nice truck and charge more than you do, and don't go around calling myself a horseman.
Dave
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBimQu6Pxxs
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RE:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 21:58 #41

  • matryoshka
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Hey Dave,

I'm a newbie, but it seems to me there is room in this trade for all sorts of attitudes. The guy who taught our farrier class has a great rig, is a really nice guy, and handles the horses well. I don't think he rides, but the horses don't seem to care. I'm not sure the point of Phil's posts is to criticize the guys with the nice rigs. I think he was referring to farriers using nice rigs to make themselves look more skilled than they actually are. I didn't write it, but that's the way I took it. If I were using a forge and making shoes, I'd sure want to have all the tools at my fingertips, too.

As a horse owner, when I see a rig like that, I think, "Man, what would he charge just to trim? Bet I can't afford him." The guy driving the truck may charge the exact same amount as the lady who carries her tools in her truck, but the appearance is one of a high price. On the other hand, if I were the owner of a big barn with lots of expensive horses, I'd feel more confident if the farrier pulled up in a nice, well-stocked rig. I wouldn't expect to hear excuses about why things can't be done a certain way, etc. Those are just impressions people may have.

If you can get more money per shoeing or trimming, then you are worth the money. That's supply and demand. If your prices are too high, you won't get enough customers to make a day's wages, so you'd be forced to lower them. Charge what the market can bear. It makes sense, especially if you are supporting a family.

On the other hand, I don't mind going out to catch horses. I don't mind trimming at the low end of the price scale (not undercutting, either). I'm not trying to steal business from full-time farriers. I'm taking on the people who can't get farriers to come out on a regular basis. Usually there are good reasons why, too. But I don't mind putting some training into the horse or the owner. So that's the level I'm aiming for. You are in the higher end of the market, and you are getting compensated appropriately for your experience, your skill, and your gutsiness in tackling hard problems. You also have a larger overhead to cover. My overhead is small. I'm in this for more reasons than the money. I feel I'm being adequately compensated, too.

No need to hate each other or look down on one another for having different styles, skills, or attitudes. There's room for everybody as long as we have the common goal of providing excellent hoof care. I'm enjoying life here at the bottom. So far I enjoy the challenge of teaching horses to behave better. I haven't gotten seriously hurt yet, and I suspect the first major injury will cause a major change in my attitude. Until then, I'll enjoy helping new horse owners learn the ropes.

Pam
Crusader Rabbit Rides Again!
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RE:Have to bring it up again 26 Jul 2005 22:20 #42

You're right Pam, maybe I went a little overboard. I've been sitting back and reading alot of posts, and Phil keeps going back to being a "horseman". Riding, and training. Those two things, like farriery, take a lifetime to master by themselves. I can ride, probably not very well next to some of my clients, but I stay on. I used to ride quite a bit, but now it's hard to walk out into my barn at the end of the day when I've been in someone's barn all day long. I see enough horses at work, I really don't have the drive to want to see them after work also. My wife drags me out on a ride at least twice a year so I ride wether I want to or not. I actually get more enjoyment out of watching her compete, and my clients compete or show. I don't have the patience to be a good rider. And trying to learn and practice shoeing is enough for me, trying to learn and practice riding and training is too much for my little brain. So I stick to shoeing. I don't have a great rig, but I want one, and will be ordering one this winter. I sat back and watched the new guys that didn't know much charge $150, but I didn't complain about it, I started charging just as much or more. If they're worth $150 then I must be worth $200, right? Why not get it? I'm sure people look at those rigs and thing I bet he charges too much for me, but many of those same people have $40,000 trucks, and $30,000 horse trailers. Many don't have a trailer at all. My wife has a very good friend that lives about 20 minutes away, her horse has lameness problems, I shoe it once he does better, she uses her guy that's cheap, he does worse. She begs me to charge the same as her guy so she can use me on a regular basis, I won't do it, she has 7 horses, big fancy truck and trailer, and a really nice new tractor. She only uses 3 of her horses. If she sold one, she could afford it, if she quit smoking she could afford it, I'm not saying she should, but I know I sacrifice some things for the good of others. If her cheap guy was keeping the horse sound, then no problem, but he's not, so something has to give. Many other people see the big fancy truck and think, man, that guy must be good. I bet he's expensive, but he must be worth it. I'd rather have people look at me as a professional, then pull into the barn with all my tools in a bucket, no forge, no pads, and a rusty old pickup that should've been turned into horseshoes along time ago. Alot of this business is marketing, and image is part of marketing. If you pull in with dirty ripped shirts and pants and your truck is a mess and rusty and falling apart, then I'm going to think your shoeing will be the same, messy and not right.
jmo
Dave
ps, sorry Phil if I mis-understood what you were saying
"Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." Will Rogers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBimQu6Pxxs
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RE:Have to bring it up again 27 Jul 2005 00:55 #43

  • matryoshka
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Amen Dave! :D
Crusader Rabbit Rides Again!
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RE:Have to bring it up again 27 Jul 2005 01:16 #44

matryoshka wrote:
Hey Dave,

I'm a newbie, but it seems to me there is room in this trade for all sorts of attitudes. The guy who taught our farrier class has a great rig, is a really nice guy, and handles the horses well. I don't think he rides, but the horses don't seem to care. I'm not sure the point of Phil's posts is to criticize the guys with the nice rigs. I think he was referring to farriers using nice rigs to make themselves look more skilled than they actually are. I didn't write it, but that's the way I took it. If I were using a forge and making shoes, I'd sure want to have all the tools at my fingertips, too.

As a horse owner, when I see a rig like that, I think, "Man, what would he charge just to trim? Bet I can't afford him." The guy driving the truck may charge the exact same amount as the lady who carries her tools in her truck, but the appearance is one of a high price. On the other hand, if I were the owner of a big barn with lots of expensive horses, I'd feel more confident if the farrier pulled up in a nice, well-stocked rig. I wouldn't expect to hear excuses about why things can't be done a certain way, etc. Those are just impressions people may have.

If you can get more money per shoeing or trimming, then you are worth the money. That's supply and demand. If your prices are too high, you won't get enough customers to make a day's wages, so you'd be forced to lower them. Charge what the market can bear. It makes sense, especially if you are supporting a family.

On the other hand, I don't mind going out to catch horses. I don't mind trimming at the low end of the price scale (not undercutting, either). I'm not trying to steal business from full-time farriers. I'm taking on the people who can't get farriers to come out on a regular basis. Usually there are good reasons why, too. But I don't mind putting some training into the horse or the owner. So that's the level I'm aiming for. You are in the higher end of the market, and you are getting compensated appropriately for your experience, your skill, and your gutsiness in tackling hard problems. You also have a larger overhead to cover. My overhead is small. I'm in this for more reasons than the money. I feel I'm being adequately compensated, too.

No need to hate each other or look down on one another for having different styles, skills, or attitudes. There's room for everybody as long as we have the common goal of providing excellent hoof care. I'm enjoying life here at the bottom. So far I enjoy the challenge of teaching horses to behave better. I haven't gotten seriously hurt yet, and I suspect the first major injury will cause a major change in my attitude. Until then, I'll enjoy helping new horse owners learn the ropes.

Pam

Hi Pam, thank you for clarifying and understanding what I was trying to say. You’re right on.

Dave, I think a farrier is in more danger when you have not had the chance to catch the horse yourself. You have no clue what your about to get under unless you have been doing the horse for awhile and you know them, even then horses can have a bad day or we can have a bad day. Thier is allot of pressure put on a horse when there scared and trapped on the ties with a guy about to take one of their legs away. You trap an animal that has strong flight and fight instincts you’re putting yourself at higher odds of getting injured. By going to catch the horse and they walk up to you and catch you, that is a singe of a good start. By leading them you see how they react, have the righ tools and knowledge you can do this safely, I am not going to get into the tools and knowledge, you can look that up yourself if your interested. The horse that kicked your friend is very unfortunate, why was he that close to a horse that wound up? Who is to say what might of happened with the same horse on the ties that day, may have been worse. Sometimes all it takes is a little time leading, backing, yielding hind and front legs to gain respect and trust. By moving a horse correctly your speaking there language, they will understand who you are in the pecking order, they respect a leader and they also trust a leader. Leadership to a horse is survival, little things that once seemed dangerous do not seem dangerous anymore because there leader is not responding to them, when things are no longer a danger the horse relaxes and the odds of getting hurt reduce. I am not suggesting it is an easy task on all horses, some do not need anything there just good horses some need serious help. I would rather know what I am getting under before I get under it. Parrelli calls it Horse Savvy. Makes a lot of sense to me and I am going to keep learning all I can about it.

Friend of mine got is head cracked open on a beam in a barn by a horse on cross ties.
Another friend of mine broke his leg from a horse he did not know that spooked on the ties, this horse was led up and put on the ties for him. I have been slammed to the floor and kicked a few times by horses on ties, caught and led up by the owner. Sometimes the owners have never experienced any problems with there horses and had no idea the horse had the potential of hurting someone. Sometimes all it takes is the one they trust and depend on left them and their nervous, one small thing occurs that sends them over the edge and your presence adds to the pressure and they go into the flight mode, only to find there tied and restrained. Now you have a 1000 pd. Animal that can pull a wagon dragging and slamming you like a rag doll.

Sorry to hear about your brother, it happens to the best, I know things happen even when you have done your best to prevent it. Buck Brannaman (spl ?) got injured real bad here in Maine rideing a youg colt, he is one of the best colt starters around. It was a freak accident. I realise that things can happen no matter how well we plan and prepaire for it. I also realise that there are better ways to do things and one of them is Natural horsemenship. Parrelli calls it Horse Savvy.
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:Have to bring it up again 27 Jul 2005 04:05 #45

  • Rick Burten
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matryoshka wrote:
Hey Eileen,

>As for Rick missing his medication, I don't think there is a medicine for multiples (since that is what he jokes about being--unless I am misreading his many references to the disorder)

Whose joking? :eek:

>that can keep one personality in control all the time.

>Therapy is the only help for that.

Therapy? We don't need no stinkin' therapy.


>I'm not aware of any medication that curbs arrogance,

Why would anyone want to curb one's arrogance? Or for that matter, one's egotism, cynicism, sarcastic nature, pomposity, overbearingness, brilliance, or application for sainthood?


>unless they have found a way to package humility in a pill. Bipolar disorder can promote arrogance in cycles, and there are definitely medications for that, but lots of bipolars hate the medicine and refuse to take it during the manic phase.

Is that why the doctor grabs my nose and then when I try to mouth breath, he slams some concoction into my maw?

>I'm thinking of petitioning some of my clients, horse employers, friends, and riding instructors to see whether I can call myself (or be called) a horsewoman.

If ya' gotta ask/petition for the designation, then its worthless.

>Then I'll have a plaque made up so I can look at it from time to time.

Good idea. Then you'll have a constant reminder of what you have not, in reality, attained.

Maybe it'll help me feel better after a day of trimming fractious horses in 90-degree heat and getting kicked and stomped on.

Its easier to feel better,regardless of the weather, by not getting under pukes that want to and usually do hurt you.

>My only way of gaging my horsemanship on those days is whether the horse gets better behaved as I work. Usually the answer is yes.

On those few occasions where I find myself in a similar situation as described, I let chemical restraint do the horsemanship work. Then I can do what I am paid to do. So, I guess the guage of my horsemanship in those situations is between 20 and 14 guage.

>Phil, I've gotten the same impression from Rick's posts as you have. We must both be reading his writing wrong and not getting the "content within context."

Perhaps if you tried harder and focused?

>I'm a bottom feeder, too. It doesn't bother me one bit.

Pity, and sad too.


' >I'm still going to try to do an excellent job. I'm still going to try to help owners learn how to work with their horses better, and I'm still going to train the fractious horses to stand better for me.

You doing this pro bono, or do you receive just compensation for this extraordinary work/involvement?

Oh, and on a good note, I finally convinced a good farrier to let me ride with him one day a week. This is a relief, because I need to learn much, much, more. I don't have any desire to do bigger barns, because I think backyard horsemen need somebody who actually likes doing the work and is willing to ooh and aaah over their accomplishments and grieve over their failures. This niche is one of the reasons I decided to trim for others instead of just myself. I don't intend to do a shoddy job, though. They deserve the best hoof care I can give them. Learn, learn learn!

Maalox! Where is my Maalox?

{animal insights deleted}

Take care,
Pam-the-bottom-feeding-novice-trimmer

Never realized that bottom feeding was something to be so proud of. Live and learn.

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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