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TOPIC: Certification AFA CF

RE:Certification AFA CF 24 Oct 2009 17:35 #31

  • Box Forge
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Austin,
You've already taken the hardest step; admitting that you desire to take on the challenge of certification. I would strongly advise you to first just attend a certification and see what all goes on first hand. Then, if you are able, try to attend a precertification workshop hosted by AFA, with this you will get one on one help from testers and an examiner and you will see what areas you need to work on a little more. And the best way to get prepared for a test is to decide on a definite upcoming certification test and commit to testing at it by reserving a horse. If you set this deadline it will force you to study harder and practice more intensely. It's much like how one would act if they had a college exam but could take it when ever they wanted to, they would never get prepared for it, however if you know you have a test in one week, you will have to start preparing for it NOW. The greatest thing is, you can re-take it as many times as you wish, it's not like a college exam that you only get one shot at it. It is very easy to put off preparation for an exam that is optional or voluntary so why not start today otherwise you may still be saying that you'd like to do it 10 yrs down the road and you may still be saying you're not sure if you're ready. Best of luck to you and there are plenty of people willing to help you get this accomplished, but don't put it off.
Phillip Box, Jr., CJF
AFA#9007
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 12:06 #32

  • Dogwood Forge
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Box Forge wrote:
Austin,
I would strongly advise you to first just attend a certification and see what all goes on first hand. Then, if you are able, try to attend a precertification workshop hosted by AFA, with this you will get one on one help from testers and an examiner and you will see what areas you need to work on a little more.

That is good advice. I went to several Certifications before I got certified and one of the things that helped me the most was that I scribed for one of the examiners when I went. You could call who ever is hosting the cert. before hand and let them know you wanted to scribe for someone or most of the time if you just show up and volunteer you will get to scribe. This puts you right in there where the action is. Also you get to see how a foot or shoe is judged and scored. Every time I have scribed for someone I have learned quite a bit. Any one that I've scribed for have always taken the time to educate me on why and how they judged a certain way. That is some handy info to have when you are on the other end of this deal.

Also as Box said, pick a Certification and commit to it. When you set a deadline you will get off you rear and get it in gear a little better. I know I did.

Here is a link to the most recent Certifications coming up
http://www.theamericanfarriers.com/AFA%20Certification%20Schedule%20current.pdf
Chip Crumbly CJF, AWCF
http://www.georgiafarriers.org/
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 12:17 #33

  • Jeff Crane
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Dogwood Forge wrote:
Hey Jarod,

Glad to see that you want to go through the certification process. As someone has already mentioned, you will find that this will have less and less to do with the initials behind your name as it does with what you learn through the process.

I passed my CF and my CJF on first attempts. I'd like to say I'm just that good but I had a boat load of help from very qualified mentors. I wrote an article about different things that helped me with my Journeyman. You can read it on the GPFA website. Go to the newsletter section and it is in the June 09 newsletter. There are some things there that may help you. (the link to the site is at the bottom of my window here)

One thing that has been mentioned that I will reiterate is to have a plan. You have got to know exactly what you are doing and when you are going to do it. Know how long you are going to spend trimming, dressing the foot, shaping the shoe, nailing, clinching, whatever. Sit down and write out your plan. Practice you plan on horses and then sit down and tweak it. Practice with a stop watch. Don't even go to take the test if you can't complete your live shoeing run in at least 10 to 15 min under time. You have got to have time to have your feet judged after the trim and after you fit your shoes. You also have to have time for Murphy. I went to a pre-cert deal in AL with Jason Harmason before I took my CJF exam. I had a written plan developed before I went. I was the only guy that finished on time that day in the practice run for the Journeymen and I started my run buy turning one of my shoes back wards. I had to straighten it and re turn it. If I had not been working my plan I would have never had the time for such a foe pa.

For the written tests I justed those Blombach study guides. A buddy of mine told me that he had studied the terms listed in the front part of those guides and that helped him. I didn't do that before my CF and I barely scraped by but I did do that before my CJF and made a 91. I took the terms listed in the study guide and made flash cards. I went through them everyday until I knew them up and down. I believe the reason that helps so much is because it forces you to learn the fundamentals behind the questions. If you study just the questions you will learn but if you study the fundamentals you will be able to work out the questions no matter how it is asked on the test. That can be the key when you get to the true/false section because they seem to be a bit more tricky.

As for your shoe board you may want to get the Chris Gregory video about shoe mods. You can get it from Hoofwatch.com It is an excellent video and really breaks things down for you. Also, your shoes must be flat, fit the pattern and nails will go in the nail holes! If it isn't flat, fit, and nailable it won't get pass the first go round. When you turn in your shoe board make sure it is shinny and smooth. Don't turn in a pile of shoes covered in slag that have been burnt up and beat to death. You have no time limit to make and prepare your shoe board so make it look like it. Brush your shoes, get after them with a wire wheel on a grinder. Make sure they are boxed and safed. Put heel checks in your shoes. Make lefts and rights. None of these things are judged per say but it shows your craftsmanship. It shows you took some pride in your work.

Last but not least, go to some competitions if you can. I could go on and on about this. You will meet a lot of good guys that will more than willing to help you. You will get to experience doing you work under pressure and under a time limit. Then you get to have it judged and critiqued by your peers. Most local state associations will host contests that have Divisions just for guys doing CF level work. In the last two weeks Georgia and Alabama have had contests and Div. 1 at both were set up for CF type shoe mods and shoeing. I know there is another competition coming up in NC the first weekend in Nov. that is set up the same way. You will get so much and learn so much from going to and entering completions you won't believe it. I highly recommend you go to some if you can.

Sorry if this has been a little all over the place. I just wrote this from the hip. If there is any thing I can do to help you or anyone working on there certification let me know. I may not be able to answerer your questions or show you but I bet I can find someone who can.

Stay in the fire and good luck

I was there in GA back in May for my first attempt at the Journeyman. I came up short and I knew on the way down there that if I did not pass I would be devistated. After being there and ,my testers were Doug Workman and Buck McLendon, they gave me such possitive feedback on my run and made the expierence enjoyable. No I did not pass and yes I am still on the journey but these guys went out of there way to make this a possitve time. The certification process is not about passing or failing but the education and the people you meet along the way. I have been shoeing almost twenty years and this "journey" has opened my eyes to a whole new world of horseshoeing. My everyday work has improved dramaticly. When I started this ,at first it was to put CJF behind my name, now it is much more than that. I will still shoe the same horses and work for the same people I have always worked for but now with a renewed confidence and attitude than before. Thanks to all the guys who answers my questions and for the guys at the GPFA for making my first attempt a possitive learning expierience. From now on, no matter where I go for this test,it is more for me than anyone else. As I drove the 4 hours home in May I had a whole new outlook on my abilities as a farrier and not all depressed as I thought I would feel when I drove down. So for anyone looking to do this, step up and work hard, this is so worth it.
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 13:07 #34

  • smitty88
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Jeff,
what did you go down on?
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 13:35 #35

  • tbloomer
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IME the best way to practice for the shoe display is to work hands-on with others who have been through the process. Join your local AFA chapter or if you don't have one near by find the CFs and CJFs closest to you and ask them for some hands-on time.

Don't just stick with one mentor. I showed my shoe display to several CJFs, worked hands-on with several CJFs, when I had a "pass" consensus from everybody I showed my shoes to, I turned them in and they passed the first time.

Here's how I study for written tests (any written test):
  1. Look up the definition of every topic in the study guide.
  2. Write the definition in your own words.
  3. Review your definitions and then throw them away.
  4. Wait a week, then open the study guide and write your definitions to each topic in your own words to the best of your recollection.
  5. Go back to the books and compare your answers to what the book says.
  6. Rinse, repeat.
Don't forget to learn the "textbook purpose" of each shoe modification as well as how to do the modification. The examiner will ask you questions like, "What is the reason for a trailer?" You're expected to know why - what situations apply to what shoe modifications.

For the practical, you are up against the clock. You can practice in the field by following the sequence of the exam on every horse you shoe and keeping track of how long it takes you to do each step. Keep the study guide in your rig and score yourself on each job - or pick a slow day and take the time to score yourself. If you have a chance to get under some horses with a CF or CJF, have them score your work.

Remember, each portion of the practical exam is scored according to the opinion of the person giving the score. So if you think you got a 7, somebody else might call it a 5 or 6. Having someone who went through the process score your work will help you get a feel for what to look for in your own evaluation. Shoot for 9 or 10 on every aspect and remove all doubt.
Tom Bloomer
http://blackburnforge.com
302-222-6404


Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 18:11 #36

  • Jeff Crane
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smitty88 wrote:
Jeff,
what did you go down on?

Huh??? What do you mean?
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 18:21 #37

  • BS-Horseshoeing
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Jeff, I think Smitty means, what casued you not to pass. What part of the job did you not score high enough on?
Ben Sturman
AFA CF #7558

Tough times never last, but tough people do!

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, one lick and you will suck for ever!

Folks who think traditional farriery means perimeter fit don't know a heluva lot about shoeing. Tom Stovall,...
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 18:35 #38

  • smitty88
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BS-Horseshoeing wrote:
Jeff, I think Smitty means, what casued you not to pass. What part of the job did you not score high enough on?


Ben,
yes thats what i meant

what else could it have meant Jeff?
Smitty88
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 18:53 #39

  • Cyber Farrier
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I suggest this "cultural" gap be handled by PM.

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

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

“No man's life, liberty, or property is safe...
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 19:29 #40

  • Jeff Crane
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Ok no problem, totally my mis understanding.

To answer Smitty's question I got good passing scores on my hoof prep and my front shoes. I was all set and all I had to do was make the rear shoes with more than an hour left so I was in great shape. Then it happened, I punched my third nail hole way to fine and I knew I was in trouble. I kept going hoping to make the best of it. I had all my shoes ready and done and while I was waiting on the tester I nailed and finished the fronts seeing they past. I had 17 minutes left to nail on my back shoes. The testers and examiner tried and tried to get my back soes to be nailable. I was running out of time but it didn't matter, the back shoes were a no go. On a good note though, I had a great game plan and excecuted it flawlessly. I made one basic mistake which caused me not to be able to finish. As I said earlier I was treated more than fairly. I am going to try again real soon. I am still nervous about it but I will get it done. I also failed the barshoe because my weld broke with 12 minutes to go and tried rewelding it three times. Funny thing is I was making 29 minute barshoes at home that week before. Thanks for your intrest Smitty and again sorry for the misunderstanding.
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 21:33 #41

  • smitty88
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Jeff,
sorry i dident make it clear in what i was asking.

i have no douth you will get it next time

in my mind you are all ready CJF material farrier
Smitty88
John Mc Loughlin
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RE:Certification AFA CF 25 Oct 2009 23:52 #42

  • Jeff Crane
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smitty88 wrote:
Jeff,
sorry i dident make it clear in what i was asking.

i have no douth you will get it next time

in my mind you are all ready CJF material farrier

Man what a compliment Smitty. That ment a lot. Thank you
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RE:Certification AFA CF 26 Oct 2009 01:48 #43

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30454760&l=261be8290e&id=196902130


Glad to see more than myself benefit form this thread!

I ordered lets get practical, and continue to work towards certification.

However I may not take it as soon as I thought may wait till next year.



Thanks for the help!
Jarred Oates
Oates Equine Service's
Farrier-Massage-Aromathearpy-Training

Hocking College Equine Science
(farrier, equine health, and wilderness horsemanship)
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RE:Certification AFA CF 26 Oct 2009 02:57 #44

Hey Jared, awesome thread, just found it. I'm preparing for my CF as well. A lot of great advice here..thanks to all who have posted. I think the only thing I'm doing that may be different is that I have recorded all of the sample test questions and answers on a CD and play them in my truck between clients....the information soon becomes second nature. Lets keep in touch as to progress....go get 'em
Patrick Ards
Clearhills Farrier Services
AFA #2570
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.clearhillsfarrier.ca
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RE:Certification AFA CF 26 Oct 2009 10:58 #45

Excellent thread and all good advice. I spent the weekend at a certification held by SNEFA. Dusty Franklin and John Blombach were the testers. I got to scribe for a couple of CF practicals, held a horse for a CJF practical and scribed for two CJF bar shoes. Excellent way to become familiar with the test and expectations.
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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