Unscrambling All Those Footcare Credentials

Here’s an easy-to-use guide that explains what all those jumbled letters mean when it comes to hoof-care credentials

Over the years, a number of equine footcare groups have been established with the goal of encouraging continuing hoof-care education and establishing specific standards for horseshoeing and trimming work. 

The path to becoming a farrier isn’t as regimented as that of a veterinarian. Some attend a school, some apprentice with an established farrier and others do a combination. There is no set period of time for entry-level education.

Similarly, there is no mandatory path for farrier continuing education. First, we should establish that there is no mandatory farrier licensing in the Untied States, with the exception of certain states’ racing commissions. Therefore, there is no mandatory membership in any farrier association. The four largest farrier organizations in the United States are the American Farrier’s Association, International Association of Professional Farriers, Equine Lameness Prevention Organization and the Brotherhood of Working Farriers. Although these groups may differ on hoof-care applications and theories, their members should be commended for striving for improvement through their group’s continuing education programs.

If you’ve ever been confused as to what the letters behind a farrier’s name actually stand for, here’s a handy look at what some initials and titles mean:

AANHCP CP: Certified Natural Hoof Care Practitioner. (Association for the Advancement of Horse/Hoof Care Practices)

AANHCP CSP: Certified Natural Hoof Care Student Practitioner. (Association for the Advancement of Horse/Hoof Care Practices)

AF-I: Accredited Farrier with Foundation Credential. (American Association of Professional Farriers)

APF-I: Accredited Professional Farrier. (American Association of Professional Farriers)

ATF: Approved Training Farrier. (Worshipful Company…

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